Your country needs you
Barry ET Harris MBE, Proelium Law Senior Advisor and UK Army veteran, shares thoughts on how to successfully transition from the military to civilian life.
Must serving your country mean serving only while in the Armed Forces?
Having completed your service in the Armed Forces and having transitioned to becoming a civilian, your country still needs you. You could take your leadership skills into politics and make decisions for this country which are above political expediency and personal gain.
The United Kingdom has a long tradition of Armed Forces personnel who have gone on to lead in the political world successfully. Local MP’s and mayors, the UK has always benefitted from the leadership and moral courage of her Veterans to guide the country safely through the calms as well as the storms.
Veterans are people with moral courage, and who still have the capacity to notice and say out loud “That’s not right!” and do something about it.
Veterans should come forward for local government, or for parliament. Run for school boards, county commissions or city councils. All political parties have regional offices that need strong leadership and integrity. Veterans should run for office; don’t hesitate. Be yourself. Bring your courage to bear on the government of the United Kingdom, our towns and schools. Your country needs you still.
Veterans know how to inspire people in a difficult circumstance.
Veterans have what it takes to bring together a team of diverse individuals, which is necessary not just for reintegrating Veterans, but also for rebuilding a sense of common purpose and capacity to solve our problems in British society. Veterans have a leading role to play in bridging the civil-military divide by showing civilian community new ways to address domestic concerns.
Veterans may face an uphill battle with the transition from the Armed Forces, trying to replicate life in the Armed Forces. It hurts a little, but the pain will not be there too long. You cannot relive the past and Britain needs you, and you can still put others in front of your own needs. You can teach loyalty, commitment and resolve to take on anything. You can make a significant difference in the lives of others.
Education focuses on science, maths, language, literature and the arts, but it is not complete without moral courage. Moral courage is the willingness to defend your beliefs — and that willingness depends on your knowing why you embrace your ideas. Veterans can help all around them to explore and apply the concepts of citizenship, commitment, courage, integrity, patriotism and sacrifice.
While the transition to Civvy Street brings new challenges, on the whole the British public welcomes Veterans. As a Veteran, your country needs your experience, intellect, and character. Although no longer in uniform you still have a role in providing security and continued health of our nation. No matter what you choose to do next, you will continue to make a difference. The opportunity for leadership is yours.
There is no doubt that veterans will join ranks with business leaders, volunteers, and the public servants of the UK’s communities. As a Veteran, you have made a mark in the Armed Forces, and you represent the strength of the United Kingdom. As Veterans, you will set the example for the next generations to follow.
Veterans have a continued duty to our country. Your country needs your talent, your leadership, your experience. The United Kingdom needs your leadership as we continue our transition into the 21st century.This Land of Hope and Glory is not a land of yobs and drunks, Veterans through example, leadership, and moral courage can make it a land that can make everybody proud. If you think that the Britain you once knew no longer exists, step forward and make that change.
Winston Churchill possessed profuse courage. The most distinctive and significant kind of courage is moral courage, the quality of not only about being brave, or simply knowing what one ought to do, but acting upon what one knows to be right. Veterans have that strength of character borne out of service in the Armed Forces to combine bravery with the willingness to sacrifice personal interests; that produces real moral courage.
It is the things that a Veteran has experienced in life that is going to make an impact on someone else. At the very least, you can make someone’s day better. You will have the satisfaction of having the courage to do the right thing and setting an example all around you.
“The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation to ensure that those who serve, those who have served, and their families are treated fairly.” The Armed Forces Covenant annual report 2016.
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