Forces Friendly – Brian Wood MC

Michael: My name is Michael Coates. I am the co-founder of 2 veteran owned organisations. And
these conversations are dedicated to supporting the crosshair where business meets the military. This
episode is the one we talk about transition. Brian Wood is the recipient of the military cross, he is an
inspirational speaker and the Sunday Times bestselling author. We talk values, surrounding yourself
with mentors and the importance of hard work and self-discipline. This is part of the Declassified
Network and this is Forces Friendly.

Michael: Why did you initially leave?

Brian: Because I couldn’t continue to carry on doing what I was doing when I found out about my
pension.
Michael: Go on.

Brian: So I had a gap year in 2005. I just needed some time away. I joined when I was 16 and 9
months. I had never been on civi street. I didn’t really understand how it worked. So I always had that
in the back of my mind. What is it like? After my first tour in Iraq in 2004 I just kind of needed a break
for myself and for my headspace really. And also I just wanted to find out what was actually in the real
world. So, yes. I left. But that year came to haunt me many years later. So what it was. I was on the
original ’75 pension scheme and then I think there was a 2005 new scheme and then a 2015. So there
were 3 different pension schemes. I am fast forwarding now when I was still serving. I was CQMS
Company Quarter Master Sergeant. I thought to myself I need to figure out what pension I am on or
where it is because you start to think about it after 17 years. So I phoned up Glasgow. And then they
said no you need to write a letter. So then I wrote to Glasgow saying look can you break down my
pension for me. About 2 weeks later a letter was sent to me saying I am not entitled to any maturity or
an immediate pension until I am 65. And I could not get my head around it. I thought that’s not right I
have had a year off I get it but so did my dad and so did a lot of other people who had 6 months or
maybe 2 years out. But at that time things had changed and new policies were brought in. So I took it
to the CO and said is this true. So he then spoke to Brigade. Brigade said yes that’s a new policy. So
I said to my CO, Colonel Flay at the time. I am going. He said no you can’t go you are just about to
come off the board and pick up a fighting company – one of the rifle companies as Sergeant Major.
“Look just stay” and I said “what would you do?” He said “yes, I would also leave.” There was no
incentive for me anymore. I mean I punched the ground just as hard as anyone else but I was not
going to get my rewards for my 22 or 24 years’ service, so yes I took.

Michael: So you joined 1998?
Brian: ’97 I joined
Michael: So what is that then, 7 or 8 years, and got out for a year, was that 12 months?
Brian: Just over
Michael: back in 2006 so then that’s 9 years after that? So was that never a discussion during that
break?

Brian: So when I went back in career office as I had to go through that process again. No one picked it
up. If I had found out about it then I would not have re-enlisted I would have just carried on doing what
I was doing on the outside. But, I had unfinished business but no one brought this to light. I was not
aware of this until that day when I started to make some enquiries and found out myself. Nothing
would have changed I would have picked up Searjant Major. I know it’s a bit of a cliché but everything
happens for a reason. I have had some great experiences without the military.

Michael: Was it an easy transition then, when you got out in 2015. When you signed off did you find it
easy? Most will not be aware but there is a 12 month sign off period and you get out a year later. Was
that 12 month easier for you because you had gone through it already?

Brian: It is never easy I was a lot older, I was more educated, more experienced and I also had a
house which is a huge thing for me. If I did not have a house it would have been a huge thing for me.
That was a massive backstop for me – huge. So I served notice on my tenants and linked it into from
where I was withdrawing from my married quarter in Germany back into the UK and then I had a kind
of, lot of leave to use to do my resettlement or go on courses. I used that back in UK.


Episode 1 – Brian Wood MCForces Friendly Podcast

But stepping away the military is an incredible organisation regardless of what people think. We all
have our moans and whine when we are serving but it is brilliant organisation to be part of. It is a
belonging. You do feel wanted. You can achieve some great things if you want to achieve some good
things in the military You have that brotherhood, sisterhood if you are a female. You have this
incredible bond and then to kind of step away from that organisation you are then on your own. You are
isolated you lose your identity. I was pretty well known within the regiment for the right or wrong
reasons. Only they would say. All of a sudden you are away from it all. No one understands about war
fighting really. Unless you are a soldier. A strict disciplined strong regime. Core values. A lot of
businesses do have them but they are nowhere near as tight as they are in the military. So that is a
shock in itself. You grow up working as a team but that kind of becomes you know the base for what
you go on to achieve nothing is ever done as an individual, always done bouncing of people and
working together that is done.

Michael: Especially in the infantry. Tight, they are continually together.

Brian: Yes of course. You walk through the gates with my sausage bag on my shoulder. You come
with 30 to 40 young scared boys ready to become men that does not fade. That is kind of consistent all
the way through the military. The transition is difficult. It’s hard. It’s kind of trying to hand onto what
has been taught to you because your honesty is such a big asset out in civi street working out what is
your strength what is your weakness being resilient on push backs and knock backs and figuring out
and not giving up.

Michael: We will get to there. When did you buy your house?

Brian: Bought my house when I was young you know. I was lucky enough to have my wife’s parents
and my parents preaching and I think I was about 25 and I bought my first house on a terrace and then
I just crept up the ladder so I was sensible on that aspect. When everyone else was going to Faliraki
and Ibiza and Magaluf I was in the lion’s skin . But now look at what we have got. It pays its purpose

Michael: When I left I was not leaving until I had a house. I was 21 when I bought my house. it was in
London I was so fortunate to do that. The amount of guys who left without a house. it is tricky to buy
especially down south and some places up north now. To go from the house to resettlement. Was that
obvious choices (10:17)

Brian: Yes but before we go on from that. Was that a humble brag about having a house in London?
(laughing)

Michael: No mate, I was really lucky and it was years ago so fortunate but I had people preaching to
me.

