A welcome from the Chair, Gen John Crackett

Welcome to the Future Reserves Research Programme blog.  My name is Major General John Crackett and I am pleased to be the chairman of this thought-provoking research programme.

I am involved because I am an Army Reservist. I am also the senior Reservist in our Armed Forces and represent all other Reserves; so the Royal Naval Reserve, the Royal Marines Reserve, the Royal Air Force Reserves and the Army Reserve.  My role as a senior army officer is to enable all of these to operate at their best and, as a result, provide an effective Reserve for the country’s Armed Forces.

The Reserves have never been more important. By 2020, they will make up more than 1 in 4 of the UK’s Armed Forces and any decisions made in the near future concerning the Reserves will have a lasting impact on the defence of this country.  As a result, it is critical to base all decisions on robust evidence. To ensure it is valid and valuable the evidence has to be gathered and analysed in a ‘Gold Standard’ method.  I am delighted that four academic teams from some of the best universities in the country (including Aberdeen, Bristol, Edinburgh, Exeter, Lancaster, Newcastle and Oxford Brookes) have joined the Future Reserves Research Programme to provide the necessary expertise to conduct this investigation.

I also welcome the engagement and advice provided by the Economic and Social Research Council as one of our partners, which demonstrates the importance of this research and this programme.

The Programme consists of four studies that will examine a range of issues affecting Regular and Reserve personnel, their families and their employers.  It aims to identify precisely the drivers that encourage our country’s young men and women to join the Reserves and to go on to have fulfilling careers as Reservists.  Most significantly, the studies will provide the definitive evidence base for future decisions concerning the Reserves in all three Services and I look forward to being involved.

Major General John Crackett