Colin Martin, Kuehne + Nagel Shift Manager
& Ex Royal Logistics Corps Supply Specialist.
I joined The Royal Ordnance Corps (RAOC) in 1992 and carried out my basic training in Deepcut, before being posted to 132 Aviation Support Unit in Germany. It was a fantastic first posting with a unit full of characters and there was never a dull day. Having rebadged to Royal Logistics Corps, my military career saw me work with the MJDI implementation team, carry out exercises in Belize, Canada, Norway and Poland. My operational tours have been equally varied; in particular across the Balkans including Kosovo, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan where I was part of the drawdown team deployed on Op HERRICK 17.
As I was in the throes of resettlement I looked at Kuehne + Nagel as a possible employer due to the adverts and the general awareness that they were a blue chip logistics company. A quick email to the military project manager Phil Doyle resulted in being registered in the military talent pool which gained access to advice and support to help with resettlement. I also arranged interviews with Amazon, Wincanton and Chilton. Although I was offered roles with some of the other companies I chose Kuehne + Nagel, largely because of the interview process and the friendliness of the people I met. They seemed to feel likewise and I was offered a position as a shift manager in the Sainsbury’s Regional Recycling Unit (RRU) in Northampton.
In general we recycle waste products from our Sainsbury’s customers by providing a tray wash and dekit facility for their vehicles and a dedicated recycling facility for their cardboard and paper. I started on the 26th September 2016 and I have certainly learned quite a lot over the last few months. In particular the budgetary and resource management is far more stringent than I experienced in the armed forces. You have to ensure the management of your resources ensures you hit the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). If I’m honest I continue to learn day in, day out and my line manager is really good at bringing me on at a pace that’s both challenging but manageable. My degree in logistics has really helped me understand the strategic element to my job. I would recommend this type of training coupled with the more vocational courses you can attend during your resettlement.
I decided to join the reserves as I didn’t want to cut the apron strings completely! I serve with 158 Headquarter Volunteer Squadron RLC where I am currently the Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant (RQMS) and my company is fully supportive of my service. I really think my civilian job and military job complement each other very well. There are elements of my military training that come in handy at work and vice versa. I have certainly found the leadership training useful, as no two days are the same. My core supply specialist experience also helps with understanding the operation. I have also managed to recruit two work colleagues into my Squadron in Peterborough. I talked about the fun training and weekends away and they were swayed, I did not mention the fitness training but to be fair they are coming along very well.
If I were to give advice to anyone thinking of leaving the military I would advise you to start your resettlement as early as possible. Try and find out the types of businesses in the area you are going to live and what qualifications they require. The more blue chip companies the better and try to attend as many visit and business insights days as possible, so you get a feel for the type of environment you might work in.