‘Once-in-a-lifetime’ experience for executives

July 26, 2016

Executives from all over Scotland were put through their paces at Exercise Executive Stretch from 22-24 July. 

On arrival at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh over 50 participants from organisations including Stirling Council, Aviva, HMRC and the UK Border Force were thrown into military life.

The object was to give them first-hand experience of the Reserve forces and to highlight the vast range of valuable transferable skills Reservists bring to both their civilian and military lives.

Over the following days participants tackled a wide range of physical and mental tasks spread across the Castlelaw and Dreghorn Training Area, slept outside, had a chance to live fire weapons and abseiled off the rocky Pentlands.

Lead unit for the 51 Infantry Brigade exercise was the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry (SNIY) with support coming from Navy, Army and Royal Marine Reserve units.

Participants were broken into colour-coded syndicates with points awarded at each stand for – among other criteria – initiative and teamwork.

The event was rounded off on the Sunday with an energy-sapping assault course and stretcher run back at Redford.

Following that, SNIY Commanding Officer James Campbell-Barnard, addressed the teams.

He said: “My guys at the SNIY and those from all the other units who have supported this exercise and worked with you over the weekend have had a ball. It is because you have put 140% into it and as teams you have gelled together fantastically.

“When you go back to your workplace please spread the message that there are plenty of opportunities, challenges and fun to be had in the Reserves.”

Following a hotly-contested exercise it was the green and white team who came out on top and, despite being exhausted, still enjoyed a well-earned celebration.

Their prizes were presented by Brigadier Charlie Coull (ADC).

Judging by the positive reaction of the participants it was mission accomplished with most leaving the barracks with a new respect and understanding of the work of the Armed Forces.

Lisa Powell of West Dunbartonshire Council said: “I now have a better understanding of the key roles available to Reservists, a greater respect for their work and a willingness to support anyone from within my organisations who wants to apply.”

Peter Hull of BAE Systems said: “For me it felt like a once-in-a-lifetime experience and was very enjoyable.”

Natalie Harrison of Stirling Council said: “I have had my eyes opened and have total respect what the Armed Forces do for our country.”

Guy Hanlon who works for Aviva in Perth said: “I have a much greater understanding and respect for the Armed Forces after this. It has also opened my mind to new ways of thinking.”

The exercise was a joint venture between 51 Brigade and Highland and Lowland RFCAs.

For a full gallery of images click HERE.


Action from the final exercise.


On the range with 7 Scots.


There were plenty of hurdles along the way!


Abseiling took place in the Pentlands with RMR Scotland.

The winning syndicate with Brigadier Coull.

The winning syndicate with Brigadier Coull.