Portsmouth reservists' joy as they step into the limelight for Reserves Day

CHESTS puffed out with pride as hundreds of reservists in the area ditched their work outfits and slipped into military uniforms.

Friday, 9th September 2016, 6:16 am
Updated Monday, 12th September 2016, 5:21 pm
RN reserves at the navy HQ on Whale Island Picture: L(Phot) Paul Hall

It was part of the nationwide Reserves’ Day. Similar to June’s Armed Forces Day, the event was a chance to celebrate all the part-time servicemen and women from the army, RAF and Royal Navy.

There are scores of reserve sailors, soldiers and airmen that live and work across the Portsmouth area.

Among them include Nursing Sister Katherine Pink who lives a double life as a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy Reserve.

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Her day job at Queen Alexandra Hospital’s Phoenix Rehabilitation Centre sees her providing vital care to patients suffering from severe and complex neurological problems.

But she also works part-time in the navy’s logistics branch, supporting ships and sailors across the world – with the backing of Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust.

As well as getting paid for her navy work, she has deployed overseas to Djibouti, supporting operations in the Gulf and Afghanistan.

She said: ‘Reserves’ Day provides an ideal opportunity to demonstrate that we are here, working everywhere in the community.

‘Reservists are amongst society, in every walk of life.

‘Reserves’ Day is the one day that we become visible among our co-workers.’

She works alongside British Army medical reserves from 243 (The Wessex) Field Hospital at QA in Cosham.

Whale Island is the HQ of the Royal Navy and reserve base, HMS King Alfred.

Today civilians at the naval base changed into their reserve uniforms for the day.

Reservist Marc Peers works as a finance data manager HMS Excellent and is training to be a maritime trade operations warfare branch specialist.

He said slipping into his navy outfit for the day was brilliant.

Portsmouth City Council boss Councillor Donna Jones said reservists made a ‘valuable contribution’ to the UK.

‘I would like to place on record my thanks to all those who support and keep the nation safe,’ she said.

An event to find out more on the RNR will be held at HMS King Alfred on Saturday September 17.