Reserve work provides financial security during Pandemic

By FLTLT Nick O'Connor

Air Force Reservist FLTLT Michael Holding admits being stood down without pay from his civilian employer as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted his family greatly.

However the pilot said he was not going to let the current pandemic define him, and has redirected the disappointment of  having his civilian career 'put on hold' to provide support to Air Force's combined efforts to respond to COVID-19.

"I am the Air Liaison Officer (ALO) to Joint Task Group (JTG) 629.4 here in South Australia. I advise and co-ordinate all Air Force assets and personnel to the Joint Task Group," FLTLT Holding said.

"The highlights have been liaising and communicating with other ADF units and external South Australian Government agencies in working towards a common goal of protecting South Australians. Being able to use my skills and give back to South Australia is also a highlight.”

"The biggest challenge has been shifting my mindset and skillset from being an airline pilot and applying that to an Air Liaison role for the RAAF to the Joint Task Group or external agencies."

He said having Air Force Reserve work has softened the financial impact on his family, and provided an element of certainty in difficult times.

"COVID-19 has impacted my family and I greatly. I was stood down from my civilian job as a pilot in mid-March, without pay, due to a lack of domestic flying and state border closures as result of the virus," FLTLT Holding said.

FLTLT Holding explained that his role as the ALO gave him "a sense of purpose when my primary occupation and ability to earn money for my family was taken away."

Defence Reservists are from all professions and trades within the community. They’re highly motivated people who take on training and service with enthusiasm and commitment. Reservists can develop excellent networks and have skills that can be transferred directly to their civilian organisation such as leadership, teamwork, problem solving and communication.

Further information on the benefits of employing a Reservist can be found at

FLTLT Michael Holding, Air Force Reservist.


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Last update: Tuesday, 26 October 2021

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