Online survey aims to find out how Reservists juggle the day-to-day demands of military and civilian life

The UK armed forces are currently undergoing a process of organisational change which envisages a more flexible approach to the structure and functioning of the military.

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, provide specialist skills which are difficult to maintain full-time within the armed forces, and provide individual unit augmentation.

The move to a more flexible resource model at the organisational level is mirrored at the individual level. Reservists need to be flexible in how they navigate the various, sometimes competing, demands on their time and energy from their family, civilian employer, and military service.

Our research team, led by Professor Sarah Cunningham-Burley, have developed a survey which seeks to better understand the day-to-day strategies and negotiations that Reservists use to ‘make time’ within their civilian lives to fulfil their military commitment. It explores how those strategies support or inhibit successful navigation between the boundaries of civilian life and military service.

The findings of this survey will be used to help inform the chain of command, the MOD, and the UK Government by improving their understanding of the lived experiences of Reservists. This will help inform policy developments in areas affecting Reservists.

Reservists who would like to participate in this survey can access it via Defence Connect / Defence Gateway. For further information, or if you have any questions or comments, please email:

For more information about the survey please see

Dr Scott Tindal
Negotiating Civilian and Military Lives Research team