It is with equal parts of sadness and pride that we are reporting that Mark Ormrod MBE has decided to take the next steps in his incredible journey, and leave the current role that he holds at the Charity. Mark has, and always will be, an integral part of our family.
We are not saying goodbye, but the time has come for him to open the next chapter and we can promise you that he has some incredible opportunities available to him, and we are all right behind him. Mark will remain a Charity Ambassador and will be a familiar face at our events, so, for now, we will say au revoir.
A message from Mark:
Normally when people write these kind of letters they start with “it is with great sadness that I have to announce etc, etc…” but it isn’t with great sadness that I’m writing this letter but rather with great memories and a great deal of gratitude. After 10 incredible years with RMA – The Royal Marines Charity the time has come for me to hand in my letter of resignation, take a step back and let Mrs Ormrod wear the trousers for a little while whilst I figure out what the next phase of my life looks like.
So why now? Well during the first lockdown my wife Becky started a new job working with Veterans in and around Plymouth. I watched with pride as she very quickly went from a part time employee to a Manager and then onto become a member of the Senior Management Team working full time. With all of the other fun and games that last year threw at us all it became increasingly difficult to juggle work with family commitments and something had to give. For me it just felt right that after Becky had supported me for so long in everything that I do that she took the reigns and had her time to shine doing something that she’s very naturally gifted at which is also making a huge difference in people’s lives, and so the decision was made.
It wasn’t an easy decision as I’ve been here since 2010 back when it was just me, Richie, Charlie Hobson, Wendy, Renee and Karen and I’ve watched for the last decade as the charity has grown exponentially in size, strength and support whilst also bringing together an incredibly strong and committed team that continues to thrive and remains resilient in the face of some very challenging times. I’ve had some great times and met some great people and those are the memories that I’m taking with me.
Before I do go I have to say a massive thank you to RMA – The Royal Marines Charity for everything they’ve done to support me and my family. When I was medically discharged in 2010 I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. Four weeks post discharge I received a phone call from the Chief Executive at the time Brigadier Charlie Hobson and Operations Manager Richie Puttock offering me a job which I grabbed with one hand and one hook. Since then I’ve not only had a job that has allowed me to feel fulfilled, useful and given me a purpose but at every stage of the charity’s development and during every change in leadership & management I’ve been supported at a level far beyond anything I ever expected, from help with my prosthetics through to encouragement and support to represent the UK at the Invictus Games, it really has been more than just job, it’s been a lifeline.
I’ll be sad to leave such a great team/family behind but the good news is that I will remain part of the team as one of the Charity’s official Ambassadors where I’ll still do whatever I can to raise awareness and funds for the cause.
I don’t need to tell anyone reading this what it means to be part of the Corps Family and how important it is to us all, the serving Corps gave me 10yrs and the charity gave me 10yrs but just because I no longer wear a uniform or a branded polo shirt it doesn’t mean I’m no longer a Bootneck and I’ll continue to carry those Bootneck values and morals with me into the next phase of my life forever grateful that they were engrained into me all those years ago.
All that remains is to say thank you to you, the Corps Family! Whenever I’ve needed you you’ve been there and that support is one of the reasons why I’m so comfortable stepping away now into the big bad world because I know the lads (and their families) will always have my back.
It’s been a pleasure, it’s been an honour and it’s been a privilege, thank you all for everything.
Chief Executive Jonathan Ball adds:
Like the rest of the team at RMA, I was gutted at first to receive Mark’s resignation after 10 years’ service, because he is such an inspiration to us all on a daily basis.
Thousands know his story - twice pronounced dead, not expected to survive, but made a remarkable recovery, the first triple amputee to survive on the battlefield. Told by his consultant that he would never walk again, 14 weeks after his injury, he marched onto parade on his new prosthetic limbs to be awarded his Operational Service Medal, a remarkable physical, psychological and emotional achievement.
Mark was adamant that he wouldn’t be a drain on society, so joined RMA as manager of the then newly-established Royal Marines Shop, which he got off the ground. He then turned his focus to support of members as Welfare and Operations Assistant. His talent for engaging and motivating people of all ages soon became apparent, not least after he published his autobiography ‘Man Down’, which is in the early stages of being dramatised for the big screen, with filming starting soon.
He is a wizard at social media communications, and has single-handedly (literally) dragged RMA’s outreach operations into the 21st century. He has established hundreds of thousands of followers, enabling him to engage with a wide variety of people, from the youngest cadet to the oldest veteran, a natural skill which has nothing to do with his disability but which he uses to challenge the whole idea that disability should define achievement.
Mark epitomises the Commando Mindset: 1st to understand, the 1st to adapt and respond and the 1st to overcome. So he uses his experiences as an example and encouragement to others in the civilian world who have faced life changing events or illnesses. He regularly speaks at fundraising events and has personally enabled the raising of millions of pounds in donations.
He never stops challenging himself: he ran 3500 miles across the USA to raise awareness of wounded veterans, he cycled 3000 miles around Britain, using a hand cycle powered by his one remaining arm; at the Invictus Games, he won 11 medals, including 5 gold — one of which he won for an event he hadn’t trained for. He lives his life with no lim(b)its, motivating thousands of Royal Marines, and tens of thousands of others, to be all that they can be.
Mark is a genuinely humble person, and it’s typical that he should step aside to allow Becky to develop her career. But he won’t stop there: he will continue to work tirelessly for the Royal Marine and wider veteran military community, and will continue to inspire. We are delighted he’s agreed to remain an ambassador for RMA-The Royal Marines Charity, and we are determined to keep him close! Thank you Mark – here’s hoping you have the bright future you deserve!
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