Exercise Executive Stretch


Exercise Executive Stretch is an event based on the training undertaken by Reservists and designed to bring out the best in your employees.

It is a three-day transformation that:

  • Develops leadership and teamwork skills that can be applied in the workplace.
  • Improves self-confidence and enhances communication skills.
  • Calls on a whole range of physical skills to overcome a series of tasks and problems.
  • Tests determination and ability to work with others as part of an effective team.

Supportive employers from across our region are invited to send their employees on our annual Exercise Executive Stretch (formerly known as Exercise Merlin Executive) which gives their staff the opportunity to learn some of the well-recognised and respected leadership skills which the British Armed Forces use. Putting them into practice in exciting and challenging scenarios before bringing them back to the workplace. 

We can offer your organisation this opportunity for your middle management staff or up-and-coming young executives for what has always proved to be a most rewarding experience.  Employers and senior members of those organisations taking part are also invited to attend the visitors’ day, where they will be briefed on the exercise and after a lunch, visit their employees in action.

What is Exercise Executive Stretch?

Exercise Executive Stretch enables you and your staff to experience Reservist training for yourselves over 3 days. It’s a unique opportunity for individuals to enhance their personal leadership, teamwork and communication skills, as well as gain a valuable insight into the transferable skills that Reservists develop during similar training exercises.

Organised by the Volunteer Reserve Forces and the RFCA, it is run by Reservists at a military training area in Yorkshire, with the Yorkshire & The Humber region hosting an event each year.  After a briefing session and basic instruction in essential skills, you’ll work in teams to tackle a series of leadership challenges, planning exercises and physical activities. These will involve problem solving, lateral thinking and initiative, requiring you to call on a whole range of skills.

Although the event is undeniably challenging, you don’t need to be young or super-fit. What will really be tested is your determination, strength of character and your ability to work well under pressure and as part of a team.  Individuals will be expected to have a reasonable level of fitness as they will be expected to walk around the training area. During the exercise training period they will be given mental and physical tasks of dexterity. They will be expected to lead the team during a task and will be on the move from 6am to around 5pm.

On one day they will undertake a team challenge which may involve a mini assault course, getting wet and very muddy.  We never make anyone undertake anything they feel too challenging but do expect them to work outside their comfort zone. This gives a good profile of strong leaders who can project manage a team of professionals to their strengths. Being out of their comfort zone also gives a good indication of an individual’s ability to undertake and achieve projects to a successful conclusion.

We are not looking for super athletic individuals, more of a can do person. We will overcome most other issues as and when they arise.

Why do it?

People who have taken part in the past tell us that they have greater self-confidence, enhanced communication skills and a better understanding of leadership and teamwork. They also have a real sense of personal achievement and insight into what being a Reservist involves. These are just some of the benefits you can expect when you take part in Exercise Executive Stretch.

What to expect

Exercise Executive Stretch usually takes place over 3 days, starting on a Thursday afternoon and finishing by Saturday lunch time. This is what previous participants and employers had to say:

‘I feel I gained valuable experiences leading and working in a team in a very different, fun and engaging environment.’

‘I wasn’t sure what it could teach me about leadership, I guess I was probably quite sceptical.  However, I was 100% proved incorrect.’

‘Taking part in this exercise has really boosted my confidence.  It has really put things into perspective and I feel more in control of myself both personally and professionally.’

‘Our employees will certainly now benefit from increased levels of self-confidence and enhanced problem solving skills from both work and throughout their everyday lives.  By being taken out of their comfort zone they were given the opportunity to really test themselves and learn new skills.’

‘Would definitely recommend sending staff on Exercise Executive Stretch. All employees returned from the experience with an increased level of motivation.’

“Exercise Executive Stretch really did give the participants a chance to learn about building their own skills whilst having a great time.  They also gained first-hand experience of the benefits a Reservist can bring to employers.  The training Reservists receive is the same as the Regular Forces, preparing them to work alongside their full-time counterparts abroad and here in the UK.  And the training also provides core skills that are valuable both to the military and business – motivation, self-discipline, confidence, communication, teamwork and leadership to name just a few.  We want to encourage employers and employees to consider what the Reserve Forces have to offer and this is one very exciting way of doing that.”  Colonel Jason Wright, Chief Executive of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for Yorkshire & The Humber commenting on Exercise Executive Stretch.

Details for the 2018 Exercise Executive Stretch have yet to be finalised. For all enquiries please call 01904 637929 or 01904 623 081.  Alternatively please email [email protected]

Reserve Forces