The UK armed forces are undergoing a process of change driven by the ‘Whole Force’ concept which envisages a more flexible approach to the delivery of the UK’s security objectives.

These changes include restructuring the balance between Regular and Reservist service personnel, as well as greater integration between the two. Reservists are now expected to achieve a higher level of professionalism and hold a liability to be deployed on overseas operations.

This organisational flexibility is mirrored by how Reservists themselves negotiate their military and civilian lives.

This research project explores how Reservists navigate the demands of civilian and military life, and how they make time to fulfil their Reserve commitment.

We are seeking the views of UK voluntary Reservists through an online survey in order to better understand how Reservists experience and navigate the various, sometimes competing, demands on their time and energy from military service, family life, and (civilian) employment.

We are interested in the strategies Reservists use to make time to fulfil their military commitment, while continuing to fulfil their obligations to their families and (civilian) employer.

Who are we looking for?

This survey is for those in the Volunteer Reserve and over 18 years who are on standard terms and conditions of service, including High Readiness Reserves (HRR) Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS), and Additional Duties Contract (ADC). (This survey is not for those in the Sponsored Reserves, Regular Reserves, Royal Fleet Auxillary, Cadets, or any other specialist commitment).

We are interested in hearing from Reservists from all three of the services. Regardless if you are trained or untrained, your rank, level of commitment, or length of service, if you are a currently serving volunteer Reservist within the UK Armed Forces they are invited to participate in this short online survey.

What does participation involve?

If you are eligible and choose to participate then please access the survey via Defence Connect / Defence Gateway. The survey has 40 questions which should take no more than 20 minutes to complete. If you do not have a civilian job or do not have children the survey will be much shorter.

Participation is confidential and entirely voluntary. Participation will not affect your service in any way. You may withdraw from participation at any time.

What is the point of the survey?

The purpose of this survey is to identify the day-to-day strategies that Reservists’ use which support or inhibit the successful negotiation between civilian life and military service.

This study has been commissioned by the Economic and Social Research Council, the MOD and the Army. The research is designed to help the chain of command, the MOD, and the UK Government by informing their understanding of Reservists’ lives, which in turn will help inform policy developments in areas affecting Reservists.

Who is conducting the work?

The study is being conducted by researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Oxford Brookes. The study has received ethics approval from the Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee (836/MoDREC17).

For further information, or if you have any questions or comments, please email:

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