Michael Hall

Service Delivery Manager

SERVED: 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery

CURRENT: No current military positions held

AWARDED: Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, Northern Ireland Service, UNIFCYP(United Nations Force in Cyprus)

When did you join Pinnacle and what is your role?

I joined Pinnacle in July 2009 as an Assistant Facilities Manager. This role involved managing 10 Primary schools in the Leeds area covering Health and Safety, Human Resources, Recruitment and Training of Caretaking, Cleaning, Catering and Grounds staff. In 2012 Pinnacle restructured in Leeds and I changed roles to a Service Delivery Manager with more responsibility for the services provided to the schools and grounds maintenance.

Your link to service / details?

I joined the military in September 1978 as a Junior soldier at the Junior Leaders Regiment Royal Artillery. After completing 15 months basic training, transferred to the Royal Horse Artillery in Germany as part of the BAOR (British Army of the Rhine), which then changed to BFG (British Forces Germany) which supported NATO operations during the Cold War of the 70s and 80s.
Throughout my 24-year career I enjoyed a number of challenging roles including Anti-Tank Missile Operator, Officer’s Mess Manager, Sergeant’s Mess Manager, Transport Manager and finally Regimental Welfare Officer, reaching the rank of Sergeant and retiring in 2002.

Any activities you still do within the military arena?

None at present.

What did you enjoy most about life in the military?

Joining the military was a leap of faith at 16, apart from being a member of the Scout movement I had never been away from home and being one of 60 recruits that autumn made me wonder what I had let myself in for.

The training was relentless with the added explosive mixture of 59 other lads from so many different backgrounds made for a gruelling 15 months and with only 28 of us left at the end made me realise how much I had learnt from that experience and how it would stand me in good stead for the years to come.

The military gave me a sense of belonging which you would not find anywhere else in the world and coupled with the opportunities presented in my career, shaped me for where I am today and yes, there were times when I would think “is it time to go?”, but then the training conditions you to keep going and succeed even when it looks a lost cause.

What do you miss most?

Being waited on hand and foot, living in the Sergeants Mess. On a more serious note, the comradery, banter, humour, looking out for each other, and the pride of wearing the Queens uniform.

What attracted you to the military in the first place?

I joined the military as it offered a variety of roles, experiences and opportunities to progress in life that were not available in Civilian Life at the time due to “The winter of discontent”. This was when the miners, railways and many other parts of the country were striking.

How did you find the transfer to civilian life?

I was 40 when I retired from the Army and in my final year I was uncertain about what I wanted to do as I was too young to give up working. On one occasion attending a Careers Workshop the tutor suggested that my ideal job would be “Member of Parliament”, needless to say I did not take his advice. With my wife I was able to buy my first home, although this proved difficult to manage along with finding suitable employment and after a few rocky years and different jobs eventually found my niche with Pinnacle.

What would be your biggest piece of advice to anyone currently making the step from the military to civilian life?

Never think you are not good enough to succeed in a world that is quite alien to you, persevere and never give up knocking on doors.

What do you think the single biggest thing is that we could do as a company to make a positive impact for the military community within Pinnacle?

Create a partnership with military resettlement establishments to assist those that are leaving the military and embarking on a new chapter in their lives, providing that support will reap rewards for both parties.

What made you join the Armed Forces Network at Pinnacle?

When I left the Army in 2002 I was glad to make the break as I felt it was the right time. Having now been with Pinnacle for almost 11 years, I feel that I can use the experiences I went through then to help others who will go through that same process and face the same challenges.

What would you say to others considering joining the network?

It is a good hub to be able to meet other like-minded people who have shared the same experiences and learn from each other on completing the transition.

Any interesting facts?

I enjoy developing my garden and taking on a new challenge. I have also just recently completed a level 3 diploma in Leadership and Management through Pinnacle Group.