Reserves Day 2021
At MBDA, we are proud to work with our Armed Forces. Some of our people also give up their spare time to serve in the Reserve Forces, balancing their civilian life with a military career. Bill, one of our Business Executives, is also a Reservist and a commanding officer in the British Army Reserves. For Reserves Day 2021 Bill has blogged about his journey to MBDA and volunteering in our Armed Forces.
Having had a full career in the army, I left in 2014. It was a natural fit to take up a job at MBDA as a project manager where I could use the skills and knowledge I’d gained over the years. I’ve had opportunity in the company to take on several roles since and am currently a Business Development lead.
Whilst getting my head around a new career, I soon realised that I still missed the pull of working with the Military (or was it dressing like a tree?!). So I joined the Army Reserves. This was a commitment during my evenings and weekends so easily accomplished whilst delivering my day job.
It was clear from the start that MBDA was hugely supportive of my Reserve service. The energy that the company put into the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme was significant. My service, and that of others within MBDA, contributed to achieving the Silver Award, and then, the Gold Award.
In 2018, I achieved a personal, long held, aspiration with my selection to Command a Regiment. This was a great honour, and a significant undertaking that would impact my working week.
MBDA were supportive once again, agreeing to my request to work a four-day week. This meant that I was able to balance my Reserve command role as well as continuing to work at MBDA. Both my Line Manager and HR supported and encouraged me. They recognised the benefits this opportunity would bring in my future career within MBDA. It also reaffirmed MBDA’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant.
The split between my two working lives is a challenge. The situation became more challenging as the COVID Pandemic hit in March 2020. Along with the majority of the Armed Forces, my unit was put on standby to support the Government and NHS in tackling the unfolding crisis.
It was now that I relied on MBDA’s support the most. I was released to prepare my unit, and eventually I was fully mobilised - returning to regular Army service for six months as a Senior Military Liaison Officer. Something I was only able to do due to my line manager’s understanding and the responsiveness of MBDA UK’s HR team.
The last 12 months have been some of the most testing of my military career, but some of the most rewarding. I’ve been involved in the full range of support to the NHS from PPE supply, temporary Hospital planning, through to the supply of Ambulance drivers. It has been a humbling and extraordinary experience. It proved to me what a diverse and multi skilled team can deliver when under significant pressure.
The contribution that Reservists from across all three services make - both in the UK and aboard - is significant. It reinforced to me the sense of worth and purpose that a role in the Reserves can give. I would highly recommend it, and if you work at MBDA, they will support you all the way!
If you’re looking for a career, filled with character, reward, and purpose, where you’re supported to pursue your passions, check out our available roles