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Our people

Our people

The Battalion’s strength is its people. Their common motivation for joining is to seek an intellectual and physical challenge. They come from a range of backgrounds and represent a cross-section of high calibre talent from our regions. Most members of the Battalion are educated to degree level, however the key qualities that we require are an inquisitive open mind, an analytical and logical thought process, and the ability to provide written and verbal briefs to commanders.

The Battalion has 367 posts. These include a handful of permanent military and civilian enabling staff, but are predominantly reservist posts. This means that we offer a career structure to our reserve personnel, allowing them to fulfil every role from new entrant Lance Corporal (Operator Military Intelligence - OPMI) through to WO1 (Senior Volunteer), and from Second Lieutenant (Section Second-in-Command) to Senior Major (Battalion Second-in-Command).

Read about the experiences of our Soldiers and Officers.

Major Tom Blandford

From: Sheffield. Civilian employment: Chartered Accountant.

He is in the Army Reserve because: The opportunities it provides cannot be matched in the civilian world. I currently command a company of 90 soldiers and officers, I have deployed on operations twice and I have gone rock climbing in Gibraltar. And all on a part time basis, at a pace and intensity that suits my civilian life. Where else can you have this range of experiences?

Working with the US Armed Forces. In Sept 2014 the Battalion trained alongside our coalition counterparts on a 2 week exercise in North Carolina, USA. I have previous worked alongside the US Marine Corps in Afghanistan and exercises like this are a very realistic way to learn each other’s processes in advance of working alongside each other ‘for real’.

Sergeant Willie Birse

From: East Renfrewshire.

He is in the Army Reserve because: He enjoys the mental and physical challenges that civilian employment cannot not meet. And he gets paid for it.

Best experience so far in 5 MI Battalion: I have deployed several times with both 5 MI Bn and with my previous infantry unit. I find that deploying on operations is extremely rewarding.

LCpl Innes

The thing I love most about being an Army Reservist is the wealth of opportunities on offer which have tested and developed me in a variety of ways over the past eighteen months or so since I joined 53 Military Intelligence Company (Leeds).

Completion of trade training, and the resulting promotion to Lance Corporal, leads to all sorts of other opportunities. This month I spent a few days attached to a Regular Army surveillance course which gave me a fascinating insight into this line of work.

In 2012 I was lucky enough to secure a place on a two week paragliding course in Bavaria. Last year I thoroughly enjoyed a Battlefield Tour to Ypres. My plans for 2014 include, amongst other things, passing a Defence Instructional Techniques course so I am able to instruct others in the future, improving my trade skills and transferring my civilian language qualifications across to the ‘Army system’ by passing military-specific language exams.

Although attending training undoubtedly reduces my free time, being a Reservist offers flexibility. Units understand that their members’ attendance will fluctuate due to work, study and family commitments. I genuinely believe that what I have learnt and gained thus far from my time as a Reservist outweighs any downsides. In addition, I have also met many like-minded people who have become friends.

Employers have also viewed my commitment to the Reserves very positively. Being able to talk at interview about the skills and abilities I have acquired and developed through military training undoubtedly helped me to secure both my current position and my training contract with a law firm.

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