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HARRY MACLEOD, ARMY RESERVIST Keeping one step ahead of the competition

HARRY MACLEOD, ARMY RESERVIST Keeping one step ahead of the competition


15 Oct, 2018

The Reserve Forces are an integral part of the nation’s Armed Forces. With the government’s plans to increase the size of the Reserves to create a more balanced Armed Forces structure, their contribution will be more important than ever. In our new series, read about some of those who’ve already joined up – and how to find out more if you decide to follow suit.

Once a Regular, now an Army Reservist with 3 Royal Anglian, Harry Macleod knows more than most how to navigate the military arena. As production director for The Development Network, his Reservist experience keeps him at the cutting edge of his industry.

Headquartered in Chelmsford, Essex, The Development Network creates customer-centric conferences, exhibitions, seminars and webinars dedicated to the military marketplace. On a daily basis, Harry is responsible for identifying future trends within the defence industry and, alongside a dedicated team, organising conferences across the globe.

Nathan Martin, the company’s founder and CEO, comments, ‘Harry’s role is vital to our business. Our largest revenue stream comes from conferences and exhibitions focusing on the defence marketplace. As a Reservist, his knowledge of the military environment is current and second to none. It holds major credibility with our clients and staff.’

People are always concerned about work/life balance as a Reservist, but the beauty is you can scale your Reservist commitments up or down depending on personal circumstances

Away from civilian life, Harry is Officer Commanding of a machine gun platoon. He’s responsible for selecting, training and leading 25 soldiers in order to deliver special weapons capability within 3 Royal Anglian. ‘The hands-on experience definitely informs my decision making in the office. Not only am I aware of the latest technologies but also how satisfied the soldiers are with the equipment.

‘Being a Reservist is not purely a career-led decision. There’s also a huge element of enjoyment. Being a part of well-structured organisation, in a positive environment surrounded by friends, certainly does wonders for life satisfaction. Where else do you get to handle up-to-date equipment and meet friends for life? Having recently become a dad for the second time, the extra pocket money comes in handy too!

‘People are always concerned about work/life balance as a Reservist, but the beauty is you can scale your Reservist commitments up or down depending on personal circumstances. Naturally there are times when the commitment is greater, especially during deployments, but the unit is there to support the Reservist and their employer during every step of the process.’

The Development Network has recently signed the Armed Forces Covenant and achieved a Bronze Employer Recognition Scheme Award. Keen to continue its support, Nathan Martin adds, ‘Our business has a strong moral compass, and supporting the local Armed Forces, especially Reservists, feels like a natural fit. We are keen to be involved with defence engagement opportunities across our region, and support those who serve or have served with their career path.’

Thinking of joining?

Reservists have, in the past 15 years or so, been called out to serve on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, to name just two examples, resulting in many employers experiencing the mobilisation of one or more employees. Research suggests that 87% of Reservist employers who have experienced mobilisation were very supportive. This is good news, as Reservists could not carry out their important role, and train to the high standards of professionalism required, without the cooperation of their employers.

Working in pressurised conditions during training or periods of mobilisation inevitably develops Reservists’ self-confidence, but it also helps them develop skillsthat many organisations in the civilian world don’t have the time or money to develop. In fact, research has found that the average employer would have to pay more than £8,000 a year to purchase the same training in civilian skills as their employees receive from their Reservist training. Skills gained include soft skills such as leadership, initiative, decision making and working as a team – all important attributes for people working in many different sectors.

The government wants to make joining the Reserves more attractive to ex-Regulars and, to this end, has simplified the Regular-to-Reserve transfer process, reinforcing it with financial incentives such as the Commitment Bonus. Introduced in 2013, this provides a payment of £5,000 over three years for ex-Regular transfers. In addition, Service leavers will be able to retain their rank on transfer to the Reserves and receive access to higher rates of Training Bounty on account of prior regular service.

Throughout history, Reservists have provided the capacity to expand the Regular Forces to face new challenges when needed, and it would be impossible for the UK to mount a major military operation without the support of the Reserves.

To find out more about joining the East Anglia Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, like Harry, visit


Defence Relationship Management (DRM) is the single point of contact that links employers with the MoD. To discover more, visit


Find out more about the benefits of being a Reservist here:

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