On the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, a minute’s silence is observed to remember the soldiers who lost their lives fighting in the First and Second World Wars. On this date in 1918 the guns of the First World War stopped firing and the war was officially declared over.
At PeopleIN we honour the men and women who sacrificed their lives for the freedoms we hold dear and we’re also proud to have a number of ex-service men and women working across our Group.
We asked Tony Ricketts (Techforce General Manager, South Australia), David Sapparth (Chief Operating Office of our project management business Project Partners) and PeopleIN Head of Technology, Matt Lecchi about their military careers and what the 11th of November means to them:
Why did you join the military?
Tony - I was in cadets at school before I joined the Australian Regular Army at 15 as an apprentice carpenter. Later, I went to The Royal Australian Engineers as a combat engineer and served for six years.
David - I joined as I didn’t see myself working a desk job, was always up for adventure and I wanted a free degree. I was an Army Officer who served in engineers and intelligence.
Matt – I wanted to get out of my hometown and travel. The added appeal of working in a technical trade and gaining real world experience also drew me in. I was in the Signals Corps which provide communication support to broad segments of the Army.
As someone who served, what does Remembrance Day mean to you?
Tony - It's to remember the sacrifices not only of the soldiers but their families, their communities and to remember the futility of so many lives lost in war. My grandfather also served on the battlefields of France in the Battle of Fromelles and suffered horrendous injuries. It's an honour to serve and represent your country.
David - Remembrance Day is a chance for me to remember all the people I have worked with across Australia and around the world during my service. It’s also a chance to pause and reflect how fortunate my life has been unlike others I have worked with. (It’s also my youngest daughter’s birthday!)
Matt - Growing up it was a way to honour and reflect on the sacrifices made since WWI. However I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2007, so it now hits closer to home when thinking about the sacrifice and loss throughout that campaign.
How did this time set you up for your career after leaving the military?
Tony - It taught me self-sufficiency, how to work in a team, take instructions and how to “serve” others but also to lead from the front when required.
David - I learnt and experienced a lot during my time in the service. Focusing on leadership, an ongoing professional pride, resilience to deal with constant change and the ability to be work effectively with ambiguity have helped me succeed in my current career.
Matt - It’s easy as a young bloke to take the experience for granted but the training equips you to deal with adversity, stressful environments, and to handle pressure. Today I look back and appreciate my time in the Army and the foundation it provided to hone resilience and grit which (not surprisingly) is now a growing learning and development area for people across multiple industries.