Getting the right materials to the right place, in the right condition and at the right time is something that Armed Forces personnel are adept at and many of the skills acquired in the Services are just as relevant for logistics in the civilian world

It is this expertise that makes those leaving the Army, Navy, Marines and RAF an attractive prospect to employers in the logistics and transport sectors.

There are some obvious destinations for those people leaving the Forces, such as supply chain management, stores and warehouse, logistics and transport, operations, manufacturing, import/export activities and project management. Indeed logistics and transport is one of the main recruiters of ex-Service personnel alongside engineering, civil service, security and public services. However, not many Civvy Street employers will have much idea what a warrant officer, bombardier, sapper, or chief petty officer actually does, so it is important for you to highlight the skills and experience acquired whilst in the Armed Forces without using military jargon.

Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT)

CILT is the leading professional body for those working in logistics, transport and integrated supply chain management. The Institute is on the approved provider list with the Career Transition Partnership and offers 30 courses that can be accessed through the ELC scheme – visit for more information.

Transition to Civvy Street

Take time to review what you have achieved and consider what career path you would like to follow in Civvy Street. Address any skills gaps by undertaking sector-related study. Research the job market, ‘translate’ your experience and look for matches. Many planning to leave the Services find it useful to achieve their Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) or to study for the CILT Level 3 Certificate in Logistics and Transport. Both of these qualifications have great currency in the ‘outside world’.

However, it is not just about technical skills, soft skills are important too. Those who have served in the Armed Forces acquire a range of soft skills in abundance – leadership, teamwork, performance under pressure, problem-solving, amongst others – skills that are much in demand in the civilian workplace.

A glance at the case studies below will show how others have approached the transition.

Case Studies

1.) Sandy Gullis MBE spent 24 years in the Army, and was a Warrant Office Class 1 when he went through the resettlement process. He undertook CPC (National and International) as well as various computer packages as part of his resettlement process. He is currently working as a General Manager for the Wincanton Group. Prior to joining Wincanton, he was Supply Chain Manager at Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), a leading global engineering, construction and services company.

At KBR he was responsible for the day-to-day control of the supply chain from the company’s 20,000 sqm warehouse through to military theatre of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. On leaving the Army, Sandy’s first job was as a Transport Co-ordinator at BOC, the chemicals distribution company, dealing with food deliveries for Marks and Spencer. He went on to South Marston Distribution Company as a Warehouse Manager dealing with JIT deliveries into the Honda manufacturing facility in Swindon. Sandy is a Chartered Fellow of CILT and is actively involved in the Defence Sector Forum.

2.) Glen Davies left the Army in 2007 as Staff Master Driver 3 (UK) Division and joined Transport for London (TfL) as Freight Development Manager where he is responsible for the delivery of sustainable freight transport projects and initiatives. During his time with TfL he has defined the standards for an industry quality benchmark, the Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), and developed partnerships to ensure its effective delivery. Whilst in the Army, Glen gained a number of vocational transport qualifications and studied with the University of Wales at Swansea and Deepcut for a BSc in Supply Chain Management. He is a Chartered member of the CILT, a credential which has been invaluable for both recognition and networking opportunities.

3.) David Ockleton is currently working as a consultant specialising in counter terrorism and security with particular reference to the aviation and maritime environments. He also runs his own logistics training company. David started his career as a Commando helicopter pilot in the Royal Navy, followed by a brief spell as a commercial pilot. He then embarked upon an Army career, specialising as an Ammunition Technical Officer, culminating in taking responsibility for all bomb disposal in Northern Ireland. His extensive military logistics experience includes the operation of warehouse and distribution centres in the Balkans, managing director of DSDA Kineton (Europe’s largest ammunition depot).

David left the Army in 2009 after 30 years’ service, and, as part of his resettlement process, he completed his MBA focusing on business change. Other basic business courses provided with the resettlement package proved valuable, as have the periodic follow up conversations with his resettlement adviser. He is a Chartered Fellow of CILT and has recently embarked upon a PhD.

Some Useful Tips

The above contributors made some general points about resettlement and securing their first job in the outside world. All agreed that it was important not to underestimate your knowledge, skills and experience and not to wait until the resettlement period to start getting qualified. It takes more than a couple of weeks to prepare for civilian life.

Many employers want applicants to demonstrate profit-generating capability skills and Marketing skills, which are not a normal requirement in the Armed Forces so be prepared and have examples of cost-saving strategies and marketing examples that will help counter this requirement. It’s important to use a combination of agencies, Internet sites and newspaper advertisements to find suitable roles to apply for. Also maintain your service links – this is your link to familiarity and where you can still turn to for help.

Benefits of CILT Membership

Membership of a relevant professional body can be useful provided you make the most of the services it offers. Information about the benefits of being a member of CILT can be found on the careers pages of the Pathfinder website and on the Institute’s own website at

Whilst the value of being a member of a relevant professional body is heightened when making the transition from military to civilian life, it is important to remember that membership can also support and enhance your career prospects whilst in active service and keep you current with developments in the logistics and supply chain industry. The sooner you join, the sooner you can start accessing the full range of benefits available.

CILT provides a range of benefits to its members such as the monthly journal, Logistics and Transport Focus, which contains news and information about what is happening in the sector. As you would expect, there is a range of networking opportunities organised on a national and regional basis as well as the chance to get involved in the work of the Professional Sectors and forums. The Institute can also support your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities, with a step-by-step framework that will be useful when deciding what to do as part of your resettlement.

CILT has recently appointed a Defence Logistics Officer, Chris Eades, to further strengthen its links with the Armed Forces. Coming from a strong military background, with 37 years experience across the military supply chain and having taught the Certificate in Logistics, Chris is well placed to interface with the military community and raise the profile of CILT. He has already made links with the Careers Transition Partnership and made presentations about the benefits of membership to those in the Armed Forces. To contact him, please email: [email protected] or telephone: 07771 372615.

There are great synergies to be exploited, so contact CILT to see how they can help you make the transition to Civvy Street.

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK):
Tel: 01536 740100
Web site: