Extra recognition for both the reserve and regular armed forces

RECOGNITION Reservists from HMS King Alfred, Portsmouth's naval reserve unit, on the march through Portsmouth. The unit has recently broken its recruitment targets and is growing in size
RECOGNITION Reservists from HMS King Alfred, Portsmouth's naval reserve unit, on the march through Portsmouth. The unit has recently broken its recruitment targets and is growing in size
The carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth

Minor repair is made to supercarrier HMS Queen Elizabeth

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RESERVISTS will be given extra recognition for their commitment to the armed forces with the introduction of a new award.

And members of the regular forces may receive a new Long Service medal for the time they dedicate to their military careers.

Volunteer reservists will now be able to use the letters ‘VR’ after their names once they have given 10 years of service.

The award can be used by all members of the reserve forces, regardless of their rank or service, and will be applied retroactively to 1999.

Defence secretary Michael Fallon said: ‘As reservists are members of the armed forces on top of their civilian roles, they give significant and noteworthy service to our country.

‘Each is truly twice the citizen and it is right that we recognise this publicly. The new post-nominal will allow experienced reservists to highlight their service and enable employers, colleagues and wider society to recognise the unique abilities and commitment they offer.’

Following recommendations made in the 2014 independent medal review by Sir John Holmes, the government will also be seeking agreement for the introduction of a new Long Service medal.

This would be issued after 15 years of service, regardless of rank, to recognise the sacrifice and commitment made by members of the regular forces.

The current Long Service and Good Conduct medal, which is only awarded to those of other ranks, will no longer be issued.

The move means officers, who currently have no medal of recognition for long service, would also be rewarded for their dedication.

Mr Fallon added: ‘We ask a great deal of our armed forces and part of our commitment to servicemen and women is to recognise their service.

‘Fifteen years of service is a significant commitment and it is right that we have a medal that rewards that, regardless of rank.’

Subject to agreement from the Queen, the Ministry of Defence will commission a new medal design and aims to make the first presentations in 2016.

The MoD said the good conduct element of the current award has been reviewed and deemed to ‘no longer reflect a modern force’.

A spokeswoman said: ‘Individuals who commit an offence early in their career can be exempt, even if they have many more years of unblemished service.

‘However, the MoD still expects the highest standards and the good conduct element will apply to the last five years of the 15-year period for the new Long Service medal.’