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Winter Lecture: Up for debate?

Never a Corps to shy away from tackling the trickiest of subjects, this years Royal Logistic Corps winter lecture took on the form of a paneled discussion on the topic “A2020 and the Reserves… will it work?”.  Chaired by Col Richard Hunt CBE (Chairman of London Ambulance Service), the panel of leading civilian employers from Carillion, Association of British Ports, Wilson Jones Ltd and BP, were given the opportunity to vent some of their frustrations and indeed, offer constructive advice on the MOD’s approach to the Reserve challenge.

The MOD “offer” came in for the largest criticism.  “I’m a business, I’m looking for a deal not an offer” said Lt Col Gary Sullivan, a Reservist and Chairman of Wilson Jones Ltd.  “The MOD doesn’t understand the complexity of the deal.  If I wish to give special arrangements for my Reservist staff what about those I employ who are or wish to be retained fire fighters, RNLI personnel or even staff who wish to serve their country and community by running local youth groups”.

Mr Mike Hood, HR Director BP,  agreed “our BP policy is generous but why should a manager of a drilling rig let his better operators and supervisors go unless he gets someone else back” an view echoed by Maj Michelle Tilley, a Reservist and Director of Quality and Compliance at ABP “In construction, we contract out most of our non-core jobs, those that are left are often safety critical.  In order to facilitate one of these individuals being a Reservist, I would have to increase my workforce to ensure these tasks are legally covered.  I would also have to consult the Unions for changes to contracts.”

It was also highlighted that in our Global market place, large corporate companies might be owned by foreign investors and shareholders, possibly from China or the Middle East, who may not be willing to support the notion of Reservists in their workforce.

When the debate was opened to the floor, it was agreed that the key is to facilitate a two way flow of skill and talent.  Lt Col Naomi Wakelin proposed a scheme where gaps in industry could be filled by military personnel in return for Reservist person flowing from industry to military when required.  Chairman Col Richard Hunt emphasized the need for military qualifications to be aligned with civilian qualifications “it may cost the MOD a little more, but civilian organisations can not legally accept many military qualifications as equivalent”.  As the market leader in logistic professional qualifications, this is perhaps a barrier that the RLC can seek to dismantle.
A2020 and the Reserves… will it work? Potentially yes, but we need to better understand each others business first.

The Royal Logistic Corps

The Lifetime Achievement award goes to....Lt Col Fiona Gordon’s sporting career spans nearly 30 years where she has represented both the RLC and Army, as well as her running club, at cross country, athletics and trail running. Such achievements are worthy of recognition but, equally impressive, has been her dedication, energy and leadership that has inspired, encouraged, and mentored hundreds of athletes, particularly women, to participate in sport. These factors epitomise the very essence of the Lifetime Achievement Award.During her career Col Fiona has won over 60 individual titles (from unit to national master’s level) in all running disciplines ranging from 400m to an 86-mile ultra-marathon; as well as multi-terrain duathlons. In her younger years, she was twice selected to represent the Army at the Inter-Services, at a time when there was only one team of six. As a Corps sportswoman, there can’t be many (if any) athletes who, not only still finish in the top five in their Corps, but then go on to represent their Corps at the Inter-Corps Championships every time. Perhaps equally unique, she is also possibly one of the few left in the Corps that were awarded their Corps colours (for both cross country and athletics) following its formation in 1993. And, remarkably at age 51 she still finished 4th RLC female at the Corps and Inter Corps Championships. ... See MoreSee Less
The Hemming Belt is awarded to.....This season has been a Royal performance from LCpl Megan Reid culminating in her being crowned as the Scottish National Champion. She began boxing after joining The RLC in 2013 and she won an RLC title in her first season as a boxer. Thereafter, she entered the Army Individuals' Championships that same year where her natural talent shone through and she was crowned champion. Given her Scottish heritage, the following season she entered the Scottish Championships, and was narrowly beaten in the final, no mean feat for her third boxing season. Her performance in the final was outstanding and resulted in her first international call up, representing Scotland in the Great Britain Championships. LCpl Reid returned to the English Championships in 2017, this time going one step further and gaining a Silver medal. Since then she has represented The RLC, Army, UK Armed Forces and Scotland at the highest level in the European Championships and twice at the World Championships. LCpl Reid has represented the Corps and the Army with a style that most boxers and other sportsmen and sportswomen aspire. She is a credit to her Unit, The RLC and the Army and a role model for all aspiring athletes and soldiers. She has achieved so much in such a short space of time where, looking to the future, her Gold at her National Championships means that she is the unrivalled queen of RLC Boxing and is duly nominated for the award of the Hemming Belt. ... See MoreSee Less
The Lifetime achievement award goes to.....Cpl Keleni Drummond has been a Corps and Army sportswoman since she joined the Army in 2001 at the age of 21. Her military sporting career began on the Rugby pitch, but it did not take long for Basketball and Netball players to scout her for their respective teams; she has played all three sports at Corps level from inception. By the time of her assignment to 17 Port and Maritime Regiment in 2007, Cpl Drummond had represented the Army at Rugby, Netball and Basketball. Sadly, during an Army Rugby fixture against the Farnborough Women's Team she was badly injured and had to take a break from the pitch to focus on rehabilitation. Dedicated and focused to recuperate, by 2009 she was back fighting fit and switched her focus to both Netball and Basketball. Cpl Drummond’s sporting successes are numerous and varied where, in addition to representing the UK Armed Forces Basketball Team from 2016 - 2018, she captained the Corps Netball Team from 2012 - 2014 leading the RLC to Inter-Corps victory three years in a row, including representing the Army during this period. In spite of her previous injury Cpl Drummond put her rugby boots back on in 2019 to re-join the Corps Team in winning the Inter-Corp Rugby 10s, 15s and the Palestine Cup. She continued her successful leadership streak and captained the Army Masters Netball Team to success at the 2020 Inter-Services Championships. Corporal Drummond is one of the most decorated multi-sport sportswomen in the Corps. In her 20-year career to date she has competed at Regimental level in countless sports, but has truly flourished as a Corps, Army and UKAF player in Rugby, Netball and Basketball. Cpl Drummond represents the very best of her generation and fully deserves recognition for The RLC Sports Awards Outstanding Achievement category. ... See MoreSee Less