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The Army Reserve

This section explains the role of the Army Reserve (formerly known as the Territorial Army) and how it fits within the greater British Army organisation. For details of what it's like to belong to the Army Reserve and recruiting information, please visit the Joining The Army section, where the role of the individual Reservist is explained in greater detail.

Who are the Army Reserve?

The average person spends 15 days a year surfing the web in their spare time. You can join the Army Reserve and get to do something different with your time - most roles ask for just 27 days a year. You'll get to learn new skills, make friends and get paid too.

Want to find out more about what the Army Reserve is, and what they do?  Find out about the Army Reserve


The Army Reserve is the largest of the Reserve Forces, the others being the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR), the Royal Marines Reserve (RMR) and the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR). The Army Reserve provides support to the Regular Army at home and overseas, and throughout its history almost every major operation has seen reservists operate alongside their Regular counterparts.

  • Army Reserve Soldiers come from all walks of life and work part-time as soldiers for the British Army alongside full-time Regular soldiers.
  • Regular Reservists are soldiers who have left the Regular army but are recalled in times of need to come back and join operations alongside Regular soldiers.

The role of the Army Reserve

The Army Reserve has two clearly defined roles. Firstly, it provides highly trained soldiers who can work alongside the Regulars on missions in the UK and overseas. Secondly, it gives people who have specialist skills, like medics and engineers, a range of exciting opportunities to use them in new ways.

Over the next few years the role of the Army Reserve will be expanded and they will work even more closely with the rest of the Army. This means that there will be more opportunities for people who want to enjoy the challenges that come with being a Reservist.


How are we structured?

At the heart of life as a Reservist is the local Army Reserve Centre. This is where soldiers work and train, although they will travel as they gain experience. The Army Reserve Centre could be home to a detachment of over 30 soldiers, part of a company, squadron or battery of over 100 soldiers or a regiment of over 500 soldiers. Each of these elements has a military task and a variety of jobs within it.

Financial incentives

Find out what financial incentives are available for ex-Regulars and new entrants when joining the Army Reserve.

Soldiers on exercise

Types of Army Reserve unit

Covering the United Kingdom, the Army Reserve is divided into three types of unit; National, Regional and Sponsored. Anyone thinking of joining usually has a choice of at least two types of unit, depending on how far they are prepared to travel to attend training.



Video: Plumber to Paratrooper: Exercise Askari Storm

Private Tom Emsley, a plumber from Leeds, has become one of a select number of British Army Reservists to become part of one of the country's elite Reaction Forces. In this video Tom, 21, undergoes enhanced parachute training in Kenya with 3rd and 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment on Exercise Askari Storm in preparation for his role in 4 PARA.

Find out more about roles in the British Army here:

Find out more about opportunities in the Army Reserve

Everybody joining the Army has to meet some basic entry requirements. Whether you serve full time as a Regular or in your spare time as a Reservist.

Joining the Army as a Reservist is the ideal option if you want to combine the benefits of an Army job with civilian life.

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