The 18-35 year old generation are being encouraged to make better use of their time and consider joining the Army Reserves.
A major recruitment campaign is currently underway across the UK as the Ministry of Defence looks to recruit 30,000 reservists by 2020 to replace the 20.000 regulars soldiers made redundant.
“The MOD has set itself a huge target and depending on who you talk to it depends on what the opinions are on how successful this has been to date, my guess is that here in the Borders we are not recruiting as well as other areas,” said John Greenwell, Scottish Borders Council’s veterans’ champion.
“Here in the Borders there are various reasons why it is more difficult to recruit young people into the reserve force than in other areas.
“Firstly we have a very small military footprint in the Borders. A company strength unit based in Galashiels, geographically our young people are spread over a very large rural area which leads to transport problems on training nights.
“We do not have a huge number of international companies with 100s of staff but a large number of SMEs with maybe one or two employees, and of course self-employed tradesmen, so it is very difficult to explain to such businesses why they should encourage their employees to become a reservist.
“We do have a representative in the Borders to support employers under the umbrella of the Armed Forces Covenant and he will come and speak to employers and offer financial help if required (contact Colin Vooght Lofirstname.lastname@example.org).
“I would encourage anyone looking for a change in their lives to consider becoming a reservist; it offers a wide range of training and life skills that are just not available in civilian life.”