Armed Forces in Industry - Steve Pestell

Featured stories - Publication date : 20 June 2022
Armed Forces in Industry - Steve Pestell

Armed Forces Week is a great opportunity for people around the UK to show their thanks and gratitude to the individuals who make up our Armed Forces, and all that they do to protect our nation.

Here at Airbus, we are incredibly proud of our relationship with the Armed Forces community. We hold a Gold level award in the Defence Employee Recognition Scheme, which recognises our commitment to employing and supporting not only service leavers and veterans, but also their families. We also acknowledge that those who have served add a huge amount of value to the work that Airbus do. 

Here, Steve Pestell - Skynet 5 Remote Terminal Engineering Manager at Airbus Defence and Space and former Royal Navy Submariner talks about his time in the Royal Navy and the skills he’s been able to bring to industry.

Steve Pestell, Skynet 5 Remote Terminal Engineering Manager and former Royal Navy Submariner

My name is Steve Pestell and I served in the Royal Navy Submarine Service for 13 years. In 1996, I took voluntary Redundancy under Options for Change because we have a son with special needs and family circumstances required me to be at home more to support my wife. After leaving, I worked for a number of defence organisations before moving to Airbus, where I currently work as a Skynet 5 Remote Terminal Engineering Manager.

My time in the Royal Navy provided me with technical and leadership skills. I had a great platform for moving forward. Since then I have obtained a Masters in Engineering and C.Eng status and have been able to take on various management and leadership roles.  I am also able to interact with the customer because I understand them, I understand their requirements, their CONOPS and I speak their language.

I know from experience that it can be daunting when leaving the forces, and I’d tell those transitioning out, not to be afraid to ask questions. Be prepared to listen to people, even people who are younger and have less experience. In the Service you are used to the hierarchy and leading from the front, that doesn’t always work in industry.  One good aspect is that the services teaches you teamwork, which is a plus. Take your time, ease into “civvy street”, buddy up with someone who has already done it. There is all sorts of support to help the transition, and your skills in industry are invaluable.

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