A RECRUITMENT drive has been launched in a bid to boost the ranks in the Territorial Army.
Burton’s TA centre Coltman House, in Hawkins Lane, held the first in a series of recruitment evenings as part of a national drive called Operation Fortify.
In July Defence Secretary Philip Hammond revealed that the TA would be renamed the Army Reserve and its numbers boosted from 20,000 to 30,000 as part of the £1.8 billion plan.
For F Company of the 4th Mercian Regiment, based in Hawkins Lane, this will mean recruiting at least 45 troops by 2018 to bring the unit up to full strength.
Sergeant Timothy Robinson, of F Company, has served in the TA for 22 years.
He told the Mail: “Serving in the army is a way to serve your country and it’s a worthwhile hobby which you get paid for.
“It will help you develop military skills but you also get adventure training and it builds confidence.
“I would not have missed it for the world. I’ve seen a different side of life from my civilian job as a construction steel work engineer.
“It’s given me a lot of experiences I would not otherwise have had.”
At the recruitment evening, potential recruits had the chance to get their hands on weaponry, talk to troops about life in the army and read about the history of the unit.
Sgt Robinson, who has completed military tours in Afghanistan, Iraq and Cyprus, said the units next recruitment evening will take place on November 12.
He said: “The evening went really well. The main effort is to get people interested in joining the TA and we had quite a lot of interest.
“We hope to repeat the success at the next event in November.”