BAE Systems – Military Family Matters

Murray McLeod-Jones MBE, Programme Manager Veterans and Reservist Recruitment Programme at BAE Systems, describes the ever-closer and complementary relationship between the company, the Armed Forces and veterans.

Murray says: “As the United Kingdom’s largest defence and security company, BAE Systems has a natural affinity with the Armed Forces. After all, the UK Ministry of Defence is one of the company’s biggest clients worldwide, with projects across all sectors – air, sea, land and cyberspace.

“From strategic partnerships to everyday working relationships, BAE Systems and the military share the same space.  Working together often means that BAE Systems can understand the experiences of the Armed Forces, appreciate challenges and support aims. It’s why the company was one of the first signatories of the Armed Forces Covenant and why we are proud to be part of the extended military family in the UK and around the world.

“At BAE Systems, service personnel are important in their military roles – both as our customers and as reservists who can count on us to support their commitments.  But they are also important after their active service. When it is time to move on from a service career, we can offer a ‘second home’ – a rewarding new role in a workplace environment with values and structures familiar to veterans.

At BAE Systems they can continue along the path they have carefully built, often over many years, and explore the many opportunities and directions that open-up in a large and diverse company.

Championing veterans and reservists

“As Programme Manager Veterans and Reservist Recruitment Programme at BAE Systems, I am responsible for championing both veteran and reservist recruitment for the company.  It’s a new role created to recognise the significant contribution veterans and reservists can make to our organisation.

“Many service personnel will already be aware of BAE Systems – maybe they will have worked with us on a project or used our technology and equipment.  When their service comes to an end, we want BAE Systems to be a natural choice for the next phase of their career, and we are delighted to welcome veterans to our teams.  However, we also want to make sure that Armed Forces personnel who haven’t had close contact with BAE Systems are aware of what the company has to offer, including recognition of their skills, capabilities and values. Indeed, we want to do everything we can to attract more of them into our business and we want them to stay – retention is every bit as important as recruitment to us.

“There are many benefits to bringing veterans into BAE Systems both to the individual and the company, including maintaining that vital link between veterans and the Armed Forces, and transferring their invaluable experience and skillsets into an organisation which is focused on providing the very best capability for the military.

Opportunities, recognition and support

“Not only does BAE Systems have a huge variety of roles that appeal to veterans and reservists, but there is a strong cultural fit and support network, regardless of their specific sector or discipline.

Reservists, for example, are given the support and space they need to carry out their military roles alongside their ‘day job’.

“Along with the official support on offer at BAE Systems, there is also a strong peer-to-peer community, operating as a ‘VetNet’. Members use the network to share experiences, offer support and help, and simply connect with others from similar backgrounds.

“As a veteran myself – with 30 years’ service as an Officer in The Parachute Regiment, I find it reassuring to know that both the company, and my colleagues, really do ‘have my back’. We are there for each other, and that counts.”

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