As a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant, we are committed to supporting serving personnel, reservists, veterans and military families.
One of the pledges we have made is to provide our Reservist colleagues 10 extra days of annual leave, to support with their military training.
Reservists have long played a critical role in the defence of the UK and have been deployed on operations around the globe. We caught up with Deborah Crampton, our Eurest chef manager at Leonardo Helicopters, in Yeovil, who is also a Lance Corporal Class 1 Chef in the British Army Reserves. Here is her story:
Deborah, whose husband serves in the Army, had always had an interest in the military and thought it would be a great way to travel and learn new skills, joined the reserves seven years ago. After attending a familiarisation weekend at the British Army reserves Headquarters in Grantham Deborah was hooked.
During her time in the 167 Catering Support Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, Deborah has travelled with the British Army, to a number of different locations across the world, including USA, Gibraltar, and Germany, providing catering to Army personnel in any environment.
This April the Army called up Reservists in support of the nation’s response to COVID-19. Deborah will be mobilised for 6 months. Deborah explained “Being called up during this time of national crisis, has been a mixture of emotions for me. I was sad to say goodbye to my colleagues, but I am so proud to have the opportunity to support the response team.
“It’s been such an honour to be back with the reserves. I haven’t stopped, but have really enjoyed working with the brigade to feed the troops in Aldershot!”.
Deborah is stationed out of Normandy Barracks, which is based in the Garrison town of Aldershot. Working in a team of seven expert chefs who provide breakfast, lunch and dinner to the staff from HQ, Standing Joint Command (SJC) which is the taskforce responsible for the military’s operational response to Covid-19 and JMC(SE) – over 300 Service Personnel at times! Providing some variety to the meals each week, Deborah and her team design theme nights and have so far cooked up VE day celebrations, curry night, Mexican and Chinese to name a few.
So, would Deborah recommend joining the Reserves? “Definitely! Nothing beats the comradery. I love being part of the 167 Catering Support Regiment. Being a reservist also provides more an opportunity to develop my skills, challenge me in different environments and of course travel the world. It really has brought me so many positives and I couldn’t imagine my life with the reserves. I am really grateful to work for a company that supports reservists and recognise the value we bring to our jobs back home too. “