31 January 2019
Thames man Malcolm Matthews wanted to give something back to New Zealand and felt becoming a Reservist in the New Zealand Army was a great way of doing it.
Mr Matthews, 29, a business process consultant, graduated on Saturday after several months of Reservist basic training at the Waiouru Military Training Area. He will hold the rank of Reservist Private.
“I have had lots of good opportunities throughout New Zealand and I wanted to be able to give something back,” he said.
“I also like to be challenged and I like the outdoors, so this has ticked all the boxes.”
In his day job Mr Matthews helps businesses understand their processes, increase performance and reduce costs.
Having the backing of his employer, Intent Group Limited, for his Reservist activity was important because sometimes he needed to take time away from work, he said.
“They are fully supportive, which is great.”
While the training experience matched his expectations, it showed a very different way of looking at things from everyday civilian life.
“You always have to be switched on,” he said. “You are trained to understand you have to look after your mates, the platoon or troop and you can’t switch off during tasks. You’re always looking out for threats.
“I knew it would be tough and it was everything I thought it would be.”
The camaraderie of the others doing the training and the skill of the instructors was vital in getting through the tough times, he said.
“Your mates get you through. You will question why when you’re doing it at times, but it’s worth it.
“People pick you up. The instructors know the right moments to push you and to encourage you.”
The New Zealand Army has about 1700 Reservists throughout the country in all walks of life and all sorts of jobs. They are everyday Kiwis who do their normal job in the community and then conduct military training in their spare time.
Army Reservists, who live, work and train in their local communities, are an important part of the New Zealand Defence Force.