22 May 2019 • Fady Mikhail
I am a reservist!
Yes, you read that correctly. Starting today I am dedicating myself to the Netherlands and the city of the Hague, as a reservist in the army. As a reservist I can be deployed to provide support, protect installations or fulfil ceremonial tasks. I will take you on my journey there.
Reservist? What does that mean? Yes, those were some of the questions I asked myself when I saw a promotional film on social media. I started to read more about it. It actually sounded interesting. I was already doing my share through my additional activities in the city and I wanted to take this to higher level. This could be the perfect opportunity to do so. I did still have some questions. I looked for an information evening where I could find out more.
Then I went off to Amersfoort, where they still had space at their information night. I was quite nervous. I wasn’t really sure what to ask. When the information evening started paid close attention and made notes. I became more and more excited about becoming a reservist. Afterwards I received an mail with a link to register. And that’s what I did.
In the meantime
After completing the online questions, I waited, waited and waited some more. By now it was August and I still hadn’t heard anything. So I reached out and contacted various people. They kept telling me: It’s very busy right now and we don’t have the capacity to handle all registrations. At that time my hands were kind of tied. All I could do was wait for the much anticipated email.
Yes! Finally I received an invitation for the psychological test. I was expected in Amsterdam early in the morning on November 9. During this part I had to complete a capability test and I met with a psychologist. At the end of the day I would be told if I would continue to do the medical exam. The medical exam was confirmed for December 14.
On December 14 I once again had to go to Amsterdam early in the morning. This time around 7.30 am. The exam not only checked my physical fitness through various exercises, but they also tested my eyesight and hearing. After spending part of the day being tested, I sat down at a table in a room to sign my temporary appointment.
Then I was told what the upcoming steps would. I went home relieved. And a bit tired.
I came home to a letter from the Ministry of Defence on my desk. What would it say? I opened it very carefully and…Officially appointed! That meant that my security check was also successfully completed. I then started to check what I had to and how to proceed.
On March 22 I had a fitting for my clothing and gear and picked everything up. I was dressed from head to toe. A business suit, shoes, socks, swim trunks. Everything. I tried to stuff everything into my mother’s car and it barely fit. With a packed car I drove back towards beautiful The Hague to check out all my gear and show my parents. I was very proud.
2019 April 2019
From April 1 to 12 I underwent the General Basic Military Training in Schaarsbergen. I had to shift gears. From student life to the military. I learned right away that you have to be mentally strong. On April 12 I was promoted to soldier 2.
Now I had my own group. I have already participated in two exercises. It was a whole new experience, but very educational and cool!
Fady is serving as a Youth Ambassador for The Municipality of The Hague with responsibilities related to education. In this position, he advises the municipal authorities and other organisations in The Hague. He makes sure there is a connection between the city and its young people. Fady is a UNICEF Youth Spokesperson. He gives guest classes at primary schools. He also studies Finance & Control at THUAS.