Marking Kent Reserves Day 2023

The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, the Chairman of Kent County Council and military personnel gather for a group photo at County Hall in Maidstone to mark Kent Reserves Day 2023

Today (Tuesday 12 September) ranks as a special day in the calendar as Kent Reserves Day is marked.

Representatives from reserve units across Kent and Medway came together at County Hall in Maidstone for a reception hosted by Chairman of Kent County Council (KCC) Gary Cooke.

The annual day was created to acknowledge the dedication of the 500 registered reservists in the county, a fair number of which work for Kent County Council and the emergency services.

Mr Cooke, who also serves as Chairman of the Civilian-Military Partnership Board, was joined by the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent The Lady Colgrain for the event, which doubled as a recruitment drive with staff and Members able to learn more about what being a reservist entails.

Reservists balance their civilian life with a military career to ensure they would be ready to serve as part of the military if required.

The reserve forces make up approximately one sixth of our armed forces personnel and as such are integral to protecting the nation’s security at home and overseas, particularly providing capability in specialist areas such as medical and cyber.

In Maidstone today there were military representatives present including from 3 Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and 579 Field Squadron (EOD) RE, based in Tunbridge Wells. Ex-service personnel were also in attendance.

Mr Cooke said: “For me, Kent Reserves Day is a day to highlight and recognise the valuable contribution reservists make to our Armed Forces and especially those here in Kent and Medway.

“As a long-standing holder of the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award, KCC offers 14 days paid leave for all our employee reservists to go to annual training sessions and camp and we are proud to be a ‘military employer of choice’.”

Reservists learn new skills, such as leadership, project management and communications, which will be of benefit to their employers back in the workplace.

  • Reservists are currently supporting operations worldwide including in Afghanistan, Northern Iraq, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina and were part of the UK’s effort to counter Ebola in Sierra Leone. They are also involved in helping to train Government forces in Ukraine, here in Kent and across the South East.