Colin Botfield


Lieutenant Colin Botfield.

Lieutenant Colin Botfield (49) is a Training Officer attached to Glasgow and Strathclyde University Royal Navy Unit (URNU) and a Staff Officer at Rosyth. In civilian life, Colin is a Chartered Certified Accountant. 

We caught up with Colin to find out all about his careers, both civilian and military. 

Tell us about your career as a Reservist, when and where did it all start, what’s your current role, and what made you want to join up?

I joined in 2012 in Glasgow. I had applied to join the Royal Navy in 1987, but after university I decided to become a Chartered Certified Accountant. However I always wanted to give the Royal Navy a try and, having sailed on the Clyde for 20 years, I joined the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR). I am a Training Officer attached to Glasgow and Strathclyde University Royal Navy Unit (URNU) and a Staff Officer at Rosyth working on various projects. I also run a Management Training programme for Britannia Royal Navy College all on a very much part-time and flexible basis. Being part of the RNR offers complete escapism from my day job.

What’s the best part of being a Reservist?

Meeting new people, personal development, travel and seeing the effect I have training new entrants.

Where has your Reservist career taken you?

All round the UK, the North Sea and all the major cities in the Baltic as well as the central Mediterranean. In total I’ve visited 23 different countries with the Royal Naval Reserve.

HMS Pursuer.

Do you have a favourite moment?

Joining HMS Defender at sea, and arriving in Helsinki into a setting sun on HMS Pursuer were highlights.

Colin at work in his office in Glasgow.

Tell us about your civilian job.

I am a Chartered Certified Accountant and run my own practice in Glasgow City Centre. I’ve run my own business for 16 years.

Being a Reservist requires time off work. Being self-employed, how do you juggle those demands?

I can usually volunteer at times when my business is a bit quieter. Drill nights are on Thursday evenings and many RNR courses run at weekends. Being self-employed I have a bit of flexibility, as well as an understanding wife!

What skills have you gained as a Reservist that enhance your civilian role?  

Working for a large organisation and not being the boss has given me an awareness of leadership styles. I’ve also gained a lot of technical maritime skills that – despite being a yacht skipper – I was not aware of!

What would you tell a friend/colleague who was interested in becoming a Reservist?

Go for it, it will be rewarding in so many ways. There are many different roles available.

To find out more about the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR), click HERE.

Colin at a community event in Glasgow.

Reserve Forces
Cadets