Carmarthenshire County Council celebrates its military reservists

June 24-29 is Armed Forces Week – a chance to show our support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets.

The Armed Forces Day flag was raised at Llanelli Town Hall on Monday, 24 June, during a ceremony by the Llanelli Veterans Association at the cenotaph. The flag will also be flown at County Hall and Ammanford Town Hall from Friday 28 June to Monday 1 July, to mark Armed Forces Day on Saturday, 29 June.

During this week, Carmarthenshire County Council is also celebrating Reserves Day (Wednesday, June 26) and Armed Forces Day on Saturday (June 29).

To commemorate Reserves Day, Hayley Edwards, our Armed Force Liaison Officer (AFLO), has shared her experiences of her roles in the Army Reserve and civilian career with the Council.

My journey over the past 30 years in the Army Reserve, including three years of full-time service with the Regular Army, has profoundly shaped who I am and how I contribute to both my military and civilian communities.”

Hayley’s military career has included operational tours and exercises across the globe, including the USA, Falkland Islands, Ascension Island, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Croatia, Cyprus, Belgium, Holland, and France and all over the UK.

By trade I am a professional Logistics Officer and commissioned from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1995,” added Hayley.

The role of a logistics officer is very varied, rewarding and carries the responsibility for the planning and delivery of supplies, kit, equipment and personnel, across the theatre of operations. I have had the unique privilege of commanding soldiers, both regular and reserve, in peace time and on operations. These experiences have honed my skills as a soldier and instilled a deep sense of pride in serving my country.”

Hayley now works in the Army Headquarters in Wales doing a non-logistics role as a military-civilian integration officer.

In my civilian role, as an AFLO, I lead the delivery of the Armed Forces Covenant across West Wales, covering Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion. My primary responsibility is ensuring the Armed Forces Covenant is understood and implemented effectively, collaborating with public sector, community, and voluntary organisations. It’s a fantastic role which complements my military skills and experience; one which has given me the honour of meeting some of our very treasured WW2 and D-Day Veterans.”

Carmarthenshire Council signed the Covenant in July 2022. It is a pledge that the Council understands that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives. More information on this can be found on the Council’s website

In 2023, the Council was one of only 17 Welsh employers to receive the prestigious Silver Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) award for its support to the Armed Forces Community.

Hayley added: “As a serving reservist, I am hugely fortunate to have the unwavering support of Carmarthenshire County Council who recognise the value of reservists and provides the necessary flexibility and support to fulfilling my duties as a serving reservist. Balancing my civilian and military roles is both challenging and rewarding. My job within the council is incredibly fulfilling allowing me to make a tangible difference in the lives of the Armed Forces community.”