Warriors Quest – Colin Kelly

I spent roughly 5 years in the Marines, did 2 tours of Herrick and was unfortunately medically discharged from service whilst I was on training for my 3rd.

It hit me extremely hard as I was a 22-year man and I felt like my dream had been ripped away from me. Many people could resonate with this feeling I am sure. Luckily for me, Maritime Security was a big thing at this precise time and the companies were crying out for people like me. I went and interviewed for 3 companies and received offers from all 3 and was fortunate to have the choice of which one I wanted to work for.

Leaving the marines didn’t seem so bad, now that I was going be getting paid triple the money I was usually on. In my 2ndyear I was made Team Leader and I believe I was the youngest person to be made TL in Maritime at that time. Probably down to me being necky and always pestering HQ to be made up. I just really wanted to climb that ladder and make a name for myself. I really enjoyed this job, I got to meet lads from all different walks of life, different cap badges with varied experiences of life before this job and we seemed to just get along. I made some of the best friends I’ve ever had during this time, friends that have looked out for each other to this day and I got to travel to world and spend most of my time on sunny beaches whilst getting paid. I also had the pleasure of having some bad experiences though. 1 particular time where myself and another ex Pat TL were held captive off the coast of Nigeria for 2 or so months. Again, on full pay, so who is complaining. Again I seemed to reach a point where I was getting bored and didn’t seem to see a route for progression. I didn’t get on much with the big wigs in London as they thought I was too opinionated, which I am and so I actively started looking at other jobs.

I first started looking at deep sea diving, which in all honesty im glad I didn’t go for. I was told of an opportunity to go land based in Iraq, but I had to do a HEAT course beforehand and get tested/selected before any offer of employment was offered. Whilst in transition I was home for quite a while and seemed to get myself into all sorts of trouble. Debt being one of them.

I went on to do the course and due to my management or team leadership experience I was given options of either going to do a PSD job, driving people around for a living in a job that I feel is no longer exciting, or I could have chosen to go into rig site management.

I wanted more responsibility, more exposure to opportunity and more room to grow, so I chose the rig management route where I finally deployed onto the company’s flag ship rig site for what was the most and still is the most demanding client.

I am still pretty much doing this same job now, albeit at the top level now. To save going into huge detail, I started managing 1 site, with 30+ guards and I now manage the largest PSC contracted rig site project in the middle east. This is in the space of 5 years!.

How have I done it? Well it comes down to building a reputation and delivering a service your client cannot get anywhere else. It comes down to seizing opportunities and seeing things in terms of longevity instead of what will make you happy short term. Many people moan about people like me because I have been successful, many of them being senior ranks in the military or lads that ive known in the past that think that they should be where I am. At the end of the day, you get in life what you put in. Things will not happen to you, just because. They happen because of your actions or in fact your inactions. I believe you always need to reinvest your time and money to back up your experience to further opportunities too and so I have used my time wisely over the years, pumping money into Management, Health and Safety and Security based qualifications. I have recently finished the SRMC course in the UK and I am currently about to embark on the final year of a Master’s Degree this September. This course alone has really made me stand out from the crowd.

I am 30 years old and I am being shortlisted down to a few professionals to run an entire country. At this present time, I am waiting for the final decision but whatever the outcome I am extremely happy that I am being considered for such senior level positions at my age. Others that are much older than me or were more senior in the Marines, will, and have looked down on me as if to say why me and not them. The better question is to ask this yourself. Why them and not me? What are they doing that I could be doing? I get it, most military lads love a good moan but once you are in the commercial world it is a different ball game. Your rank means nothing and you quite literally start from the beginning again.

Alongside this job I also decided to take an active part in raising awareness for mental health as I believed it was and is still a huge issue we face today. Not just the military, but everyone around the world is more aware of mental health and in turn people are now more susceptible to it. I am a keen competitive powerlifter and strongman and I thought I could somehow merge both things to come up with something positive. Through this idea grew “Lifting The Stress For Mental Health”, where I grew a team of 12 people who would attempt world records as a means to raise money and awareness. To date we have 3 World Records for Deadlifting, have raised thousands of pounds for charity and many lives in the process, according to our designated charity Rock2Recovery. We plan on attempting 2-3 more records in 2021 too. Personally I am also attempting 2 Individual World Records next year and I am also planning on running 100miles, solo and non-stop with 20-30kg of kit across Hadrian’s wall next year as a personal challenge. I also found the time to start my own Powerlifting division for a drug free powerlifting federation and I have ran many competitions for the North East, with all of the profits going to the same charity. That’s me to date. We all have our pasts, our issues and our own experiences and some are more than willing to share with others and I think this is great. We all need to open up more and discuss things so that we can understand situations better.