From The Royal Regiment of Artillery to Security Manager

Balfour Beatty VINCI, HS2

John Braybrook served in The Royal Regiment of Artillery, for 46-years as both a Regular & Reservist, leaving as a Major in 2023. “My most recent role was Garrison Quartermaster, giving real life support to 1200 people daily including security, HSE, fire and hard & soft facility management. There were no 2 days the same, due to the nature of the job and looking after 24 lodger units from 1 Royal Anglian (light role Infantry Battalion), Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery with 133 horses and Countess of Wessex String Orchestra and everything in-between.

Key skills from serving include security management, where I oversaw the change from Military Guard Service to MPGS. Also, safety, securing my IOSH and I was the POC for all health and safety related issues for garrison and 1200 personnel. HESTIA and FDIS FM and was the point of contact for all hard & soft FM issues ensuring compliance and quality of service. AIMEA – Environmental Law & Policy Management, dealing with all environmental issues including Grade 2* listed buildings. Also, being risk aware as the Safety Risk Manager Leader; I was the SME (subject matter expert) on the garrison on all risk areas (including covid precautions).

During resettlement I engaged with BuildForce, the support provided by the team was incredible. With guidance from Caroline, being allocated mentors for additional support and interview prep with Angela, I secured a role as a Security Manager with Balfour Beatty Vinci on HS2. What helped most was the support and confidence building from BuildForce and I got a lot from the BuildForce Insight Days. It can be a different world to the military but there are a few parallels. My greatest challenge was returning home, after living in Woolwich for 10 years travelling home 2 weekends per month, it’s like getting married again being under the same roof every day.

With regards to the new day role in HS2 construction security, I cover from Long Itchington Wood Tunnels to Kenilworth with 12 sublots, I try to ensure sites and equipment are secured as best as possible, giving advice to Site Directors or Site leads. Carrying out Investigations post incidents if they occur giving recommendations or direction and guidance. Typical day starts at 0700hrs – check emails and all other comms (heavily reliant on info groups 1 per sublot – WhatsApp) travel to Office, get site vehicle and travel to one of my 12 sublots I’m responsible for. I get a daily safety brief and deal with their issues or carry out an audit – return to office write any notes or audit report and submit for info or action, finally liaise with sub-contracted security organisations as a final daily wash up, prepare for the next day. Skills most utilised is diligence, discipline, dedication & decisiveness.

Advice I would you give to someone who is leaving the Armed Forces and seeking a new career in construction would be to contact Buildforce and attend their Insight Days – meet and engage as much as possible.

Three words to describe a career in construction is interesting, informative, and innovative. I would describe a Veteran as honest, with integrity and disciplined.”