From the military to a health and safety role

A SOLID background in health and safety and an intrinsic knowledge of safety procedures made for a successful transition from Regimental Sergeant Major to senior health and safety advisor for David Marr.  

David served for 24 years in the Royal Engineers, rising to the rank of Warrant Officer Class One, Regimental Sergeant Major. He served all over the world including on operations in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Rwanda and Macedonia.

After leaving the army, he went straight into a job with a commercial diving company, using qualification gained during his time in the military before obtaining a job as a construction health and safety advisor with BG Tanzania.

He is currently working as a senior HSE with Total E&P UK Ltd, after health and safety roles working for the BG group in Tanzania, Tunisia and Egypt.

Transferable ex-military skills and knowledge

“Being in the Royal Engineers is all about construction, engineering and so on, and that goes hand in hand with safety,” said David.

“Policies and procedures are there and they must be followed. If you go off and start doing your own thing, people get hurt.”

Many of the skills David acquired during his army career have proved invaluable in the transition to civilian life. The military taught him to be an excellent communicator with strong coaching capabilities, once used to lead soldiers, now to mentor and train staff.

He has a sound knowledge of UK safety legislation and regulation implementation of HSE initiatives and a raft of qualifications including from the National Examination Board in Occupational Health and Safety (NEBOSH), the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and City & Guilds.

Making the most of courses on offer

He says taking advantage of training on offer could prove to be vital for ex-military personnel making the transition into civilian life.

“If you can get on any courses, even if you don’t think they seem applicable now, do them. There is always something you can get out of them.

“When you transition out of the military, you don’t always have the experience you might need to get into companies if you haven’t actually done the job but you will have key skills which you can use.”

Ex-military skills and qualities

David is described on his CV as “possessing a strong drive to succeed and results focused when working within the management team to meet campaign targets & achieve results. (He is) pro-active and resourceful bringing solutions to the table rather than problems.

“(He is) adaptable, innovative and standards driven, demanding the highest safety performance from everyone by taking the lead in safety on any project.”

Find out more about recruiting ex-armed forces personnel

To find out more about David, or any of our SaluteMyJob candidates, please contact us at or call 01249 691415.