14 / 12 / 2015 Midnight
Eight NHS reservists from 256 (City of London) Field Hospital, have ‘passed out’ of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, following a four week intensive course that has transformed them into officers. The traditional ‘passing out parade’ took place on 28 November in front of family and friends.
The reservists - who are based at the capital’s only military field hospital - completed a commissioning course for professionally qualified officers, and has been specifically designed for doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses and lawyers. The course, which is accredited by various academic and professional institutions, develops leadership and professional competencies to a level required of an Army officer. The includes a focus on officership, command and leadership as well as field training, physical and weapons training and drill.
Lieutenant Carola Mckenna, a specialist clinical pharmacist at Barts Health NHS Trust said “I have always enjoyed challenging myself and trying out new things. Having finished my clinical diploma I felt it was time to take on a new challenge and had always had an idea that a role as a reservist would suit me. The opportunities to access courses that I can use to enhance my career, and to try new sports and take part in adventurous training was what really persuaded me to join up.”
Lieutenant Colonel Marie Richter, the Regiment’s Second in Command said “I could not have been more proud of the officers than watching them passing out from the military academy, which is something many aspire to but only the best achieve. They now have two careers, and their reservist one is off to an excellent start. What an experience; they now have the best leadership training to take back to their NHS jobs and apply to their everyday lives.”
Lieutenant Daljinder Singh Virdee, a technical services pharmacist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trusts said “Being part of the Army Reserve has given me a huge feeling of personal accomplishment and self-confidence. I feel the leadership skills I have picked up will truly be beneficial to my career and personal life. Due to the various physical and mental challenges, I feel a lot more resilient and am able to overcome anything that life can throw at me”.
To find out more about supporting reservists within your workforce, visit our dedicated web pages.