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‘Now more than ever, the Territorial Army deserves the support of the public’

May 13, 2011

‘…the Army could not have achieved what it has in Afghanistan and elsewhere without the support of the ordinary citizens who populate our Reserve Forces…It has left the ‘weekend warrior’ image far behind and come of age,’ says Lt Col John Boyd, Commanding Officer of 4th Bn The Parachute Regiment (4 PARA) writing in The Telegraph yesterday.

Reservists bring unique capabilities to the battlefield. Photo: Getty

‘After six months of hard fighting on Helmand’s front line, scores of men from my unit, the 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment of the Territorial Army, returned home this month. But there is one who will not be among their number: while acting as the lead scout for a patrol in the province, Private Conrad Lewis was shot and killed by a sharpshooter, alongside a colleague, Pte Lewis Hendry. He was only 22.

Pte Lewis was a volunteer soldier. He had stepped forward to offer his services for this dangerous role. His sacrifice is perhaps magnified by the fact that he had no need to do so.

Over the past few years, the public’s recognition of, and support for, those serving in the regular Army has grown significantly, and rightly so. Yet similar recognition and support for those serving in our Reserve Forces has failed to materialise. It is long past time that people woke up and realised the extent of what TA soldiers are doing on operations.

For starters, the Army could not have achieved what it has in Afghanistan and elsewhere without the support of the ordinary citizens who populate our Reserve Forces. The TA has also become intrinsically linked with our homeland defence capability, and provides an important bridge between the Armed Forces and wider society through its community engagement work.

To read the rest of the article by Lt Col Boyd on The Telegraph website, click HERE or on the image above.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Shadowman permalink
    May 13, 2011 14:46

    Go the Territorials! True heroes indeed, as are all who are serving in Afghanistan.

  2. May 13, 2011 15:03

    Truly they are unsung heroes and deserve better from the general public.

  3. Racheal Dowling permalink
    May 13, 2011 15:51

    My partner is currently on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan and it amazes me how many people (including regular soldiers) are shocked that the TA do in fact go on Operational duty and actually perform the same duties as any Regular soldier. I’m glad grateful that this article has highlighted all that they do.

    I couldn’t be prouder of my partner for the sacrafices that he makes in order to serve for his country.

    To all the TA Fusiliers, Mercians and Rifles soldiers currently on Operations take care and stay safe. You are all heroes!!!

  4. May 14, 2011 17:32

    I believe the general public do support our TA soldiers as much as our ‘Regular’ soldiers – perhaps going back a number of years the TA’s did not receive the same appreciation as the Regulars – but that was prior to them being deployed to places like Iraq and Afghan….either way, I wish them Well and pray for them in the same way as I do for any of our Service Personnel; let us not forgot, at the end of the day, any soldiers training can be as dangerous as actually being deployed.

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