I was able to transfer my military skills to civilian equivalents
Paul Montgomery, 48, joined the Army in 1988 at the age of 16, originally from Bangor Northern Ireland, he followed his grandfather’s advice to ensure he gets a trade. He joined the Royal Corps of Transport as a driver and completed a year’s basic training at the Junior Leaders Regiment based in Colerne, Wiltshire.
Although physically demanding, the leadership skills he learnt during that time set him up for a successful military career and saw him right through to his transition to a successful businessman in Plymouth.
Paul started his career as a Radio Operator and pushed himself further to become an instructor in many areas such as Skill at Arms, Map Reading, Nuclear Biological and Chemical (NBC) and Battlefield First Aid and soon found himself training recruits for a couple of years.
Following his first operational tour in Iraq in 1991 he deployed to the region a further 3 times and later to Afghanistan. Other tours included Bosnia and in his home country, Northern Ireland which provided him with a totally new perspective having spent his childhood years there.
Paul left the Army as a Warrant Officer 6 years ago and has been in business for 9 years, unusually starting to trade 3 years before he was due to leave. Realising that he was coming to the end of his service he attended a locksmith course and when he finished, he started to put into practice what he had learnt. He sees this as one of his best decisions he ever made because it gave him vital locksmithing experience and a business sense before he left the Army.
He told us: “As a soldier, planning becomes second nature and we were always taught to plan early. I was due to leave the Army in a few years and I started to plan what my future would look like. A friend of mine suggested locksmithing and the more I looked into it, the more interested I became. I attended a course 3 years before I was due to leave which is unusually early, but I wanted a head start. I used all of my spare time to practice the craft and slowly built a client base”.
Paul went on to say: “The management skills that I learnt throughout my career were invaluable at this time, and I considered I had a bit of a head start with the business because of this. I had the confidence and personality to get out there and succeed. I was able to understand where my military skills transferred to civilian equivalents”.
“Communication, confidence, punctuality, professionalism and respect are skills and qualities that have been instilled in everyone throughout their military careers and I consider them to be just as important in my business. This is quite possibly why my business is now a multi award winning company.”