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My story: LCpl Darren Roland

My role in the Army Reserve is a Communication system operator which includes working with a BOWMAN combat network radio platform. The main purpose of my role is to engineer communications and to ensure the swift traffic of important information. The role offers both technical and physical challenges.

I joined Support Squadron in November 2011 after hearing an advert on the radio; I remember wanting to know if I had what it takes and decided to give it a go. Since completing basic training I have completed my trade course and my PNCO leadership course. I’ve also taken part in a live firing exercise in Cyprus and a number of annual deployments.

You get the chance to develop your physical fitness in the Army. I’ve competed in a number of sporting events including triathlons, half marathons, duathlons, football training camps, a loaded march competition and skiing.

The most challenging thing I’ve done is the lanyard competition. The competition is a 40 mile race carrying 40lb including a rifle over undulating terrain. I took part in the competition when it was held in the Galloway Forrest in Scotland. The scenery was beautiful, but the route was punishing. I’m proud of myself for completing the course.

The opportunities to travel with the Army Reserve are endless. In four years I’ve been on two trips to Cyprus as well as visiting France, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Switzerland. The most fun thing I’ve done is EX LION STAR in Cyprus; a live firing mission which culminated in a beach attack off boats and helicopters.

In my civilian career I am a carpenter and builder. The Army Reserve has helped me by developing my confidence and leadership skills and has helped me become a valuable team member. I’d advise anyone to consider joining.