27 June 2012
On Wednesday 27 June, Birmingham-based RAF Reservist, Lee Baugh, joined thousands of his fellow reservists in wearing his military uniform to work at the NEC.
‘Wear Your Uniform to Work Day’ is one of a series of events intended to raise awareness of Armed Forces Day which takes place this year on Saturday 30 June. It also provides an opportunity to celebrate the role of Reservists and show the public how the country is served by all sections of the community.
Group Captain Nick Sharpe, chief executive of the East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadet Association, said: “Wear Your Uniform to Work Day was again an excellent opportunity for employers to show how much they value their Reservist employees and acknowledge the contribution they make to society.
“It’s a great way to raise awareness of the fantastic work these reservists do. I hope the people our reservists work with have learnt a little bit more about their colleagues this week.”
There are around 38,000 military reservists across the country today, who have been involved in more than 24,000 deployments at home and across the world over the past decade. Reservists spend most of their time in normal civilian roles like the rest of us. But at times, they are called on for service and deployed to different parts of the world.
Lee Baugh works as Operations Manager for the Venue Operations Centre at Birmingham’s NEC. He believes Wear Your Uniform to Work Day was a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of the work of the reserved forces. He said: “I had always wanted to be in the military as were my dad and granddad, but I met a girl, we had children, and I felt I had to change direction. But after 16 years we divorced and I still had the desire to serve my country and be a part of the family business, so to speak.
“A colleague of mine had been part of the RAF regiment and encouraged me to join the Reserve Forces. I found 504 squadron and four years later I am still here as a badged gunner - and I’m so proud of what I do.
“Combining both military and civilian life can be challenging, but it’s worth it. My children are a lot older now and understand if I am away for the weekend with my squadron, and my employer has been very supportive when I’ve needed time off. It’s the support from work that has enabled me to continue.
“I would say my whole time in the reserves has been an experience. I haven’t been lucky enough to be deployed yet, but so far I have just enjoyed being part of such a fantastic squadron – the camaraderie is something you just won’t find in civilian life.”
For more information on joining the TA, please visit the website: www.army.mod.uk