Today (Wednesday 24 June) is Reserves day and to mark this we are sharing the story of one of our own Army Reserves, Michelle Higgins.
"I am a physiotherapist with the respiratory team in Barking and Dagenham. I have worked for NELFT since 2013, during this time I have also served with the Army Reserve and before this the Territorial Army (TA). I joined the TA in 2003 after nine years in the Regular Army in the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC).
"Being in the reserves gives me many different opportunities including adventure training, travel and soldiering skills. Whilst in the RLC, I gained many different driving licences including a tank license! I transferred to Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) and commissioned in 2017 and am now the 2IC of a squadron with over 100 personnel.
"During all this time I have done many different things, such as skiing in France, playing squash for the army team in Australia, with lots of army green training in between. Every year I complete a two week deployment as part of my commitment and NELFT allow me this time off in addition to my annual leave. Last year we set up a field hospital as part a huge brigade exercise involving a mix of regular and reserve army from many different cap badges. I was in charge of the hospital with a staff of over 50 personnel, managing the day to day running ensuring we were able to keep up with the battle rhythm. Over the years I have travelled to many other countries and worked with many people from all walks of life, something most normal civilian jobs couldn’t offer. We were supposed to be going to Cyprus this year for annual deployment, unfortunately this was cancelled due to the pandemic but I am sure I will get many other opportunities. Next year, I hope to be going to Japan with the army squash team to compete in the World Master Games, and I get paid for this.
"The army has many different opportunities to offer; sport, adventure training and military skill and leadership, all are transferable skills that I am able to utilise in my day job. My unit is the 254 Medical Regiment (East of England) and I am based in Maidstone, we also have Squadrons in Colchester, Cambridge, Hitching and Leicester."