75% of them are ex-military, however I am one of the quarter who are not. Before I left University, the only connection I had to the Military was living directly under the flight path for jets coming in to RAF Coningsby. When I left University I went straight in to a job on the base and worked there for three years; so when I came to Inzpire I had some exposure to the RAF, but I was of course still a civilian.
So what is it like working in a Company where the vast majority of my colleagues are ex-military? Well firstly, there’s the language. Everyone knows the Military love an acronym. Whether it’s ASDOT, DOTC, JFAC, JTAC, AWS or AWC, everything seems to be in capital letters. Sometimes you have to tell your colleagues to stop mid-conversation and ask them to repeat everything they’ve said for the last 5 minutes but in full, complete sentences. From my perspective as the Marketing and Communications Manager for the company, part of my role is to ensure that none of these lesser known acronyms slip in to our external communications. I need to make it as easy as possible for people all over the World to understand the descriptions of our products and services, and not all acronyms used by the British Armed Forces are universally recognised terms.
During my time with Inzpire, I have been privileged to have had access to places rarely seen by civilians. I’ve sat in Typhoons, Tornados and Apaches. I’ve sat in the control rooms of live exercises, and pretended I understood what was going on when all the squiggly dots were hurtling around over the North Sea on the screen in front of me. I’ve taken part in Synthetic battles in simulators (I won’t give up the day job), and I’ve sat in training exercises with multiple nations in one room. I’ve accompanied the RAF on Force Development and team building trips abroad. The privilege of being able to access some of these sites, and take part in military-organised events is one of the best things about working in a Defence company like Inzpire.
For me, one of the most special things about working in a Defence company as a civilian is being in the presence of people who have achieved so much in their lives. We have people in Inzpire who have served with the Armed Forces – both in the air and on the ground – in conflicts all over the World. We have a number of Distinguished Flying Crosses in the business, which are awarded for bravery whilst flying in Operations. It’s really humbling to sit and listen to stories of how my colleagues risked their own lives to save others. Stories like those epitomise the mentality of everyone in the Company in some way. Here at Inzpire we have a saying: “In the Military you never leave a man behind. At Inzpire, we will never leave you behind”. With employees in the Company who voluntarily put themselves in the line of fire to save others, you know that someone is always going to have your back, no matter the situation.
Of course, along with tales of heroic bravery, working in a Company where 75% of your colleagues are ex-military means there are also some “I-can’t-breathe-because-I-can’t-stop-laughing!” type stories from various alcohol-fuelled Dining In Nights, Pilot’s Lunches, Christmas Draws, and just your average Tuesday nights… but I couldn’t possibly share any of them. If you want to hear those stories, you’ll have to join us and find out for yourself!
It is inevitable that with so many people who have served in the Armed Forces, Inzpire’s culture is going to be similar to that of the Military. Many people have likened walking in to our kitchen to walking in to a Squadron Crewroom. For me, working at Inzpire is truly the best of both worlds. I get some of the Military culture, opportunities to work closely alongside them every day and be part of their experiences, but I still go back to my own house and my other half every night; which is something many in the Military can’t do. It truly is a great balance between the Military and “civvy street”.
And as long as I still have some involvement – no matter how small – in Inzpire’s mission to provide support to those that voluntarily put themselves in harm’s way, in the hope that they may return safely to their families, then that’s a pretty special balance.
If you would like to find out more about careers with Inzpire – whether you are one of the 25% or 75% – please click here