Reservists are part time members of the military who, in addition to their civilian employment, have a parallel career in the NZ Defence Force as a member of the Navy, Army or Air Force. Reserves supplement the Regular Force and often bring specialist skills, such as surgical or engineering skills.
Private Clayton Mills and Lance Corporal Daniel Moyle, Reserve soldiers from Auckland, begin cleaning Papamoa Beach after oil from the grounded ship Rena reached shore.
Who are 'Reserves'?
Defence Force Reserves perform a similar function to reserves for a sports team. In the same way that the coach of a sports team always needs to have extra players on the bench, available to 'sub on' at a moment's notice, the Chief of Defence Force also needs "extra players" on hand.
Reservists are New Zealanders who wear a uniform and undertake military training and duties in their spare time or when they are on leave from their civilian jobs. Reserve Units are scattered throughout New Zealand and military reservists can literally be found from Cape Reinga to Bluff.
The Navy, Army and Air Force each have a Reserve component. The Royal New Zealand Navy Volunteer Reserve has units from Auckland to Dunedin. The Army Reserve, also known as the Territorial Force, is based around three infantry battalions in the North and South Islands.
Reservists undergo specialist military training when they enlist, then complete military courses and training to advance their skills. Reserves frequently supplement regular units in New Zealand and overseas. In recent years Reservists have been called upon to deploy overseas on military operations to places as far away as Afghanistan. International service can often place a strain on employment relations, through many employees see benefits of having staff undertake military service, as the employee gains free training in practical leadership, staff management, problem solving, teamwork, work ethic and personal discipline.
Reservists are a valued strategic asset and an integral part of the New Zealand Defence Force.