There are around 30,660 Volunteer Reservists in the UK. Coming from all backgrounds, regions and jobs, these are ordinary men and women who give up their time to train and serve alongside the Regular Forces. The reserve forces consists of the Royal Naval Reserve, the Royal Marines Reserve, the Army Reserve (formerly the TA or Territorial Army) and the Royal Air Force Reserve.
Volunteer Reservists are called out to supplement the Regular Forces whenever Operational demands require it. If they are mobilised they will carry out the same roles to the same high standards as their Regular counterparts. They also receive the same world-class training and develop the same skills. Reservists make up around 14% of the nation’s total defence capacity which in turn makes them an essential part of our defence strategy. They are called upon as individuals for their specific skills or as ready-formed units to serve alongside the Regular Forces whenever required.
In October 2010, the prime minister announced that the government would assess whether the UK’s Reserve Forces are ‘properly structured for the type of conflict we envisage undertaking in future so that we make best use of the skills, experience and capabilities of our Reservists while at the same time moving towards a more efficient structure’. The Future Reserves 2020 (FR20) study is intended to be an open-minded, fundamental review of the Reserve Forces’ role and structure. The White Paper was released in 2013 and can be found here.