Question About Time Commitment

1993GM

Crow
I'm seriously considering joining the reserves and i've got 3 or 4 units close to me with some good options (Infantry, REME, Artillery). I will of course phone the units and ask about attending drills etc and run the questions by them but it's good to hear from a broader spectrum of people on here also.

Basically I work full time, do weekend overtime and also have a young kid so my main issue is the time. Now I can 100% attend a drill night every single week and this is what i'd aim to be doing, other than the 5 times a year i'd be on my 2-10 shift (Which I could sometimes get swapped if it was a more important night). I'd also love to attend the weekends WHERE POSSIBLE but this is where my question lies.

I've seen the '1 night a week, 1 weekend a month, 2 weeks a year' thrown around a few times as a rule of thumb. Unfortunately in my current situation there's no way I could be away for 1 weekend every month. The 2 weeks isn't a problem either but the weekend every month would definitely be a stumbling block.

Realistically I could attend 1 weekend a quarter (Maybe more but couldn't guarantee it) given family and work etc. but is this kind of the expectation? Would I be seen as a bit of a knob who was never there if I wasn't going to them all? Would I be disappointing people/not making a good account of myself by only attending them when it suited me or is this pretty standard?

Basically if this is gonna be a major issue I will probably have to put the reserves on the back burner until such a time as I have more freedom with my weekends! (Probably never haha)

Cheers for any replies!
 

cowgoesmoo

Old-Salt
Have you considered the national reserves if you've got a specialist skill in your day job? They don't have drill nights and you only need to do a minimum of 19 days, which is basically your annual exercise plus 2 weekends.
 

1993GM

Crow
Have you considered the national reserves if you've got a specialist skill in your day job? They don't have drill nights and you only need to do a minimum of 19 days, which is basically your annual exercise plus 2 weekends.
I haven't actually. Will have a look into that.

I see the minimum commitment advertised as like 27 days or whatever it is but I could easily meet way more than that. I suppose I'm just asking is there sort of pressure to attend all of these weekends or is it very much to suit you?

I suppose each unit may be different just depending on the group you have with you and what the ones in charge are like too?

Just to say also I've just found a few other threads on this topic by using the search, can only apologise before everyone starts slaughtering me haha.

But any input still appreciated!
 
I haven't actually. Will have a look into that.

I see the minimum commitment advertised as like 27 days or whatever it is but I could easily meet way more than that. I suppose I'm just asking is there sort of pressure to attend all of these weekends or is it very much to suit you?

I suppose each unit may be different just depending on the group you have with you and what the ones in charge are like too?

Just to say also I've just found a few other threads on this topic by using the search, can only apologise before everyone starts slaughtering me haha.

But any input still appreciated!
You can actually do as little as you like, but if you really want your annual bounty at least meet the requirements, you get extra £££ on completing training etc
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
I haven't actually. Will have a look into that.

I see the minimum commitment advertised as like 27 days or whatever it is but I could easily meet way more than that. I suppose I'm just asking is there sort of pressure to attend all of these weekends or is it very much to suit you?

I suppose each unit may be different just depending on the group you have with you and what the ones in charge are like too?

Just to say also I've just found a few other threads on this topic by using the search, can only apologise before everyone starts slaughtering me haha.

But any input still appreciated!
You should ask the unit what the recruit training process looks like for them. With time availability that limited, you may well struggle to even get through the recruit phase.
 
Last edited:

Mrsheeny

Old-Salt
Why don’t you just suck it and see. For the first 12 months you’ll do your Alpha either in 7 days or over 4 weekends and see how that goes.

What you’d need to do is find a balance, so go away on alpha (7days) and the weekend after go away for the weekend with the family. Do Bravo (2 weeks) and go away on holiday for a week with the family. That’s the best way.
 

Longmore92

Swinger
If you can't manage 1 weekend a month you're going to struggle to get through basic. Basic Training Alpha is weekend on weekend off over 2 months. You could do the consolidated course but these are being reduced in number.
Most reservists do at least 2 weekends a month. On top of that they do various courses which may or may not include weekends. You will, at some point, find yourself doing weekend after weekend after weekend on the bounce.
Hope you can find a way to make it work.
 

1993GM

Crow
Some good answers in here and thanks to all.

With regards to completing my basic I could find the time to get that done as it'd be a one off kinda thing, but yeah like I said a weekend a month EVERY month would be too much for the foreseeable.

If you can't manage 1 weekend a month you're going to struggle to get through basic. Basic Training Alpha is weekend on weekend off over 2 months. You could do the consolidated course but these are being reduced in number.
Most reservists do at least 2 weekends a month. On top of that they do various courses which may or may not include weekends. You will, at some point, find yourself doing weekend after weekend after weekend on the bounce.
Hope you can find a way to make it work.
Yeah, this is kinda what I thought. Ofcourse you can do the minimum but if I'm gonna be letting people down and basically seen as not going to stuff I'll probably just need to forget it for now.

This may be a silly question but are these weekends usually overnights? Or are you getting home at the end of the day? That could help me with regards to the family and the Mrs being more supportive haha.

Unless you're a trained mechanic I would stay away from that.
I actually am a mechanical fitter to trade, but to be honest for this exact reason I'm put off the REME as I'm seeking new skills and something different. But I did consider that maybe I'd have something to offer the army if I went down this route.

Why don’t you just suck it and see. For the first 12 months you’ll do your Alpha either in 7 days or over 4 weekends and see how that goes.

What you’d need to do is find a balance, so go away on alpha (7days) and the weekend after go away for the weekend with the family. Do Bravo (2 weeks) and go away on holiday for a week with the family. That’s the best way.
I'm gonna contact the infantry and artillery units near me and ask to attend drill nights. Will fire all questions at them when I go also.

I really want to do it but I just hope I can make it work with the time I can give. Cheers all.
 

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