Mark’s Blog – Armed Forces Day

Mark’s Story

I joined the Army in 1986 as an Apprentice Tradesman and spent 2 years at the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) 6th Form college studying electrical engineering to enable me to qualify as a Radar Technician.

Postings to Larkhill, Kirton In Lindsay (twice), Reading and Bristol followed over the next 15 years.  I worked almost exclusively on the Rapier Air Defence Guided Weapons platform and completed numerous live firing exercises in the Outer Hebrides, as well as many UK and overseas exercises and an Operational tour in Northern Ireland. 

I was selected for a Late Entry Officer Commission in the REME in 2003 and spent the next 16 years in a variety of roles, from training delivery to engineering workshop management, media operations to strategic equipment planning.  I also conducted two further Operational tours, both in Helmand.  I left the Army as a Lt Colonel in March 2019 after 33 years of service.

I have been fortunate enough throughout my career to have worked with a large number of highly motivated and talented service men and women of all ranks.  I have been able to learn something from all of them that helped me to maximise my potential as a soldier, officer and professional engineer, and I would offer this as a key observation to all of those who are serving.  Try and listen to those around you, and by doing so commit to look past the rank of those who are speaking.  Value ideas and opinions on their own merit, not upon the rank slide and cap badge of the person who is speaking.

I have been with Engage Technical solutions since I left the Army, although I worked with a number of the Engage Project Managers and Consultants during my last posting at Army HQ in Andover – their positive and professional demeanour were part of the reason I chose Engage over a number of other opportunities.  Most, but by no means all, of the Engage team have some kind of military background, and they have welcomed me into the company with open arms.  It is a matter of great pride to all of us that we are part of a company that are Silver Award holders of the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.

As A Principal Consultant at Engage, it is my responsibility to reach out to the many talented individuals across all three services, including Veterans, and actively recruit those whose professional aspirations and key skills that best match the opportunities available with Engage.  Having recently been through the resettlement process, I recognise how daunting the thought of leaving the Armed Forces can be.  Having been helped along several steps of the way by the Engage team, I can confidently say that those companies who actively support the Military Covenant, and Engage is certainly one, should be at the top of any Service Leaver’s list for advice and that all-important networking activity.