Peter Brace, Squadron Sergeant Major (SSM) at 220 Medical Squadron, has dedicated 30 years to the Reserve Forces. He reflects on his remarkable experience…
“In October 1985, I joined my local Territorial Army Unit (TA) 220 Field Ambulance (V) and completed a two week training course to become a trained soldier. I had never been away from home for more than a holiday. After that was completed I returned to the unit as a driver in the RCT (Royal Corp of Transport) where I completed a Class 3 driving qualification and attended a large exercise in Germany called Lion heart. This was a challenge for me as I had never driven abroad before in a car not alone a BFA (Battle Field Ambulance).”
Two years later, Peter made the decision to change career to focus more on catering in the military and was transferred to the Army Catering Corp (ACC). “I trained as a chef at Class 1 to Class 3 level, which is a grade above an NVQ, and completed a JKCD (Junior Kitchen Catering Duties) and a SKCD (Senior Kitchen Catering Duties) and moved up the ranks from a Private soldier to Master Chef of Staff Sergeant Rank. During this time I completed all the yearly annual camps and catered for all the Officers and Senior Ranks official functions, along with many unit social functions.”
I was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and served with QLR (Queens Lancashire Regiment) and 3 Medical Regiment as their Master Chef dealing with feeding over 1800 soldiers and local employed staff at Basra Palace, Iraq. During my time as a chef, the ACC disbanded and changed to the Royal Logistic Corp (RLC) and I finished as a chef in February 2009 with a career and promotional prospect.”
Peter joined the Post Office in February 1990 as a postman and moved into a managerial grade in no time at all. With a career in the Postal Service and Reserve Forces, Peter was able to develop and adapt his expertise in the different sectors. “Both of my careers have complemented each other by combining my Royal Mail managerial skills with my Territorial Army/Reserve leadership skills and getting the best out of both. Both employers have benefitted from this union.”
Having retrained in the Royal Army Medical Corp (RAMC) as a Combat Medical Technician (CMT), Peter is also a trained CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear) Instructor and an All Arms Drill Instructor. After a promotion to WO2 (Warrant Officer Class 2), Peter now works as the Squadron Sergeant Major at 220 Medical Squadron, part of 254 Medical Regiment which is based at the Army Reserve Centre, Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge.
“I can honestly say over my 30 years in the TA/Reserves I have never been disappointed with all I have done and all I have been able to do.”
Find out more…
If you would like to know more about a career in the Army Reserve then come along to an Open Day at Warley Army Reserve Centre on Saturday 31st January, hosted by 254 Medical Regiment. Click here for more information on the Open Day or call 01245 244800.