Hi Pete, tell us a little about your background
“I was born and raised in a small village in Scotland. I joined the Army directly from leaving school at 16 and completed 26 years of military service, leaving as the Warrant Officer, responsible for the standardisation and evaluation of specialist activity across UK Defense.
What are your main responsibilities at work?
“My main role is assisting and advising the British Army in their use of the Exonaut software within the training and readiness cycles of units and formations. I spend much of my time training individuals and units in how to use Exonaut efficiently, and educating them how Exonaut can be used to enhance the management, coordination and recording of multiple data sources within the event, and the subsequent interrogation and exploitation of that data.”
“The first time I saw Exonaut, I thought it was a game-changer”
What’s so magic about the Exonaut software?
“It’s a very, very powerful tool … it can be difficult to describe because it is extremely configurable and can be used for a plethora of different tasks. However, its main strength is the collection and exploitation of data in a variety of different formats that can be tailor made for the customers’ requirements; such as the provision of specific dashboards. When I was first introduced to the software I saw it as a real “game-changer” in the field of military training.”
What are the alternatives, if the Exonaut software wasn’t available?
“In the military context, the main alternative approach that we see being used are complex spreadsheets. Spreadsheets are nowhere near as robust or as configurable as Exonaut, tend to have very limited functionality and are only as up to date as the last saved version. This results in increased effort and manpower to collate and manage the information. Exonaut gives you all information in one place and at one time which makes it easy to access and interpret, with so much more useful functionality.”
Can you describe your journey from Warrant Officer to Consultant?
“When you leave the military, suddenly you find yourself in a foreign environment, without the security and familiarity of military life. You are also completely unaware of how your skill sets that you have obtained during your military career translate into civilian life.
I joined the military straight from school, so I knew of nothing else other than school and the military. My father was a Sergeant Major, and my mother was an officer in the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps. So, you could say I’ve been military since I was born.
“The way I was brought up, you could say I’ve been military since I was born.”
Deciding to leave the military was, in all honesty, a little bit frightening, but also exciting because of the new opportunities available. I was very fortunate that 4C Strategies recognised my talents and my abilities, at the time, more than I could. Because 4C Strategies’ strong military background and heritage, they could identify the abilities I had and invest and develop them, and I feel very fortunate to have been taken on by 4C.”
You have a reservist role today, can you describe how that gives current insight to army training requirements?
“That’s correct, even though I have left the regular military, I still serve in the British Army Reserve. My main roles are as a manager and instructor in a specialist discipline. This has proved useful as it keeps me informed regarding British Army tactics, techniques, procedures, as well as changes to training approaches and doctrine. This gives me the advantage of being able to understand and converse knowledgeably with training establishments and audiences in my role with 4C Strategies.”
“Being a reservist gives me an advantage in my role with 4C Strategies.”
When you left the British Army and joined 4C Strategies, you broadened your knowledge within Business Continuity Management, how did you do that?
“Early in my employment with 4C, I was made aware of the expertise and capabilities that existed within the field of Business Continuity and Incident and Crisis management in the commercial sector. Having had experience of delivering on exercises of these types, I decided to undertake a course in Business Continuity management to give me knowledge and experience within a subject area that I was unfamiliar but fascinated with.
The support and encouragement that I received from 4C was exceptional and resulted in my successful completion of a Diploma awarded by the Business Continuity Institute in Business Continuity Management. This will enable me to fully participate, advise and assist in the design and delivery of Business Continuity exercises for our customers in the commercial sector – in addition to assisting with training and development of our proprietary BCM software.
“The support and encouragement that I received from 4C was exceptional.”
This a good example of how 4C Strategies could identify a role for these skills and how they could potentially continue to facilitate military training but from an external perspective. My skill sets are continuing to be developed, and I am now moving into roles within commercial and international military domains.”
How long have you worked at 4C Strategies and how did you end up working here?
“I have worked at 4C Strategies for a total of two and a half years. After leaving my military life, I re-joined the British Army as a reservist. During this time, I worked in various roles within different British Army Training establishments. Due to this, I was deployed on several occasions as the Battlespace Manager at the British Army Training Unit in Kenya. It was on these deployments that I was introduced to the Exonaut software provided by 4C Strategies.
“Approximately one month later, I applied for a role on an army website that was specifically looking for former Warrant Officers or Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs) that were experienced in training and training delivery. After undertaking the recruiting process, I was offered a position as an analyst on the British Army project, delivering Exonaut.”
What are you working on right now?
“Currently I am in Catterick in North Yorkshire, advising and assisting in the delivery of Exonaut on behalf of the British Army Collective Training Group. The focus is on a Battlegroup undertaking a validation process.”
How do you think that 4C Strategies contributes to investing in their employees?
“4C Strategies is a company that is prepared to encourage, invest and develop their employees. My decision to undertake a BCM diploma was extremely well supported and encouraged by both colleagues and senior management within 4C. In addition to this, after having gained experience delivering and managing deliveries of Exonaut to the British Army, I am now receiving training with regard to International delivery and project management.”
“4C Strategies is a company that is prepared to encourage, invest and develop their employees.”
What do you do when you’re not working at 4C Strategies?
“Outside of work, I get to know my family again as I spend a lot of time away from them. As we speak now, this is my fifth week away from them. So, as you can imagine I enjoy spending time with my wife and my daughters. I have three children, all girls, one is 23 and is an International Crossfit athlete, I have a 13-year-old who is very academically talented and I have an 11-year-old who is trying to decide between being a female international rugby player or an Olympic Swimmer when she gets older.
My family is very independent and are very used to coping with me being away for long periods of time. I moved around a lot when I was a child, so as soon as I had children, I was determined that they would stay in one place. Instead, I travelled to the various places I had to work in.
I enjoy Judo, but I’m a bit limited now due to bad knees from the military, however I used to fight at International level. I also enjoy playing volleyball, and another passion of mine is motorcycles. In addition to this I’m planning to convert my van into a camper van, (if my wife lets me…).”
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