A supermarket worker from Newtoft is set to wear his military uniform into his civilian workplace today (June 24) to help raise awareness about the Reserve Forces.
Private Andy Markham-Jenkins, aged 34, joined 3 Royal Anglian, 2 Company, who train at Sobraon Barracks in Lincoln, in 2010 and is now living out his life-long dream of joining the Armed Forces.
Working as Customer Service Assistant in the chilled aisle at Tesco in Market Rasen, Andy is wearing his military uniform to work as part of Reserves Day.
“This is the second time I will have worn my Army Reserve uniform in to Tesco,” he said.
“I am really proud to be a part of the Armed Forces community, so I wanted to take this opportunity to raise awareness about our local Reserve Forces and answer any questions the store’s customers or my colleagues may have about my part-time role.”
Reserves Day is one of a series of events that will take place in the run up to Armed Forces Day and celebrates all those who volunteer their free time to serve with the military.
Andy explained that he has found joining the Army Reserve a really fulfilling experience.
He continued: “I have always had an interest in joining the Army as both my mum and dad were in the military when I was young.
“However, life got in the way so I found myself in my late 20s still wondering if I would ever get the opportunity to join-up and serve my country.
“Around five years ago though, I decided to make contact with 3 Royal Anglian and the rest as they say is history.
“I get to spend time with my wife and three children at home, work full-time at Tesco and get to enjoy my part-time position in the military.
“One of my proudest moments so far was when I passed out after completing my training as an infantry soldier.”
Ian Black, Store Manager, at Tesco in Market Rasen, is Andy’s line manager and said: “By wearing his military uniform in to work, Andy is highlighting that Tesco supports Reservists in the workplace and is helping to raise the profile of the Armed Forces locally.”
You can apply to become a Reservist soldier when you’re 17 years and 9 months - ready to start when you turn 18.
You can join until the day before your 50th birthday, although there are higher age limits for some specialist roles.
To find out more about the Army Reserve visit www.army.mod.uk