Today, a senior NHS analyst from Cardiff will join thousands of part-time service personnel taking special steps to mark Reserves Day in the workplace.
Dhilushka Maheswaran works for the NHS Wales Informatics Service by day but away from his office job, he doubles up as a specialist member of 7 Military Intelligence Battalion.
The 38-year-old has been involved in the Army Reserve for seven years and will deliver a digital presentation to colleagues about his climb to the rank of Sergeant, a role he heavily credits with improving his civilian career.
“It has given me an excellent skillset, an excellent lifestyle and you get paid. The community we have is close knit and has a lot of transferable qualities,” said Dhilushka, who is wearing his multi-terrain pattern clothing to work.
“I’ve had a chance to develop my leadership, teamwork, analysis, presentation and instruction skills. It’s given me the confidence to know I’m capable of more than I thought I am.
“My motivation is that I know I’m doing something productive and good for my community and country. The things we do are really interesting and increases our ability in the workplace, especially with analysis and dissemination.”
Dhilushka’s involvement with the Army Reserve, which is required to be just 27 days a year, has added a different dimension to his everyday life. It’s helped him to make new friends and go to new places, including; North Carolina, Germany, Cyprus, Netherlands, Belgium and France.
He said: “You receive a lot of opportunities for travel, adventurous training and sport. Our unit has gone paragliding, diving, sailing and mountain climbing – all sorts of things all over the place.
“You will meet people you might not possibly meet in any other walk of life. We have people from everywhere. Some people work in coffee shops, some are TV producers and we have police, students and personal trainers, too.”
With ambitions to deploy on an operational tour and become a Counter Explosive Ordnance Instructor in the future, Dhilushka has boosted his CV with a library of qualifications.
He said: “Passing my various UK Military Command, Leadership and Management Programme at each rank was testing, physically and mentally. I’ve also completed courses in specialist open source computer training, intelligence analysis and received excellent tuition.
“There has always been advice and help from both the permanent staff in the Armed Forces and other reservists within the units. It’s given me an appreciation that problems and issues can always be overcome and led me to forget the meaning of the word can’t.”
There are more than 2,200 reservists in Wales and they make up approximately one sixth of the armed forces personnel in the United Kingdom.
This week, a number of nationwide events are being held to celebrate past and present service personnel. It will culminate with Armed Forces Day in Llandudno on Saturday 30 June 2018. Use #SaluteOurForces to join in the online activities.