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From the barracks to the beat

From the barracks to the beat
An army officer is recognised for a 30 year military career, as he embarks on a new endeavour as a police officer and swaps serving his country for serving his community.

On Friday (February 23), we welcomed 65 new recruits into our police family during a special ceremony at our HQ in Chelmsford.

The ceremony was particularly special for one individual officer, Pc Scott Noonan, as he was recognised for his 30 year career with the Army during the ceremony with a Meritorious Service Medal.

Scott was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in the New Year’s Honours list in recognition of his fine service and outstanding achievements during his military career.

Brigadier Dave Neal, Provost Marshall of the Royal Military Police and Provost Sergeant Major Marc Thomson, also from the Royal Military Police, attended Scott’s passing out parade on February 23 to present him with the prestigious medal.

Scott said: “I’m still quite shocked now to be told I am getting the Meritorious Service Medal. It’s not something I’d ever given a second thought to. I’m absolutely flabbergasted, humbled and honoured because I’m only as good as the guys and girls that I’ve worked with over the years and I’m only as good as they make me.

“To have Brigadier Dave Neal come down to present it to me, I’m extremely honoured. Him and I go back a long way and he’s been a man who I hold in extreme high regard and I am extremely proud that he came down to present it to me in front of my colleagues.“

Brigadier Dave Neal said: “Scott was a Regimental Sergeant Major, the first and most senior solider within the Military Provost Staff who ran the Military Corrective Training Centre in Colchester. I’m delighted to see that he has moved from serving his country to serving his community in Essex.

“I’m very proud to award him with the Meritorious Service Medal which recognises 30 years of service. It was terrific to be able to be with the Chief Constable to present Scott with that medal.”

Scott began his military career in 1987 with the Scots Guards, serving in Germany, Canada and on a number of tours in Northern Ireland before transferring to the Military Provost Staff Regiment in 2003 where he was based in Colchester.

Over the next 14 years, he spent some time working as a Skill At Arms Instructor at the Defence College of Policing and Guarding in Portsmouth, as well as some time as a Dog Handler at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He later served in Iraq and two tours of Afghanistan.

Scott was at the heart of the formation of the Military Provost Staff Regiment and was deployed to carry out inspections on service custody facilities across the globe. He completed his career in the Army as the most senior soldier in the regiment, a Regimental Sergeant Major.

Just months after hanging up his military boots, Scott was eager to fulfil his childhood dream of becoming a police officer and jumped straight into the role.

He quickly found during his 18 weeks training with us that a lot of his skills and life experience from his time in the Army served him well in his role as a police officer.

He said: “A lot of the skills that I have gained from my time in the Army have stood me in good stead for hopefully a long career with the police as well. One of the biggest skills I have been able to transfer is communications skills. If you’ve got good communications skills, hopefully that can help to resolve a number of situations we may find ourselves in.

“For anyone who is about to leave any of the armed forces, or has already left and is looking for something to do, I would highly recommend policing. I’ve only been here for 18 weeks but I have learned so much.

“There are so many avenues of opportunity within the police. You have got to do your two years’ probation first, but once you’ve done that, the world is your oyster and you can specialise in dozens of various roles within the police.”

Our officers join us from all walks of life, whether your background is in the military, retail or teaching to name just a few, your skills are transferable into policing and can help to protect and serve your community.

Recruitment for police officers is currently open, to find out more information about the role and how to apply, visit:

Picture: Brigadier Dave Neal and Pc Scott Noonan

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