The last time the self-governing Crown Dependency in the Irish Sea had a part-time unit was 1968, when reserve troops were known by their former name, the Territorial Army.
Now the new Isle of Man Army Reserve Force Centre will be able to recruit local people from its building in the capital, Douglas - without them having to travel to the mainland to be part of an Army unit.
The decision to re-establish a centre on the Isle of Man was made as part of the Army 2020 plan to recruit more reserve members of the military. The MoD hopes to tap in to the Manx population of 85,000 people.
The unit will train its members in a range of military trades from infantry to engineering, artillery, logistics and medical roles. Personnel will be able to undertake basic training closer to home, and will only need to travel to their parent units on the UK mainland for initial selection and specialist training.
Warrant Officer Class 2 Paul Corkill is a full-time member of the Royal Corps of Signals. He comes from near Ramsey, and spent six years as a reservist commuting from the Isle of Man to London.
Paul says, “That suited me at the time because I only had 19 days per year commitment but, had it been available to me then, it would have been a no-brainer, I would have joined the Isle of Man Reserve Force. I think it’s a fantastic concept and I hope the Manx people get behind this.”