The Reservist community come from all parts of the community and all walks of life; sacrificing their spare time, balancing their civilian live and working alongside regular forces to protect the nation. They are deployed in operational theatres worldwide, undertaking different, diverse and sometimes dangerous roles. Across Joint Forces Command (JFC), they make a daily contribution to UK defence.
Lieutenant Commander Nathan Ditton based at Permanent Joint Headquarters, part of JFC spoke about his experience as a JFC Reservist and what made them choose to follow a career in the Reserve forces.
Nathan, who joined the Reserves in 2002 explained:
I joined the Reservists, because I have always sought to undertake wider activities that supported my community such as lifeboat crew, youth work and having an interest in military affairs. I wanted to find a method of putting something back into wider society, both in the UK and overseas.
When not working as a Civil Servant at Army’s Regional Command, Nathan is a Maritime Trade Operations Officer (MTO), providing operational liaison and interaction between military commanders and the merchant shipping community. This role includes providing navigational safety and security advice to merchant shipping in high risk areas.
He also completed 2 years as Executive Officer of HMS King Alfred, the Royal Naval Reserve Unit in Portsmouth, responsible for providing command advice to the Commanding Officer and being the link between the unit and the local community.
Nathan spoke about the biggest satisfaction of his role as a Reservist ”is that the outputs I am responsible for make a real difference.”
He went on to explain that in his role as an MTO Officer:
the actions I take can help safeguard the free flow of merchant shipping and thus economic wellbeing of the UK and wider international community. In addition, the development opportunities particularly in the areas of planning and leadership have direct positive benefit in my civilian work performance and development.
As a civil servant, Nathan continuously utilises skills as a Reservist within the role and vice versa, this is particularly case in areas of policy development, leadership, project management and reporting.
Of being a Reservist, Nathan enthused:
I would strongly encourage people to join the Reserve Forces, there are multiple roles in which you can be employed and the commitment you choose to make can flex according to your circumstances. In addition to training and exercises, there is the opportunity to participate in social, sporting and adventurous training events.
The complete Reserves experience will have positive transferable skills to civilian employment.
From JFC, we thank Reservists for their dedication and professionalism and their integral work in protecting the nation’s security at home and overseas.