We care about our Armed Forces community

Here, Fleet Manager and Army Reservist Geoff Speight explains what serving his country means to him – and how it feels to work for a company that cares about supporting soldiers.

Mansfield-based Fleet Manager Geoff Speight has earned his stripes, both at Marston’s and in the British Army. He joined us in 1979 and has balanced his role as an Army Reservist alongside his day job for the past 35 years. He’s a passionate and committed military man.

The Army first made Geoff stand to attention after leaving school. “Me and a friend were at a loose end,” said Geoff. “So we joined the Boys’ Army at 16. I went in to regular service at 18-years-old and left at 21.”

But within 15 months of leaving regular service, Geoff missed the responsibility, discipline and friendship the Army had given him. So, in 1981, he signed up as a Reservist.

“Reservists are highly trained, part-time soldiers who can work alongside regular soldiers on overseas missions,” says Geoff. “We’re paid to train and learn everything that a full-time soldier learns, so we’re ready to go into active duty and fight for our country if we’re called up.”

Geoff received that call in 2003 at the height of the Gulf War. He was posted in Iraq for four months as a Combat Support Troop Commander and it was his responsibility to support regular soldiers in the famous Royal Engineers.

Having served his country so proudly – and for so long – it’s no surprise that Geoff supports Marston’s latest commitment to the Forces by its signing of the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant. It’s a clear salute from our business that we care about the communities we live and work in – and we want to give something back.

It will help the Armed Forces community in a variety of ways. For example, we’ll have HR policies in place to support Reservists during their training, ensure equal opportunities for ex-service personnel and veterans, and support any of our people who want to get involved with their local cadet corps or do some fundraising for wounded veterans.

“I think it’s great,” said Geoff. “In my experience, Forces people are reliable, honest, hard-working and always do their best. I work with a lot of guys who are ex-military and they really stand out.

“People on the street recognise that, but a lot of businesses don’t. So it’s good to see Marston’s supporting our Armed Forces through this Covenant.”

Geoff sees major benefits in life as a Reservist – and would recommend it to teammates looking to develop new skills and boost their confidence.

“It has rewards – you get paid, you have excitement, you travel, you make friends,” he added. “I’ve travelled the world, from Cyprus to Iraq, Kuwait, Germany, Holland, the Falklands and Northern Ireland. It gives you opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise.”

After 35 years, Geoff really is the top gun of Reservists. He’s climbed the ladder from Private to Major and now, at 57, holds the vital role of Quartermaster, inspecting the kit, food and weapons that sustain our soldiers in the heat of the battlefield.

Geoff cares about the military – and is proud that Marston’s does too.

“Signing the Covenant is a positive step forward and I hope it encourages more people to become Reservists,” he said.

How to get involved

1. If you’re a Reservist or you support our Armed Forces in any other ways, we’d love to hear your story. Click to view our contact details.
2. Use the upcoming Armed Forces Day on 25 June to show your support by fundraising for Help for Heroes or holding an event at your Marston’s location.
3. Look out for more details of how we’re caring for the Armed Forces, coming soon.

Our teammates care about our service, products and people. Click below to watch our mini-film now and see how it’s making us ‘The Place to Be’.


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