Soldier On Ambassador and BAE employee Jeremy Satchell reflects on the solemnity of remembrance and the honour of serving his country.
Commemoration and remembrance are an important part of our society’s make-up. Whether it be for a passed loved one, a tragedy or a significant milestone taking the time from our day-to-day activities to come together and pay respects is not only the right thing to do, it helps us to learn and grow as individuals and a community.
Some say that there is no greater honour than to serve your country. For me, being a member of the Australian Regular Army was an immense privilege and an experience I hold dear. In 2017 I made the difficult decision to resign in order to settle my family and explore an alternate career path which has led me into the defence industry sector. Knowing that the work I do each and every day is contributing to those that still wear our nation’s uniform is immensely fulfilling, but still a distant second from actual service!
Each year we publicly commemorate events such as Remembrance Day and Anzac Day. These days provide some stark focus for us all to acknowledge the great sacrifice that so many have made. For me, Anzac Day is like no other. A day of pride, respect and time for reflection. I love the stillness and silence of a chilly dawn service, complete with poignant words of The Ode and a bugler who also plays the Last Post with such passion. There is something about that minute of silence, which seems to bring us all together as a nation, which I’ve never felt replicated, anywhere in the world. Of course, the subsequent crunchy Anzac biscuits and warming tot of rum at 0600h is also quite unique!
But we must forget veteran-related issues outside of these commemorative events. Each and every day, we, as the BAE Systems Australia team, seek to ensure we are supporting our veteran community positively.
While I find the tag of ‘veteran’ slightly disconcerting and embarrassing, I’m slowly learning that it is in fact a label of respect and an absolute honour to be able to count myself within such an exemplary group of women and men. I’m extremely passionate about removing negative connotations associated with service and reshaping the narrative as we progress through the 21st century. Our society needs more people with respectful morals and ethical values, and our service and veteran community lead the way in demonstrating these. These are values our business embraces also, and we welcome the opportunity to provide employment for our veteran community.
Over the past four years, I’ve had the honour of being a Soldier On Ambassador. Personally, I seek to support Soldier On with their employment programs, utilising my personal and professional network and a mentoring approach. When I was transitioning, I was well supported by a few key people. It’s immensely fulfilling to be able to pay this effort forward.
This role complements my involvement with our Veteran Advisory Committee as we are able to align our efforts with those of Soldier On and also explore opportunities where we can leverage each other’s resources. There are some exceptional case studies of individuals who have benefited through our business relationship with Soldier On.
We are continuing to position BAE Systems Australia as the veteran employer of choice and develop our internal culture to be increasingly supportive of our people. This will ultimately aid retention but also ensure our veterans are valued, recognised and appreciated – each and every day.
I implore everyone to take the time to reflect on how this group of people have shaped and contributed to our nation, not just on our key dates of Anzac Day or Remembrance Day. We must continue to embrace the legacy they leave us and drive forward the examples they set. And most importantly, we must never forget those that paid the ultimate price in the service of our nation.
To those that have served, and continue to serve, Australia says thank you.