December 19th 2013


A Commercial Pilot who also volunteers as a Royal Marines Reservist has been using the festive season to reflect on the positive effect his part-time military career has had on him personally.

Being a Royal Marine means Alastair, and his team, have had to pass through the same rigorous Commando Course as their regular counterparts which takes a great amount of self-motivation, commitment and dedication. All skills Alastair credits as helping him to climb the career ladder at BA and become a better overall leader.

Alastair, who is 49 years, lives close to Heathrow Airport in London and travels up to Nottingham on a weekly basis to fulfil his military responsibilities. He said: “The command and leadership skills learnt as a Marine are very defined meaning the methods can be transferred easily into everyday life and civilian workplaces. My military training has taught me how to break down problems and how solutions can be achieved – skills that have undoubtedly helped develop my civilian career as a Pilot.

“Under normal circumstances Reservists would be based at their local unit although in my case I have moved around a lot so I chose to base myself in Nottingham.”

Alastair explained that he has always had an interest in the military as he grew up in the shadow of people who were involved in the Second World War. However, for him personally his desire to be a Soldier has always ran hand-in-hand with being a Pilot so being a Reservist has allowed him to follow both career-paths balancing his home life and civilian commitments around his Marine training.

Alastair continued: “Since I joined the RMR in 1994 I have been mobilised to Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan as part of the Royal Marines first deployment to Helmand in 2006. I have also had the opportunity to train in the United Arab Emirates among other places. To be a Reservist you need to be committed and want to push yourself outside your comfort zone to achieve results but I am an example of how someone with a busy professional career can also be a part-time Soldier.”

Since being a child Alastair has always wanted to learn new skills. He joined the Air Training Corps when he was 13 years-old; at 23 years-old he joined the Royal Air Force but was medically discharged due to a leg injury and then in the early 1990s learned the Marines had a Reserve force so joined up in 1994. His training to be a civilian Pilot began in 1988 when he was sponsored by BA to learn to fly.

If you are aged between 16 – 32 years are physically fit, motivated and have a sense of adventure the RMR would like to hear from you. For more information call 08456 00 32 22 or visit