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Reserves in the spotlight: Alexandra Hall
Family war stories inspired Alexandra Hall (pictured) to join the Army Reserve
The East Anglia Reserve Forces and Cadets Association is shining a spotlight on local Reservists, many of whom have been involved with the COVID-19 response and continue to serve on operations at home and abroad. One such is Suffolk-based Alexandra Hall (pictured), who, fascinated by tales from her Royal Marines stepdad and her grandfather, who had served in the Royal Navy, has always had a fascination with the military. ‘I wanted the Army to be a part of my life. It is something I’m incredibly proud of and it means a lot to me.’
Alexandra, 28, will serve as an Airtrooper Soldier with 6 Regiment Army Air Corps, headquartered in Bury St Edmunds. Her training will lead to her becoming a ground crew member working with aviation such as the Apache Attack Helicopter. She will be trained on how to refuel and re-arm the aircraft, something she is very excited about. ‘I live very close to Wattisham airfield and watch the Apache helicopters fly over my house daily. I love them, they’re fascinating, and I love being around them. Working with them is such a privilege in my eyes.’
My squadron quickly became like family to me, and the support I have from everyone is fantastic
This year’s VE Day 75 celebrations caused many of us to reflect on our families’ military connections, and Alexandra is now keeping her family’s passion for aircraft alive. Her grandad, serving on several ships during the war, was involved in the Atlantic and Arctic convoys, and operated anti-aircraft guns on ship. Her stepdad served as a Royal Marine for 22 years as a WO2 Lynx aircraft commander and helicopter weapons instructor. After his full term, he was invited to join the Army Air Corps by the senior flying instructor at HQ Army aviation to replace the retiring Theatre Helicopter Weapons Instructor. While in the Army Air Corps, in order to introduce aviation combat and tactical manoeuvring, he wrote the H-20 manual, which is still in use today.
Alexandra’s exciting new life in the Army Reserve is carefully balanced with her normal 9 to 5. Her regular job is as a customer experience coordinator for CNet Training, based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Says Alexandra, ‘CNet Training is excellent; the whole team are really supportive of me being a reservist. It’s great to work for a company that really supports the Armed Forces. CNet has an HR policy in place to support reservists, which allows me to have additional holiday so I can complete my training.’
This year CNet Training signed the Armed Forces Covenant – a promise to the nation that those who serve or have served are treated fairly, and was awarded a Bronze Employer Recognition Award by the Ministry of Defence.
To anyone considering joining the Army, Alexandra says: ‘I would 100% urge anyone to just go for it! My squadron quickly became like family to me, and the support I have from everyone there is fantastic. I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of people. Not only that, but you can gain so much from it – qualifications, skills and the opportunity to travel.’
Thinking of joining the Reserves?
Find out more about the benefits of being a Reservist here:
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