I was in the 5th Battalion, Queens Regiment, a Volunteer Reserve unit, (a bit like the US National Guard) from 1984-87.
It was assigned to NATO, wartime role would be in Germany if WW3 kicked off.
I left for two reasons, firstly, after months of preparation and training for a big NATO exercise in Germany, I go and get chicken pox (no fun when you're 19 anyway), so I missed out.
(From an aviation perspective, I also missed out on RAF Tristars to and from Germany, plus lots of flying on RAF Puma and Chinook choppers).
Then a change in job circumstances meant I'd be on shifts, (though BA
provided several extra weeks off for this sort of thing), but still I could not have kept it up.
A few of my friends did it too, some local, some while at university, the extra cash was useful and it was interesting and challenging, they originally encouraged me to give it a go.
Seeing British troops firing a Milan anti-tank missile in Basra on the news reminded me of a big live fire exercise at night, my company at Hounslow near LHR
, was a standard rifle company, but another part of the battalion had Milans, they were with us and seeing them being fired at night was quite a sight.
Post Cold War, the Battalion was disbanded.
Couldn't do it now anyway, still on those shifts, and since getting rheumatoid arthritis 3 years ago, clearly not medically fit anymore.