Currie & Brown celebrate Armed Forces Day 2024

On 29 June, Currie & Brown celebrate Armed Forces Day 2024. We wish to acknowledge every person who makes up the Armed Forces community – from currently serving personnel to service families, veterans and cadets. As we work towards creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce, we acknowledge the invaluable skills, discipline and resilience that service leaders and veterans bring to the industry.

We have been awarded silver accreditation for the Armed Forces Covenant which reflects our enhanced commitment to retaining and supporting those in the Armed Forces community. As we reflect on Armed Forces Day and the importance to our organisation, we wish to acknowledge all past and present Currie & Brown colleagues who have served. These include Andrew Barton, Dillen Atkinson, Damien Monks, Nick Gray, Jason Rohleder and Tom Locking.

We spoke to Dillen Atkinson, senior principal designer, and Andrew Barton, associate, about their time in service.

Dillen Atkinson

Tell us a bit about your career in the Royal Artillery?

I served 24 years in the Royal Artillery and finished as a Warrant Officer Class One, initially as an Air Defender until I later moved to the Aviation Aircrew sector to pilot and instruct on large, unmanned Aircrafts.

What key qualities did you develop in the forces that have been beneficial in your civilian career?

The early development of core values such as selfless commitment, respect for others, loyalty, integrity, discipline and courage. I’ve learned that these are all equally as important to practice when dealing with clients. Additionally, the aviation industry is intrinsically safe by its nature and focuses on human performance.

What motivated your transition to a career in the built environment?

At the age of 40, I reached the pinnacle of my career and achieved the highest rank of a non-commissioned officer. I felt the time had come to transition early into an industry where I could add value using the soft and learned skills gained in the Army.

Currie & Brown was awarded a silver accreditation of the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Retention Scheme in 2023. What do you believe are the main advantages for organisations that acknowledge and support those who serve or have served?

Currie & Brown understands and values those within the organisation that have served, and this recognition goes a long way to demonstrate the appreciation the company has and for what we have done.

Andrew Barton

Can you describe your career journey, from your initial career in the Army to your current role?

Growing up in a military family I knew from a young age I would join the service. My original urge to join the RAF changed during my time at university when I decided I would apply for the Army. In 2007 I headed to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) to undertake my 44-week officer training. On its completion I was commissioned to the Royal Engineers and spent the following five years partaking in exciting and diverse operational excursions.

This saw me travelling to a variety of destinations around the globe such as Afghanistan, Poland, Canada and Kenya. Ultimately, once my tour came to an end, I decided to transition back into normal civilian life and secured a four-week work placement on Crossrail. This led to my first job as an assistant site manager at Farringdon station in London. After a successful eight months, I later obtained a role as project manager at EC Harris spending five years working on London Underground projects, finally joining Currie & Brown in 2018.

What motivated your transition from the Army to working in the built environment?

On entry to the military, I knew it wouldn’t be for the entirety of my professional career. Prior to the end of my short service commission, I reached a career decision point of whether I wanted to extend or not. I had achieved the main objective which I had originally set out for myself; to lead a troop on an operational tour. I therefore decided not to extend my time in service any further. Of course, there are many elements of the military that I greatly miss, however it was time to continue to the next chapter of my life.

What do you believe are the main advantages for organisations that acknowledge and support Armed Forces Day?

Supporting Armed Forces Day not only positively contributes to the broader community but also provides significant internal benefits for large global firms such as Currie & Brown. It also creates differentiation to competitor brands who may not recognise the event, fostering an inclusive environment that respects and acknowledges the contributions of all employees, including those with military connections.

Many thanks to Andrew and Dillen for sharing their stories with us and for giving us a great insight into their personal experiences. If you would like to find out more about Armed Forces Day, visit the official site.

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