Traditional views about what an army career means would be changed by visiting an Open Day event in Northampton this weekend, a community leader has said.
Suresh Patel, a senior county councillor and leader in the town’s Asian community, said many parents with Asian backgrounds still aspire to traditionally prestigious professions for their children, with the result that the Armed Forces generally has fewer ethnic minorities.
He said: “I hear it a lot even now from parents who want their children to be accountants, doctors and dentists, yet the army and the Reserve Forces can be an excellent career. So, yes, sometimes there is a bit of a stigma.
“But in reality do get good rewards for working a main career and being in a Reserve Forces unit too. You can gain some excellent extra skills that are very valuable in your career and you get paid.
“Unfortunately there’s a lack of knowledge by a lot of people what it’s all about. That’s why the open day on Sunday is such a good idea. It gives you the facts.”
The gates of Clare Street Army Reserve Centre, home to 118 Recovery Company and members of C (Leicestershire and Northamptonshire) Company 3rd
will be open to members of the general public from 2pm to 5pm on Sunday, June 1.
Visitors to the day will be able to meet chefs, vehicle mechanics and combat infantry soldiers as well as Armed Forces cadets who will have a climbing wall on display whilst the Sea Cadets will display a boat.
The day will be interspersed with music from Northampton Air Training Corps and demonstrations from 118 Recovery Company who will show the recovery of an upturned vehicle using a 30-ton support recovery vehicle.
Kit and equipment used by the Army Reserves will be on display including personal weapons and a 15-ton cargo carrying vehicle often seen in Afghanistan to move life support including ammunition and food to frontline troops.
As well as gaining new skills the Northampton Reserves offer a wide range of travel and work opportunities.
Anyone who would like to find out more about Northampton’s Army Reserve can contact the Reserve Centre on 01604 635760. Further information can also be found on the British Army website or log onto the East Midlands Army Reserve and Cadets website at: www.eastmidlandsrfca.co.uk