The ADF Reserves and Employer Support recently held an annual event known as BossX! BossX gets reservist employers up close and personal to see first-hand the skills, knowledge and expertise that Reservists gain through Defence service.

A typical store manager’s workday doesn’t usually consist of watching tanks manoeuvre in the battlespace and feeling the blast of a door being blown off its hinges, but this was the type of things Eric Varga, the manager of a Surf and Skate Store in Adelaide, got to experience through his participation in BossX.

“The amount of resources which goes into an exercise like this is unbelievable,” he says.

“From catering, transport, safety and security – it’s a huge effort.”

Eric has an employee who is a reservist – and notes that what she learns from her service helps his business.

“It’s highly beneficial - you cannot buy experiences,” he notes.

“There’s so many pluses from having reservists in the workplace - there are no minuses.”

Director of ADF Reserves and Employer Support Narelle Powers accompanied the group of 12 employers to the Mt Bundey training Area in the Northern Territory to observe 1st Brigade during Exercise Predator’s Run.

“The average civilian doesn’t get to see this; they don’t get to see large tanks firing and our troops interacting with our international partners,” Ms Powers says.

“It helps them appreciate the purpose of releasing their reservists – who comprise about a third of the ADF.”

Fujitsu Australia’s Vice President of Customer and Industry Engagement Kathy Cakarnis says BossX gave her valuable insights to Army.

“It’s really important for employers to realise the role reservists play – the country needs them.”

Ms Cakarnis says her company has a 10 day leave policy for reservists – and she encourages other companies to take a similar approach.

Hosting the BossX participants during their visit to the range Lieutenant Colonel Mathew Gill, Chief of Staff at HQ 1st Brigade, said that a number of employers struggle to understand the role their employees have in part time military service.

“Events such as this showcase the depth of skills development Army Reserve service can provide, and highlight the benefits civilian employers get from supporting their employees in undertaking part time service,” he said.

“We train all our soldiers to be leaders and that has a compound, positive effect when they go back to their civilian workplace.”

Image Caption: Australian employers participating in Boss X, in front of an M1A2 Abrams tank at Mt Bundey training area in Queensland, during Exercise Predators Run 2022.

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