Territorial Army soldiers in Cornwall are looking for new recruits aged 18-32 to join them in fulfilling an increasingly important role in support of the regular Army.

The Spring recruiting 'surge' across the region sees armoured and infantry TA, as well as signallers, medics, para-gunners, commandos and other reservists, organising events and activities designed to demonstrate the high levels of skills and training required.

D Company of The Rifle Volunteers (The Cornwall Light Infantry), the TA's infantry regiment in the South West, train at TA Centres in Truro, Bodmin and Camborne.

On Saturday, April 25, D Company is staging a TA Challenge Day at Truro TA Centre in Moresk Road, offering local people - especially anyone interested in devoting their free time to the TA - an insight into the life of a modern reservist.

Reservists from D Company and virtually every other TA unit in the South West, have volunteered or been mobilised in the last year to serve with the regulars in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans and other trouble spots. The Rifle Volunteers has recently mobilised nearly 150 Reservists to augment regular forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Cutbacks in regular Army manning over recent decades have left the TA as the only visible military presence in many of the region's communities. A new defence strategy has also given the TA, which represents a quarter of the Army, a more active role as an integral and essential part of the Armed Forces.

Lieutenant Colonel Ian Blewett, Commanding Officer of The Rifle Volunteers, said: "The South West has historically supplied some of the finest fighting regiments in the British Army and the TA continues to uphold those proud traditions through cap badges and celebrated regimental names such as The Cornwall Light Infantry.

"Reservists training at our TA Centres in Cornwall are very much modern soldiers, however, trained to a very high standard so that they now routinely work side-by-side with the regulars on defensive, humanitarian and peacekeeping operations."

Reservists are paid for attending training and receive an annual tax-free bonus if they achieve the required standards, as well as travel and other expenses where appropriate.

TA training also offers the opportunity to take part in a range of adventurous activities such as canoeing, climbing, sailing, skiing and trekking, both in the UK and abroad - not only great fun and a good way of keeping fit, but ideal for developing self-confidence and teamwork skills.

Considerable emphasis is laid on teamwork, on developing friendships and camaraderie among people keen on broadening their mental and physical capabilities. Many also gain NVQs, City and Guilds, BTEC, HGV Licence and other qualifications, which enhance their career prospects.

The yearly commitment for an Independent Unit is 27 days, which includes weekend training, two weeks annual camp and weekly training evenings. In practice, many TA members do more training than the minimum amount required.