A Successful Military Transition From Wincanton
Here we have Rob Wagstaff. After serving in the military for over 30 years he decided to hang up his uniform so he could settle down into civillian life, and thanks to Wincanton his journey to doing that was made simpler.
Below we have a short interview with Rob and the reasons he decided now was the time for him to make the leap and start his resettlement.
What part of the armed forces did you serve in?
I was in flying training with the RAF between 1991 and 1993. I transferred to the Army in 1993 and served to 2022.
What was your role and what did it involve?
I was an officer in the Royal Logistic Corps. I started off as a transport troop commander in Germany in 1994 running a fleet of 60 trucks and 70 personnel. I went on Operations around the globe leading various logistic operations until my final operational tour which was as Chief of Staff of the Headquarters responsible for the removal of troops and equipment from Helmand in Afghanistan. In this role I led a HQ of 200 personnel and had the task of redeploying 4,000 servicemen, 500 vehicles (including tanks and heavy artillery) and over 500 ISO containers of equipment. We closed Camp Bastion which was an active airfield, hospital and main operating base and moved all the equipment and service personnel back to the UK, a distance of over 4,000 miles in a non-permissive environment (ie a very real threat to life throughout from insurgent forces). It was the largest British military re-deployment this century.
I also had the privilege of spending 6 months in Ukraine, training the Ukrainian Armed Forces that were (at that time) engaged in an armed conflict with Russian backed separatists in the Donbas region.
My final tour in the Army was assessing and selecting officer candidates for entry into the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
What are some of the reason that you wanted to join the military?
Responsibility, travel, adventure, sport. But most importantly, the desire to lead motivated soldiers on operations worldwide.
How would you describe your time in service?
I had a fantastic career; deploying on every major operation since the 1990s, living in Germany for 9 years and playing rugby in 4 continents. I travelled widely to countries including Germany, Egypt, Bahrain, Iraq, Afghanistan, Morocco, Barbados, Dominican Republic, France, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Hong Kong, Canada, Ghana, USA, Oman, UAE, Qatar.
When did you leave the military? How did you feel leaving and entering civilian life/routine?
I left the military in March 2022. I was really nervous about leaving the security the military offers after 30 years but was lucky enough to have already secured a role at Wincanton who have great at easing me into civilian employment.
Do you have advice for family members, friends or employers of people who are transitioning out of the military?
Back yourself! The Armed Forces gives you a fantastic work ethos and set of skills that are widely transferable into Civilian life. Also, don’t be afraid of using your military contacts, there are service personnel in most businesses that are more than happy to reach out and aid the transition to civilian life.
Here at BFRS we love to see as many success stories as possible and partnering with companies like Wincanton who show consistent support to members of the Armed Forces Community, is always a pleasure.
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