It would not be unreasonable to say that my armed forces career has been so far somewhat unconventional.
The idea of joining the military first appealed to me during my time at Edinburgh University, where I joined the City of Edinburgh University Officer Training Corps as a means of boosting my skills and gaining further experience outside of the conventional student lifestyle. Although I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Territorial Army, it was only following a visit to HMS Excellent that I decided I was more suited to the Senior Service.
With that in mind, I decided to pursue a career as a Warfare Officer, enjoying sea time on a variety of platforms. However, it was during a brief stint at Naval Command as a Projects Officer that I realised I enjoyed the project management aspects of my career more so than its core remit. In June 2017, I transferred to the Royal Navy Reserve where I joined the Information Operations branch.
I was first contacted by FDM Group in September 2017 and upon visiting an Ex-Forces Insight Day I was immediately impressed by the variety of opportunities and breadth of experience within FDM, as well as their resounding commitment to serving reservists. After successfully completing the assessment day, I began my training on the Ex-Forces Advanced Programme. By December I was lucky enough to be immediately placed at a large private sector working on a number of projects as a Project Management Officer.
My role as a consultant is my first and foremost obligation, it has been a source of great comfort that the Ex-Forces team persistently do their utmost to ensure that clients are well briefed of the potential implications of reservist life. Accordingly, any demands placed upon me by the Reserves have always been well received and supported by both FDM and clients.
I spent 22 years in the Infantry before joining FDM Group on the Ex-Forces. I’m a Warrant Officer in the 38 Irish Brigade working for the Brigade Headquarters in their operations room as the Brigade Watchkeeper in an operational ops room. I’m a keen cricketer and I’m a Secretary of United Kingdom Armed Forces Association of Cricket Official (UKAF ACO). I’m a qualified umpire and I officiate at a high level. Today I will be umpiring inter UKAF Ladies Inter Services Competition which is a three-day competition between the ladies’ senior teams from the Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. I use my Reserve Forces leave to conduct my roles within UKAF ACO.
As I prepared to leave the Royal Navy submarine service after six years of service, I knew that I didn’t want to turn my back completely on my military experience and I applied to transfer to the Royal Naval Reserve. However, I knew career transition would be difficult and my priority had to be forging a successful civilian career. Nonetheless after attending an FDM Ex-Forces insight day I discovered that in addition to providing real career prospects, FDM also provided ten days leave per year for reservist training.
I realised that FDM could provide the best of both worlds, serving in the Royal Naval Reserve and a rewarding career in finance. With this mind, I undertook the Ex-Forces advanced course assessment and after passing began six weeks of project management training. Following successful interviews FDM placed me with a major financial client in London as a project manager.
After joining FDM, I transferred to the RNR Submarine Operations Specialisation at HMS President in London and began training as a Submarine Controller. A leadership role tasked with directing submarine operations and ensuring submarine safety. Although juggling my reservist commitments with my career has been at time challenging, it has been very rewarding and allowed me to train in both the UK and overseas, providing a valuable role to the Royal Navy. FDM and my client have supported my reservist commitments throughout and see the value a reservist can bring to a civilian organization.