The Invictus Games are now in full swing in Orlando, before he went, I was able to interview James McGill former Grenadier Guardsman and now working for Jaguar Land Rover thanks to the Career Transition Partnership. The MoD’s official partner for armed forces resettlement.
Jeremy Hicks, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover UK, added: “There is a close alignment between Jaguar Land Rover’s values and the vision of the Invictus Games, that inspiring performances and passionate, unstoppable persistence enriches people’s lives.
“We’re incredibly proud to continue our role as presenting partner of the 2016 Invictus Games and sponsor the UK Team, and we’re delighted that Jaguar Land Rover employee James McGill will be representing us on the field in Orlando. We wish them all well on this exciting journey.”
- You have said it has been a tough challenge qualifying for the Invictus Games, is swimming for example a sport you have always enjoyed doing?
– I have always enjoyed sport in general; I like to make progress in everything I do so the coaching I have received in all events has been brilliant.
- Do you think the Games in Florida will give you the bug to go on and try for the next games in Toronto in 2017?
– I would like to think if given the opportunity to attend trials for the Invictus Games in 2017, I would show the same commitment as I have to this year’s Games, it’s a huge honour so far so hopefully more great things to come!
- You have been keen to stress the help that Jaguar Land Rover has given to you and other ex-Service personnel. After working with them now for a while, which of your Army skills do you think has helped you in the role?
– After being medically discharged from the Army, the thought of what to do next with your life can be quite daunting. I was so pleased to find the Jaguar Land Rover placement programme for former servicemen and women, which opened the door to my new career in the buying team. I believe the ability to adapt in high pressure environments has allowed me to flourish in a busy competitive office setting; I remain professional on all levels of communications and feel I bring creativity, problem solving, innovation and open-mindedness to new ideas.
- Is this a transferable skill you think a lot of ex-Service personnel could bring to a role to Jaguar Land Rover or another company in “Civvy Street”?
– Absolutely, there are so many different careers within the Army that all military personnel have a very diverse skillset. Jaguar Land Rover has employed over 200 ex-servicemen through the placement programme since 2013 across all sectors of the business. Lots of businesses could certainly benefit from hiring former servicemen and women.
- What was it like actually being inside Buckingham Palace for change? I guess whilst in the Grenadier Guards you may actually have been outside there or one of the other palaces on guard duty?
– Whilst serving with the Grenadiers I would regularly mount the Royal Palaces and venues around London so it was quite a familiar setting, but it was nice to be back and recall some good memories made with the other guys I served with.
- Jaguar Land Rover has made many thousands of vehicles used by the Army over the years, how does it feel now being part of that family?
– I used to drive those exact vehicles when I served, and I know the history behind the vehicles in WWII so I’m very happy to be a part of the heritage the business shares with the Armed Forces which is a big part of my life.
- What did Prince Harry ask? Which of your various sports should he try to get in and see you win gold?
– He spoke to us collectively about how big this is for us and that he looks forward to meeting us all once we’ve won medals!! I would say my best chances of a medal are either in the 100m sprints or in discus, gold would be huge, let’s wait and see.
- Was Prince Harry the first member of the Royal family you have met?
– I’ve met a number of the Royal family, but this was the first time I’ve met with Prince Harry. It was a really great experience to meet him.
- How do you think the Invictus Games have improved your life and those of the other service personnel who have tried to qualify for, or are competing at the games?
– I feel confident my recovery is always progressing in the right direction, and the Games will allow everyone who has been on the difficult road to recovery from injury to make a huge statement. It’s a chance to show ourselves and the whole world just how far we all have come.
Featured photo credit: Invictus 2014