An army reservist who works as a police officer in Llandudno is proud to see the town open its arms to welcome past and present service personnel this week.
Adam Sergeant, a Detachment Commander with the Wales Universities’ Officer Training Corps (WUOTC), is spending today celebrating Reserves Day – the halfway mark of a week of salutes to the Armed Forces community.
The series of events started with a flag raising ceremony on Monday outside Venue Cymru and will culminate with up to 250,000 people visiting the seaside resort for the UK national Armed Forces Day event on Saturday 30 June.
“It’s great for Llandudno! These celebrations are the biggest thing to have happened here for a long time in terms of the number of people attending,” said Adam. “I think the population is very supportive of uniforms, whether it’s the police or military. This will be proud day for us in Llandudno.”
Adam joined the Army Reserve 13 years ago and commits a minimum requirement of 27 days of the year to being a reservist, an experience that has also included a role with Fourth Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, prior to taking his current position with WUOTC.
During that time, Adam has served on operations in Afghanistan and travelled to Germany, France and Italy for training and exercises as a reservist. The 30-year-old is equally passionate about using the skills he’s learned to have a positive impact closer to home, too.
Adam said: “It’s been a learning curve for my personal development. It’s taken me from adolescence to adulthood and given me skills to succeed in the workplace as a civilian, as well.
“One of the main things my reserve service has given me is my communication skills, I use these skills every day as a police officer. Operational experience improved my decision-making and I can make decisions based on incomplete information – something else I do everyday as a police officer.
Adam’s involvement with the Army Reserve has helped him to gain a Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (CTLLS) and instructor supervisor qualifications.
The continuous training has led to a mutually beneficial relationship between Adam’s unit and his employer, North Wales Police, who have been flexible to enable his vital role in the Defence family.
He said: “Having had command of troops and led people in different domains has benefited my planning abilities. I’m able to look at a situation, conduct an estimate, then produce a workable plan and deliver a set of orders. I’ve used these transferable skills in the police.
“The police recognise the benefits and have been very supportive. They have allowed me to have special leave for my initial training and where possible, they’ve let me re-roster shifts to attend drills nights and do my normal reserve duties. They’ve been really supportive and it’s made a difference for me.”
There are more than 2,200 reserves in Wales and they continue to be a valued part of the Armed Forces, making up approximately one sixth of its personnel. With their role increasing, Adam is convinced others can follow in his footsteps.
He said: “Go for it. Don’t let anything hold you back. If its going to push you outside of your comfort zone, that’s a good thing! When you feel short-term discomforts, just think about what it can do for you as an individual and the long-term benefits.
“The welfare package that was in place when I was deployed to Afghanistan was excellent. I was brought in to the fold of the unit that I deployed with and there was no barrier between being a reservist or regular.”
This week, a series of nationwide events will culminate with the National Armed Forces Day at Llandudno on Saturday 30 June. Use #SaluteOurForces to join in the online activities.