We currently employ 66 staff in over 20 sites in East Anglia, including 45 permanent support staff at our five Army Cadet Force county HQs.
Our Association Membership includes 156 voluntary members who interface with the local community and act as local ambassadors across the range of RFCA interests. That they are prepared to give so freely of their time is a testament to the high regard in which Reserves and Cadets are held.
The Association Board is the key instrument of governance, led by our Association Chairman. Chairmen and Vice Chairmen may hold their appointments for up to five years subject to the vote of Association members.
The Association Board ensures that the responsibilities of the Association, as set out in the Reserve Forces Act 1996, are carried out in an efficient and effective manner. It gives direction to the Chief Executive and his staff to ensure that the key outputs are achieved.
Colonel (Retd) Ray Wilkinson QVRM TD VR
After Welbeck College, Sandhurst and a Short Service Commission, Ray Wilkinson joined the Territorial Army in 1980 eventually commanding 94 (Berkshire Yeomanry) Signal Squadron providing communications support to HQ SE District, and then 56 Signal Squadron in its independent TIPTOE role.
He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1996 and privileged to command 71st (Yeomanry) Signal Regiment, which at the time included 70 (Essex Yeomanry) Signal Squadron. After a staff tour at London District, as a result of increased pressures on his civilian employment, he transferred out of the active TA and onto RARO at the end of 2000.
His active TA career restarted in late 2004 when he took up a project role with 2nd (National Communications) Signal Brigade prior to being posted to HQ SOinC(A) as the SO1 TA. In 2008 he was selected for promotion to Colonel before taking command of the Land Information Assurance Group (LIAG) and then of Specialist Group R SIGNALS (SGRS) in 2009 with his units carrying out a wide range of Cyber Operations tasks worldwide in direct support of deployed commanders (including Op HERRICK, Op TELIC, and Op OCULUS). Whilst in command of SGRS he was awarded the QVRM.
In Dec 2011 he was appointed Col TA INT CORPS and Asst Comd 1st Military Intelligence Brigade working with HQ INT CORPS and CD INFO to design and develop the MI Reserve unit structures and capabilities under Army 2020. His most recent post was as the Assistant Director (Army Reform) on FTRS at Army HQ responsible for delivering elements of FR20(A).
In his civilian career from 2005 to 2013 he was the Managing Director of the Best Practice Club™. Prior to that he was the Chief Executive of Victim Support WorkForce. He spent most of his career before then in the field of operations management and business development, ranging from running the Conventional Life & Pensions Division for Legal & General, to Global Practice Leader for Business Benchmarking for Compass Management Consulting, and then as a Director of the British Quality Foundation.
He is married to Elizabeth and they have two adult sons. He is a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Drapers Company, and a Non Executive Director of MCCH, a major housing and social care provider. He has a Masters Degree in Business Administration and a Diploma in Management Studies. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Visiting Lecturer at Kingston University. One of his passions is learning from military history and he is a Badged Guide (Number 58) of the Guild of Battlefield Guides.
Deputy Chief Executive
Lieutenant Colonel Jackie Allan QVRM TD VR
Lt Col Jackie Allan is a Territorial Officer in R Signals, serving from 1977-2000 with 36 Signal Regiment, which she commanded. A break on RARO was followed by an Operational tour on TELIC 9 in 06-07 as British Liaison Officer in the US Embassy, Baghdad, supporting the southern sector’s Provincial Reconstruction Teams.
She re-joined the TA and spent six years as a staff officer with 2 Signal Brigade at Corsham, during which time she was awarded the QVRM.
She is currently SO1 Recruiting for the Military Intelligence Brigade. Her civilian career included a 10 year spell with British Telecom, and since 2000, the Deputy Chief Executive at EARFCA.
She spent 16 years as governor of the village primary school, is President of East London Royal Signals Association, and more recently has taken on the mantle of organising the annual Scotland in Colchester Pipe Band Contest. Hobbies include gardening, skiing and playing the bagpipes with Essex Caledonian Pipe Band.
Major General Greg Smith CB QVRM TD
Major General Greg Smith was born in Norwich in 1956, educated at Norwich School and read Agricultural and Food Marketing at Newcastle University.
He joined the Territorial Army as an infantryman in 1981, commissioned in 1983 and commanded the 5th (Volunteer) Battalion, The Royal Green Jackets from 1996-99. After regional appointments he was Colonel Army Reserves, General Staff (2004), Director Reserves (Army) in HQ Land Forces (2006 to 2008) and was a member of The Royal College of Defence Studies in 2009. He was Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Reserves and Cadets), the most senior serving Reservist appointment in the UK, from 2010 to 2013. During this time he was responsible for MOD policy for the reserves and youth and led significant change in both areas, supporting the Prime Minister’s Commission on the Reserves in 2011 and subsequent developments, and the implementation of the Defence Youth Engagement Review and Cadet Force expansion plans.
A market researcher throughout his business career, he was Managing Director at Ipsos MORI, a leading market research and polling company until 2009. In 2012 he was appointed Chief Executive of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association and is responsible for the Royal Norfolk Show, a membership of 4000, a major events complex and estate interests, as well as fulfilling the charity’s objects, educating and influencing people about agriculture, food, farming and the rural economy.
As a self-confessed dunce at school, he is passionate about the importance of learning. He chairs Newcastle University Business School’s international advisory board and is a member of the University’s Court.
Major General Smith is Honorary Colonel of Northumbrian Universities’ Officer Training Corps, President of the UK Reserve Forces’ Association and, until recently, was Deputy Colonel Commandant, The Rifles. He was a Deputy Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire from 1997 until 2011, awarded the Queen’s Volunteer Reserves Medal in 2009 and made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (Military) in 2013.
He and Rebecca returned to live and work in Norfolk in 2011. They have three grown-up children – Sam, Amy and Henry. In his spare time, and when not committed to gardening (roles; strategy and labour), he enjoys watching rugby, supporting Norwich City FC, sailing (mainly on the Norfolk Broads) and fishing with fly and float.