It is often the case that people who have spent a large part of their adult life in the armed forces struggle to adapt to life in ‘civvy street’. Indeed, swapping the fatigues and adrenaline-pumping nature of the army, navy or RAF for the more sedate and comfortable surroundings of a reliable desk job can prove to be too much of an ask for some individuals: the contrast between the two lifestyles being just too extreme.
It is perhaps because of this why so many ex-forces personnel find themselves pursuing opportunities in the security industry when they finally decide to leave their military lives behind them. To be sure, it is now quite common for ex-military personnel to sign up for close protection security courses when they get out as this enables them to retain elements of their exciting ‘old life’’ whilst endeavouring to forge a new career in a different industry.
Of course, the number of opportunities available within the close protection security industry is limited so not everyone coming out of the army, navy or RAF will be able to make an immediate transition to a new career. However, it should be noted that there are areas within the ex-forces-to-security-professional sector that are experiencing growth at the moment.
Areas like maritime security.
Demand for professional maritime security operatives has increased significantly in recent years. The reason behind this growth in demand can be summed with just one word: piracy. Piracy has been a growing problem in recent years, especially in the busy shipping lanes of the Indian Ocean and around the Horn of Africa. Just last year, 71 boats were attacked in the Indian Ocean alone, 26 of which were taken. In total, £120m was paid out in ransom demands.
Suffice to say, ex-forces personnel are perfect candidates for companies that are looking to train and employ operatives tasked with maintaining the security and safety of their vessels at sea. The MoD also see this as being a positive step for individuals coming to the end of their military careers to take (indeed, the MoD helps to part-fund maritime security training course places for ex-forces personnel).
Unsurprisingly, the potential to make good money (salaries for trained maritime security officers can start at £50,000) and maintain the best elements of military life is something which appeals greatly to people coming to the end of their time in the forces. James Cole, 40, currently serves with 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery in Plymouth, and plans to seek out suitable security training courses when he leave the forces next July. He said: ‘Money is a big draw for me, but also it’s about changing a routine. Rather than just winding down completely from the military and moving into a desk job, it’s a gradual thing and you’re getting paid better money for it than you would do in the forces. I’ve seen it, done it with the military and now is the time to move on’.
About the author – Bo Heamyan blogs regularly about the private security sector and has written extensively about forging a career within the industry for various websites, including WilplanTraining.co.uk.