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Jim Bridgeman joined the Royal Marines at the age of 17 with the intention of serving a full 22 years, but his world was rocked after 19 years when he found out he was to be medically discharged.
A Platoon Weapons Instructor, Jim had a love for all things soldiering, chasing operations with an inner desire to take the fight to whoever stands in the way of positive progression around the globe. Jim got his wish and served alongside “some of the most courageous determined people” he could ever have wished to meet.
With no idea what to after his medical discharge, Jim got in touch with RMA - The Royal Marines Charity Employment and Education team, helping Jim by setting up work placements and supporting Jim in his search for local employers.
From these key placements, Jim quickly got an idea of what he liked and what he didn’t, finding the dynamic changing world of Project Management the best path for him.
As a result, Jim went on to complete the APM Project Management Qualification IMAC Strategic Management & Leadership which topped up his Level 5 CMI from SCC to a Level 7.
Meanwhile, busy in the background were the Employment and Education team, introducing Jim to family-owned dairy company, Yeo Valley, where Jim has now successfully started his new career.
“There’s never a dull day in the Valley, I’m always out and about, being adaptable is probably the best transferable skill I gained in the Corps. The Directors recognise work-life balance is important too, I got sort of told off once for staying too late!! And they let me grow my hair! Have faith there are some great employers out there! Stability in a well-paid, 9-5 Monday to Friday job has been great and enabled me to focus on family time.”
James’ advice to anyone finding themselves in a similar situation is to never lose sight at the end of the tunnel. “There is always value to cracking on; live by the Commando Spirit & Values and be ‘The First to Understand; The First to Adapt and Respond; and The First to Overcome!’”
“Special thanks to my Wife and Mother for being you, Major Andy Shuttleworth for your swift and decisive action as well as your understanding and support, Barney Barnett (Former RM) and Dave Andrews for being true friends, Andrew Quinlan (Former RM) who put Yeo Valley on to The Royal Marines Charity Charity and the Employment and Education team well as everyone else at The Royal Marines Charity for your unrelenting and ongoing support through what was a very difficult time.”
If you have been or are facing medical discharge, or know someone that is then please get in touch. We have a range of opportunities and contacts who are here to help with your transition. In the first instance please contact the Employment and Education Team via this email address or on 01392 346421/29.
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