Government and employers heaped praise on the skills of Territorial soldiers and pledged continued support on the 100th anniversary of the Territorial Army (TA).
Des Browne, the secretary of state for defence, unveiled TA100 – a campaign to acknowledge the contribution of Territorial soldiers since 1908 – at the Tower of London yesterday.
“This 100th anniversary year is a great opportunity to praise the contribution of our Territorial Army and celebrate 100 years of excellence and commitment.
“I would like to say thank you to 35,000 people currently serving with the TA, who all serve side by side, facing the same risk and dangers,” Browne said.
Speaking on behalf of TA employers, Anne Minto OBE, group HR director at energy company Centrica, said: “At Centrica, we are committed to supporting our reservists. As an employer, we recognise the skills and experience that service in the reserve forces can bring to our employees, particularly in areas such as leadership, teamwork and thinking under pressure.
“Supporting reservists in the workplace can be a challenge, particularly for small businesses, but employers should be reassured that advice and support is available through SaBRE to help them, particularly when employees are mobilised,” Minto said.
Having served in both world wars, Territorial soldiers have since served in Aden, Kosovo, Bosnia, the Gulf and Afghanistan. They currently make up 4% of Britain’s total Army manpower in Iraq and 8% in Afghanistan. Soldiers can be mobilised for a maximum of 12 months in three years.