The Power of Honouring the Past, Forging a Resilient Future

Tom Silvey, Director of Defence
10 November 2023
Image of a man standing at a poppy memorial in a cemetery.
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Armistice Day isn't just another date on our calendar. It represents a sombre, yet immensely powerful opportunity for us to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made during world wars and global conflicts. It serves as a day to honour the past while nudging us towards the future with a vision of unwavering commitment.

In today's ever-evolving world, there is a strategic imperative to not only honour our history but to shape a future marked by resolute strength and prosperity. It centres on recognising the immeasurable value of integrating ex-service personnel and their families into the core of our businesses. At Amey, we take immense pride that a significant portion of our workforce has deep connections to the military. My involvement with Amey's defence contracts over the past seven years has allowed me to acknowledge and comprehend the reasons behind our commitment to facilitating the sometimes-challenging transition from a military career to civilian life. 

A Unique Skillset and Unparalleled Experience 

Ex-service personnel bring with them a skillset and an experience forged through their military service, unparalleled in its strength and adaptability. Their experiences equip them to thrive under relentless pressure, not simply trained; they are battle-hardened and refined through rigorous drills, high-stakes simulations, and real-life missions. This environment hones their ability to think critically, make rapid, effective decisions, and adapt to circumstances that shift in the blink of an eye. 

The corporate world, much like the battlefield, is replete with unforeseen challenges, from project setbacks to operational crises. It's the remarkable capability of veterans to maintain composure under pressure and address these situations with efficiency that can be the tipping point for any business. The skills in Service, such as leadership, teamwork, and resilience, are assets that transcend military life, and are ideal for our workplaces with a distinct and powerful perspective. 

Supporting More Than the Individual 

Our commitment to creating a lasting impact and doing the right thing extends far beyond our corporate culture. We have cultivated partnerships with organisations like Buildforce, CTP, Forces Transition Group, SSAFA, and RBLI, among others, to facilitate our engagement with veterans and service spouses. My experience in recruiting veterans has revealed that it's about much more than supporting the individual who joins our ranks. 

Frequently, it's about extending our support to their spouses and families, who have braved unique challenges due to the frequent relocations and extended deployments of military service. When we hire veterans, we aren't just recognising their sacrifices; we are acknowledging the commitment and steadfast support required from military families. It's not just about giving back; it's about investing in a brighter future, taking a holistic approach, not merely offering skills and job opportunities, but investing in them so they can flourish after their service to our country. 

A Future Fortified with Resilience and Resourcefulness 

In a world that is constantly changing, and filled with new and formidable challenges, we must harness every resource at our disposal to shape a future that is strong, prosperous, and unswerving in its pursuit of peace. On this Armistice Day, as we honour the past and look to the future, let us not forget the symbol of remembrance itself. 

Much like the symbolic evolution of the poppy, from early silk and plastic renditions to the exclusively papery representations we see today; changing to fit current needs, we must continuously consider how we can do more to support those who have selflessly given everything for us. By supporting our veterans and their families, we honour their contributions and invest in a future of resilience, resourcefulness, and a dedication to the pursuit of peace. 

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