About the study

Recent policy developments within the United Kingdom (UK) have initiated significant
reconfiguration of the Armed Forces. This move to a more flexible resourcing model known
as the ‘Whole Force Concept’ will reduce the numbers of full time (Regular) personnel and
increase numbers of part time (reservist) personnel.  Reservists will comprise more than
one quarter of the UK Armed Forces, with the Army seeing the most significant
re-configuration of personnel by 2020. The success of this more flexible capability
will depend on effective integration, not only of Reserves with the Regular Force,
but also of the reservist and the military and civilian worlds that he or she straddles.

This study is investigating individual experiences of negotiating Reserve service,
family life and civilian employment, to understand how Reservists, their partners/family
members and employers view and experience the intersecting domains of changing military
service, (civilian) work and family life.

The research will be conducted in the United Kingdom (UK) to investigate the following

  1. In what ways are the multiple identities of the Reservist constructed, understood
    and sustained over time and in different contexts?
  2. How are the boundaries between Reserve Service, family life and civilian employment
    experienced by Reservists, their families and employers, and what demands are placed upon Reservists in negotiating these boundaries?
  3. What family practices (everyday enactments of relations) support or inhibit successful
    negotiation of Reserve Service?
  4. How do Reserves and employers negotiate transitions in and out of civilian employment?
  5. What are the views of Reserves, their families and employers on what constitutes
    successful integration and appropriate support?

The study is jointly funded by the UK’s Ministry of Defence and Economic and Social Research Council  as part of the Future Reserves Research Programme.


Participant information sheet for reservists.


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