From the Royal Logistic Corps to Electrician

Darke & Taylor

Kevin Boone served in the Royal Logistic Corps leaving after 17 years with the rank of WO2. Kevin advised “my trade was an Ammunition Technician. My final role was as a Weapons Intelligence Specialist Warrant Officer (WISWO). My role involved the exploitation of enemy explosives and weaponry to provide technical advice on explosive threats, and capability to assist in the formulation of products such as safe operating procedures in explosive ordnance environments.

In barracks as the Company’s Senior Ammunition Technician, my job was to provide technical advice (Ammunition/explosives and Weapons Intelligence) to the Chain of Command whilst also mentoring the Junior Ammunition Technicians. Day to day I would plan, co-ordinate or conduct Company and Battalion level training.

The Army taught me effective managerial qualities.  A large part of military work is task based even at the most junior of roles. It requires assessing the tasks, allocating time, personal and resources, and then effective leadership and management for its completion. I now use these skills daily even when working under supervision on site. Every job needs some level of planning and management.

Many of the other skills I learned while serving include:-

  • Discipline and attention to detail – these were skills built from day one in the military and help us to strive to produce the best possible product. Construction tasks are often to strict specifications so having the ability to be able to follow instructions and orders well and concentrate on the detail helps to produce high end projects.
  • Keeping calm under pressure – the military often puts us in situations that take us out of our comfort zone and that ability to deal with issues and have plans already in place for potential problems transfers well into construction assisting to alleviate complications on site if not stop them arising in the first place.

I now work as an Electrician at Darke and Taylor. I registered with BuildForce and after my career chat, they connected me to the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) where an ECA registered company approached me for interview.

I currently work under an Electrical Site Supervisor conducting the installation, maintenance, repair and testing of electrical systems, mostly in commercial or industrial premises.  A typical day would have me conducting an electrical refurbishment or wiring additions/alterations in a facility such as an office block. The jobs generally entail the installing of cable containment, installation of cables and termination of sockets, switches, equipment, or lighting.

The main transferable skills I use daily are drive and determination; professionalism and attention to detail; planning and problem solving; producing high standard work and working safely and effectively.

Support at home from my wife helped massively in allowing me to take a bit of gamble moving from a steady secure income to a new unknown but the military resettlement/Veteran community were also invaluable. There were so many people and organisations that go massively out of their way to help service leavers move into civilian employment, particularly BuildForce. Most of these companies and contacts were found through LinkedIn.

Finding work was my main issue. It was a struggle to get companies to take a ‘’risk’’ on me as I was an unproven entity in this new industry. I was approaching employers and recruiters with most of the qualifications, but I had no experience to back it up. I was ghosted and left with no feedback on several occasions by interviewers and recruiting agencies. The current pay drop has also taken a bit of getting used to as I build my way from the bottom up again but I love the new challenge and see it as I’m being paid to learn something completely new.

My advice would be start early in the resettlement process as the 12 months passes quickly.  Research the industry and their desired area/trade and ask for advice where required. In my limited experience and exposure to the construction industry it is very qualification and competency driven throughout so planning what courses you need and conducting them whilst resettling, in the Armed Forces time, pays off. Lastly, if you are going into a trade with no prior experience try and get some work experience, as having qualifications with no practical experience can make finding a job difficult. Head to BuildForce.

As motivated, professional, and reliable individuals, veterans have a lot to bring to the table.”