NEWS

JULY 2ND 2019

From Regular to Reservist: Steve continues to set his own pace

Steve Cottrell

Steve Cottrell on his training exercise

After 22 years as an Army Regular, a new challenge beckoned for Steve. He left the military and became a Safety, Health, Environmental and Quality (SHEQ) professional within the construction industry. Three years into his journey he was missing having a regular ‘fix’ of Army life.

He is now Central SHEQ Manager for Morrison Utility Services but in his spare time serves as a Captain in the Royal Engineers and is second in command of a Specialist Royal Engineers Team (STRE) that provides infrastructure support, construction and design expertise for the military.

Aged 54, Steve has a tremendous amount of hands on experience and knowledge that benefits both his fellow Reservists and professional colleagues. He explained: “All the skill sets you gain as a soldier are fully transferable; management of people, leadership, resource management, time management and confidence.  These are all things that benefit my employer.

“My company fully supports me, allowing me the additional days to conduct my annual training exercises and any extra duties that may crop up from time to time.  Because we employ a number of ex service personnel, they fully understand how important and useful to the business this can be.”

By joining the Army Reserve Steve has had the opportunity to attend Sandhurst and train as an Officer but has also had the chance to gain some more unusual skills. Steve added: “I have also been able to maintain and further my experience as a mountain bike leader via the adventure training opportunities.

“As a mature soldier, I gain a great deal of satisfaction out of mentoring the younger and less experienced members of my team and it’s given me an opportunity to give something back. I’ve been lucky enough to work with young soldiers in my team and I’ve watched them mature to become better soldiers and engineers.  They all say they’ve gained vital life skills, education and done things that they’ve thoroughly enjoyed.”

Striking the balance between personal, work and reservist commitments is always a challenge but with both a supportive family and employer behind him, Steve has continued to enjoy the adventure of a lifetime. 

Steve concluded:  “What would my advice be to someone considering joining the Army Reserve? Just try it! There are so many opportunities for travel, training and doing things you would never otherwise do.”

Find out more about joining the Army Reserve and 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group here.  

“As a mature soldier, I gain a great deal of satisfaction out of mentoring the younger and less experienced members of my team and it’s given me an opportunity to give something back."