I joined Kent Police in 2003 having spent 13 years in the Royal Navy. The last year of my career in the services really tested me, spending nine months away from home, with the last few months being in Scotland as part of the Fire Strike. During this year, I attended a resettlement event, where members of Kent Police attended and assisted me to submit my application to Kent. They were really helpful and reassured me of the process keeping in touch and up to date.
I believe that my military service has assisted me within my policing profession, as it has made me adaptable to situations. Where some of my colleagues have found standing on a scene in the rain or directing traffic on a boiling hot day in the summer difficult, I took these situations in my stride. Having experiences like, laying in the snow in Norway on sentry with temperatures dropping below -20 degrees for hours on end or when showering from a bucket in the desert and then drying yourself with a sandy towel, these new experiences felt like a walk in the park as I always knew I would be going home to see my wife and kids at the end of the day and not in three months time.
When I joined Kent Police I was amazed at how similar training was and I was soon teaching my younger colleagues, how to iron, bull their boots and march without ‘TikToking’, they in turn supported me with the academics, learning definitions and writing statements. The discipline and camaraderie were very similar, and I found my military life skills really useful fitting in and I soon became a class leader. I have never looked back and although I am proud of my time in the services, my time in the police has been equally as rewarding, challenging and apart from the odd reminisce with new friends, I have never looked back.
My life experiences in the military gave me confidence in myself, the ability to enter a situation and take command, not knowing what was going to be thrown at you next. Above all, I took from the military the positivity, that just when you think things can’t get any worse, they very often do, and then some. Therefore, when many others are moaning about being cold, or being an hour late off, I would be thinking, I’m not “dipping out”, I’m just not “dipping in” as much as everyone else at the moment and be ready to crack a joke, smile and just “suck it up”.