Surprises on Uniform to Work Day
When Jon Wild came to work the other day colleagues didn’t know whether to salute him or just keep on calling him Jon.
The probation officer has another life as a staff sergeant in the Royal Military Police unit of the Territorial Army.
And he showed off his uniform, with medals to boot, on national Uniform to Work Day which was celebrated by armed forces reservists across the UK.
Father-of-two Jon, 43, said: “Reservists are often hidden away but this is a chance for us to stand out and let the public know that we are here in the community.”
In his day job with the probation service he works at Beverley Magistrates’ Court where he helps with sentencing and rehabilitation of criminals from across the East Riding.
Some might say it’s less exciting than his 27-year TA career which has included tours of Iraq and Afghanistan where he helped develop and mentor local police forces. He also toured Bosnia as part of a NATO peace-keeping force, and went to Cyprus as part of a United Nations multi-national police unit.
But Jon says his two working lives are closely related.
“In the TA I’m investigating crime and in the probation service I’m dealing with the outcome of crime. It’s opposite sides of the same coin.”
Jon’s medals include one for each of his tours, as well as gold and silver jubilee medals and a Volunteer Reserve Service Medal.
His TA life involves a 180-mile round trip every Wednesday evening from his home near Beverley, to the TA barracks at Stockton-on-Tees, which is the headquarters of his unit.
He also gives up, on average, one weekend a month. But he added: “It’s become part of my lifestyle now. I used to watch my mates getting drunk but for me it was a waste of a weekend.”
One of Jon’s favourite memories is from Cyprus last year when he served alongside Argentinians, Hungarians and Slovakians. On nights off they watched the world cup together which Jon describes as “interesting.” He also credits himself with having introduced the Argentinians to the sport of rugby league.