27 year old, Ipswich-based Shaquille Goldsmith is used to life in uniform. As a teenager, he joined Suffolk Army Cadet Force, working his way up to Cadet Sergeant Major. From there, he spent two years volunteering as an Adult Instructor; inspiring other teens to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities cadet life has to offer.
Supporting others has always been high on Shaquille’s agenda. Whilst working as a Police Community Support Officer, he didn’t want to leave the Police and join the Army full time, so he decided to pursue the perfect balance of exploring his career options alongside becoming an Army Reservist.
As a Cadet with Suffolk ACF, Shaquille witnessed first-hand, at Ipswich Army Reserve Centre, the activities 158 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps were involved in. He was instantly drawn to applying for a role with the transport regiment. At 21 years old, he started his basic training, which he laughingly says, “was short and sweet. I loved every minute of it and it made me hungry for more!”
Private Goldsmith is now and experienced driver with 202 Squadron, having achieved his driver’s licence, Cat C (heavy goods), C+E (heavy goods plus trailer) and Coach license. All of this was funded by the Army and undertaken during Army training hours.
These skills developed in the Army Reserve have benefitted his employer, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service. In recent months, his watch became short on drivers and Shaquille was able to step in and utilise his Army driving skills. Shaquille feels his approach to work tasks has become increasingly methodical and proactive, allowing him to carry out his Firefighter duties to a high standard.
Dave Collins, Acting Deputy Chief Fire Officer, says “We value our close relationship with MOD colleagues and are keen to continue supporting the Army Reserve wherever we can. There are many transferable skills that create a greater understanding of each other’s roles. It is brilliant to see Shaquille and both Services benefiting from this. Throughout the recruitment process and since Shaquille has been with us, he has demonstrated compassion, sound values, commitment, and a real willingness to develop, including already attending his first course in operational leadership. Going forward we will continue to support Shaquille in both roles, confident he will continue to be a great asset to both SFRS and the Army Reserve.”
Suffolk Fire and Rescue are an incredibly supportive employer permitting Reserves to take an additional two weeks annual leave to fulfil their Reservist training. Much is always made of the iron triangle – the regular job, the reserve role and family life but Shaquille’s Watch and Crew Commander helps him to navigate his shift patterns and balance all of his commitments with ease.
As both a Fire Fighter and Soldier, Shaquille’s motivation is to try and be the best; at his career, protecting others and serving his country.