Susan Keir

My eighteen-year career has seen me serve exclusively within the Royal Logistic Corps of the British Army.

In that time, I have gained an excellent knowledge across the defence logistics spectrum, progressed as manager and leader and developed other skills outside of my vocational field.

As a logistician I have been employed in both first- and second-line accounting departments. I have managed stand-alone accounts throughout this period where effective forecasting, provisioning and delivery in-barracks and on Operations to high customer satisfaction has underpinned each role. Each role has been different and each account dynamic, with the complexity of work reflecting each promotion I have gained. This has culminated in my present role that sees me as a Warrant Officer and as such a logistics middle manager of all general equipment for three Very High Readiness and one Extremely High Readiness Medical Squadron working to 16 Air Assault Brigade. I now provide Subject Matter Expertise to assisting the logistics manager of all general and medical equipment on Operations and exercises over an extended supply line. I act as an advisor to the Command Team on all technical accounting procedures and liaison on logistic matters with military and civilian outside agencies on behalf of the logistics manager (Quartermaster).

My progression from Private Soldier to Warrant Officer in the space of eighteen years has meant I have had to develop my management and leadership skills in line with my vocational role. I have achieved this through the formal military Command, Leadership and Management syllabus. The final part of which has allowed me to develop my report and essay writing skills, my understanding of the theory of management has given me a comprehensive framework with which to manage and develop the soldiers under my command. However, the experience I have gained from having a varied and challenging career has also meant that I have been entrusted to ‘step up’ to carry out tasks of the rank above my current position that has seen me successfully attend and brief meetings at the senior command level.

Complementing my military experience has been my participation in the numerous activities that have been made available to me during my career. A keen sportswoman, I have played representative sport in in Athletics, Boxing, Netball and Football. Very much in line with my professional development, my sporting development has witnessed me go from team member to team organiser and mentor. This has given me the opportunity to produce formal written work outside of my vocational field. I have also represented the Royal Logistic Corps on the Corps Netball and Recruiting Team where my ability to present articulately and succinctly to a diverse and demanding audience was developed. This has stood me in good stead throughout and helped underpin the skills I have used to brief during my military career.

As a manager, I have had to set directions and inspire others to work together to achieve challenging outcome; I have fostered a good team relationship based upon an honest work ethic and respect for others. As the team changes with the assignment plot, new members are inducted into the Regiment and the department as a matter of course. I hold weekly briefs where tasks ahead and the standard expected are outlined and discussed to ensure that best practice is always achieved. I monitor progress with regular updates provided by the relevant team member. This allows for early intervention if a task is going astray as well as developing junior members of the team in their oral and written communication skills.