Deborah Crampton - ESS General Manager, Prince William of Gloucester Barracks
I have been in the Army Reserve for 14 years and I'm a Lance Corporal in 160 Transport Squadron Royal Logistics Corps which I joined in Oct 2021. Previously, I served in 167 Catering Support Regiment Royal Logistics Corps. My husband serves in the Army, meaning I've always had an interest in the military and thought it would be a great way to travel and learn new skills and, after attending a familiarisation weekend at the 167 Regiment Headquarters in Grantham, I became hooked.
During my time in the 167 Catering Support Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, I travelled with the British Army to several different locations across the world, including USA, Gibraltar, and Germany, providing catering to Army personnel in many environments
In April 2020, the Army called up Reservists in support of the nation’s response to COVID-19, as part of Operation Rescript. I was mobilised for 12 months, stationed out of Normandy Barracks, which is based in the Garrison town of Aldershot, as part of the support team for the staff from HQ, Standing Joint Command (SJC) which is the taskforce responsible for the military’s operational response to Covid-19 and JMC(SE).
Callum Silvester - Head of Hospitality, Canary Wharf, London
I have worked for Restaurant Associates several times throughout my career and have been in my current post for the past 2 years. I am responsible for the Hospitality, Events and Fine Dining operations within an accounting firm in Canary Wharf, that encompasses 7 floors of operations, and a team of roughly 50 staff. On average, we serve circa 21,000 covers a month and this can be anything from a high-profile client dinner to a bespoke event for 300. While I have a really busy job, I was really keen to be a Reservist too. I come from a military family, so for me, serving my country was a natural path for me to take and I love that I can do it alongside my day job.
I have served in the Royal Navy Reserves since 2020, and I am attached to HMS PRESIDENT, located in Tower Bridge, London. I undertook the Accelerated Officers Programme, which was an intensive block of training, which culminated in my passing out as a Midshipman from Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC). This course is a condensed version of the regular officer training programme and is styled as a ‘Zero to Hero’ type training. We were taught military basics, CLM (Command, Leadership and Management) skills as well as undertaking practical assessments such as PLT (personal leadership tasks and weapons handling).
Since passing out, the training that the Navy has provided me with has allowed me to develop in my civilian life and job, enabling me to become a more rounded leader. There are many skills and learning I have been able to apply to my job with Restaurant Associates.
The next stage of my service involves my specialisation training, and with any luck the opportunity to deploy on one of the Royal Navy’s Platforms. So far, I have served onboard HMS Prince of Wales, however I am hoping to add to the list! One highlight is passing out of BRNC, carrying a family sword of more than 60 years old. I urge anyone to explore reservist opportunities. My words do not do it justice, and I am very grateful for the support Restaurant Associates give me. It’s great that I am afforded an additional 10 days leave for training, something that I know a lot of my oppo’s don’t have.