The 13 Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Associations (RFCAs) are Crown Agencies, established under the Reserve Forces Act 1996.  Each is a separate and autonomous Tri-Service corporate body to support the Reserve Forces and Cadets within their region.  They are defined as Central Government bodies set up under the Reserve Forces Act 1996 with Crown Status.  They are authorised by Parliament through the Defence Council and are regulated by the Reserve Forces Act 1996.  Each Association has a Scheme of Association which is approved by HQ Land Forces on behalf of the Defence Council.  Corporately, Associations bind into the Council of RFCAs and receives direction from a central Tri-Service Stakeholders’ Board.


Established by Act of Parliament, each Association  has its own Scheme of Constitution, drawn up by the Defence Council under the Reserve Forces Act 1996. These schemes last for five years, after which re-constitution must take place.  The Lowland RFCA is an association within the areas covered by the Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, East Lothian, City of Edinburgh, Midlothian, West Lothian, South Lanarkshire, that part of North Lanarkshire that formerly comprised of Monklands and Motherwell Districts, East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and City of Glasgow Councils and that part of Argyll and Bute Council known as the Island of Bute.


The President of the Association is appointed by the Defence Council from Her Majesty’s lord-lieutenant from one of the Lieutenancies of Ayrshire and Arran, Berwickshire, Dumfries, East Lothian, Lanarkshire, Midlothian, Renfrewshire, the areas comprising Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale, the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, Tweeddale, West Lothian, Wigtown and the Cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. The Defence Council will appoint all other lord-lieutenants mentioned above, to be Vice Presidents of the Association.

The Scheme requires a membership of not more than 150 qualified local individuals who have an interest in the Reserve Forces and/or Cadets. Membership is an ecclectic mix and includes personnel with a background or interest in the Volunteer Reseve Forces.  Additionally there are representative members from Local Authorities,local Employers and Employees organisations.

The Membership is divided into two areas (Lothian and Strathclyde) and they hold two Area Meetings each per year.  There is an Annual Association Meeting at which the election of office bearers takes place.


Management on a day to day basis is carried out at the Association Headquarters at Lowland House, Avenuepark Street, Glasgow.  The Chief Executive heads a small staff of Crown Servants with the professional qualifications and expertise to meet the outputs set upon the Association by its stakeholders, to serve the Association, and to maintain the link between the civilian community and the Services.  There is one outstation, an Estates Office at Drumshoreland House near Broxburn, West Lothian.  Key personalities are as follows:

President Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire Guy Clark
Chairman Colonel Allan Lapsley
Chairman, Regional Employer Engagemet Group Mr Kenneth Grieve
Chief Executive Colonel (Retired) Robbie Gibson
Deputy Chief Executive Colonel (Retired) Tom Mathew
Head of Estates and Facilities Management Mr Neil Farquhar
Head of Communications and Recruiting Support Mr John Menzies
Regional Employer Engagement Directors (REED) Mr Colin Vooght
Head of Finance Mrs Fiona Walker
Office Manager and IT Administrator Miss Dia Armstrong



The Association carries out its responsibilities through Committees and Meetings, of which there are:

  • Association Board - responsible for General Policy, Governance and Financial control, with power to delegate expenditure to its sub-committees detailed below and to Unit Commanders.
  • Chairman’s Committee –  comprising of the Chairman plus 6 vice chairmen representing the interests of the various elements of the Volunteer Reserve and Cadets in the Lowlands.  Meets at frequent intervals between the Board meetings in order to consider matters of strategic importance.
  • Regional Employer Engagement Group (REEG) - responsible for the promotion of Reserve Forces interests with Employers. 
  • Annual Meetings with customers – The Chairman hosts an annual meeting with Commanding Officers and the Chief Executive hosts annual meetings with unit administrative staff and Quartermasters.


Organisation diagram


Lowland RFCA binds into a Council with it’s 12 sister Associations, this provides a corporate body that interacts with the Ministry of Defence at the highest level.


To be the enduring and essential pillar in the delivery of support for the well-being of the Reserves & Cadets and, through our effectiveness and our position in the regions, to be the independent body that represents their interests and promotes understanding between the Armed Forces and civil society


  • We are a Central Government Body with Crown status, set up by statute.
  • We are a manifestation of the volunteer ethos.
  • Our voluntary membership brings with it an unparalleled breadth of expertise and experience.
  • We are tri-Service.
  • We are of the regions, operating throughout the United Kingdom.
  • We are a not-for-profit organisation.
  • We are value for money.


  • We promote the interests of the Armed Forces.
  • We champion the volunteer ethos both within and outside the Services.
  • We are apolitical.
  • We are independent (from the MOD and the chains of command) and autonomous (from each other); but, through our collegiate behaviour, we have national responsibility, influence and recognition.
  • We support the work of third sector organisations which also contribute to the well-being of Service personnel and veterans.
  • We supplement government funding through our income generation for our dependencies.