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Armed Forces Day 2024

Armed Forces Day

We are proud to have several members of staff at Carrier, Riello, Toshiba, Vokera & Viessmann who are ex-Armed Forces. We are proud signatories of The Armed Forces Covenant and have been recognised by the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme with an Armed Forces Covenant Bronze, recognising the unique skills, experience and dedication that service leavers can bring to our organisation.

To mark Armed Forces Day 2024, we spoke with some of the Carrier, Reillo, Toshiba, Vokera & Viessmann team who have served in the armed forces to reflect on their time in the forces, the skills they gained, and how their experiences influence their personal and professional lives now. See what they had to say

Paul Thompson, Service Engineer

Paul served in the British army in the 1st battalion Duke of Wellington for just over 3 years posted firstly in Bosnia and then Northern Ireland.

During his time in the armed forces, he learnt a great number of life skills which have been extremely useful to him as a service engineer.

The attributes which are important to Paul are good discipline, the ability to complete a task, working well under pressure, respecting the chain of command and most importantly teamwork.

These are skills which have served John well through both his work and home life.

Christian Brown, Service Engineer

Christian entered the Royal Navy in 1996 as a Mechanical and Electrical Marine Engineer. He was drafted to HM Submarine Service. Christian was always inquisitive with anything mechanical as a child and spent several years with the Torbay Sea Cadet Corps. This is where his interest in the military developed.

Basic training was a short, sharp introduction to military life, discipline and order was a key foundation to the training. Christian has carried these values through his personal and   professional life. Christian passed out of HMS Raleigh, moving onto HMS Sultan to complete Mechanical, Electrical and Nuclear training. He was then drafted to HM Naval Base Devonport to complete my Submarine training, serving on HMS Turbulent, HMS Talent, then finally HMS Tireless.

Christian unfortunately suffered a knee injury whilst at sea, which eventually led to him   being Medically Discharged in 2000. Christian re-entered civilian life, training as an electrician, then general plumbing and gas. Christian believed that serving in the Military gave him good foundations and strong values that have served him well over the years.

Chris Brummell Continued:

The military offers a vast variety of exciting opportunities building a very diverse skill set, “although my underpinning knowledge has always been engineering, I have filled roles in everything from tactical and strategic communications supporting air operations in high tempo operational theatres to being a domestic firefighter in Norwich during strike action”.  

In supporting the projection of the United Kingdom's interests through global reach and influence; Chris has completed five operational tours in Afghanistan including Kandahar, Kabul and Lashkar Gah. In support of strategic global operations and the United Kingdom’s overseas territories, tours of the Falkland Islands, Diego Garcia, UAE and Ascension added to the multiple short taskings around the globe.

Chris concluded his military career delivering and managing the training of Air Traffic Management Systems Engineers which provided the opportunity to qualify as a teacher and complete a couple of degrees. In any field, experience can only be gained through opportunity, the Military offers that opportunity in abundance, experience which is invaluable to future employers. “Having made the transition into the civilian workforce, it is only with hindsight that I realise the full scope of skills that have been developed over the course of my career. Not just the technical skills and knowledge to fulfil my primary role, but the multiple soft skills in management, leadership, communication and mentorship which we very much take for granted”.    

With Viessmann having signed the Armed Forces Covenant and already embracing the opportunities to integrate with other organisations, we appreciate the experience that veterans can offer to the private sector and the skills to dynamically assess situations to influence positive outcomes in a timely manner.

Suellan Hillier, Assistant Accountant 

Suellan Hillier has been a cadet forces adult volunteer for Sea Cadets for over 12 years, 9 of which have been in uniform. She has held various roles locally and across the South West Area units from a trustee to a Commanding Officer of Wolverhampton Sea Cadets.

Some of the main transferable skills Suellan feels she has gained during her time as a cadet forces adult volunteer are; leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, decision-making, time management and organisational skills, adaptability, resilience, and discipline. 

With the West Midlands being ranked one of the 'worst' for knife crime in national statistics, Wolverhampton's cadet unit is very diverse. It does however prides itself on providing young individuals with the opportunity to learn and develop new skills, enabling young cadets to become well rounded community led citizens. 

Overall, as a cadet forces adult volunteer, Suellan brings a diverse range of skills and qualities to a civilian workplace.


John Smith, Service Manager 

John Smith, currently Service Manager for Vokèra Ltd spent 36 years as a Commissioned Officer in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves (Training), finishing as Squadron Leader within the RAFAC.

During John’s time in the military, he gained leadership skills by working with and managing large numbers of people from various different backgrounds and experiences.

Carrying out his role as Service Manager within Carrier managing a large team of gas engineers and agents, John has been able to use the leadership skills he gained through his Armed Forces Service days effectively. 

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