Brian: One bit of advice from this podcast if you have savings try and get on the ladder buy schemes
just get a foothold on the ladder. it is the best thing I have ever done. And great advice I had from
people I trusted.

Michael: Resettlement? Then

Brian: I was terrible at resettlement. I did what about 98% do, especially infantry soldiers, was going
back to what I was used to, close protection circuit. I was no different. I went and did my TCP course
of control risks. it is actually a good course and really good instructors. Great banter. Then I left the
course and went on a 9week rotation. But I knew I was not going to stay in that game for a long period
of time. I knew I was not going to be on that hook. I had my house I was financial stable that for me
was just a bit of extra money to have that buffer to do that rotation. and on that rotation I went back
out to Iraq. I was out in Northern Iraq, Erbil. Completely different I was out running and having food. It
is quite up and coming, like a small Dubai back in the day, when that was kind of up and coming. It
was a really nice beautiful place if I am honest. Safe. Paying well. I was on $450 a day good money
for what we were doing just transiting Americans and a few diplomats out to the oil rigs. Basically
staying on until they finish and I had just done one rotation on that an I was offered an incredible
opportunity from my former CO Matt Maer who was and still is looks after Canary Wharf and in Canary

Episode 1 – Brian Wood MCForces Friendly Podcast

Wharf Estates. There was an opportunity for the regiment to find someone to come into their
benevolent fund organisation and be their chief fund raiser and Head of Events and basically get this
benevolent fund of the ground. We spoke on the phone. He said it is a blank bit of paper. It goes or
could be directed any way as I see fit. So he kind of gave me the free reigns to do this. I had a lot of
connections anyways. I had close people who knew me so I went and asked the questions when I
agreed to do it. So I then went to see those people who are loyal and are mentors to me. I know this is
hard really being but I knew I could make a difference. I am passionate about helping. I am still fund
raising. Got one coming up have a big event coming up on the 1st to 2nd of July. So I am forever
giving back. And I think it is important to as well. So yes I took that job on. It was full time. it also kept
my hand back in the regiment which was great. Attending armed forces day. Attending some of the air
shows. it was a great chapter in my life.

Michael: What was the mission statement, Vision, of the Benevolent Fund?

Brian: It is what it is now, to help serving and former servicing personnel, their families so if someone
falls on some hard time can’t pay their bills there is that regiment of family. It primarily targets family
small charity but within small charity you know exactly where the money is going. When there is a
need some people reach out for help and then it is case by case it is examined. Clearly. And then
there is a grant being given to whoever has applied to that grant to help.

Michael: You mentioned family there. I want to touch on something. When you went through
resettlement, I am going back, did Lucy transition well?
Brian: I didn’t ask her.
Michael: Alright

Brian: Yes, it’s bad really. There are a lot of things I did not ask Lucy. And I just kind of. I was
transitioning. She was with me. Therefore, she just got on with it. Very selfish I know. I was the main
breadwinner. There was a lot of pressure on my shoulders. Especially coming from that military
timeline. I was quite senior, a Colour Sergeant at the time and in like a flip of coin I am signed off,
getting out. Have a mortgage got to be paid? So I have my head down and got on with it. And Lucy
kind of reintegrated back into our home village. She knows a lot of people. Her mum and dad were
close that made things easier. did I ask? did I monitor her transition? No, I never did.

Michael: Did she work or was she with the kids?

Brian: No she went back to work part time so she could still take the kids and pick the kids up from
school

Michael it is worth thinking about and I hear it time and time again exactly what you said there and
people don’t take it into consideration especially my mates who transitioned really well and then it’s a
bridge to cross and then they go up and that successful transition of the partner or the wife or the
husband is really important and we should be taking that into consideration as well.

Michael: And so onto the PWRR Benevolent Fund. How long were you there for?
Brian: Just over a year and a half.
Michael What was your role there?

Brian: I was overseeing it. Nick continues to be a mentor for me. He was also the cofounder along
with Matt Maer. They had a very busy demanding job they needed someone to take the bull by the
horn and really get this up to a credible status they looked at me and asked me if I would do that. I did
it. I kind of like to think I was successful raising incredible amount of money for the benevolent fund.
We changed people’s life’s through that or for the awareness and raising enough money to send people
off to pioneering surgery. Whether it be recarpeting someone’s house for paying someone’s mortgage
we were a cusses but I still had an ambition and I was 35 at the time. I was working in the middle of
London and yes to be fair Matt Maer said to me “at least just do it for a year “because the amount of
contacts you will make will be worth it. So he was pushing me to be the best version of myself. if I am
honest he was like that as a CO and 2004 he knew being on that platform there would be opportunities
that would come up.

Episode 1 – Brian Wood MCForces Friendly Podcast

Michael: With regards to mentorship especially people you could trust and rely on was that an integral
part of it. Sounds like you were in a very operational role trying to raise a lot of funds but also to get
that networking and that is a real I can’t explain it you have to be around people who want to share the
same kind of values as you and share the same kind of work ethic. No one is ever going to give you
anything you have to build relationships to get snippets of information like that. You have to network
meet people build those relationships. Was that mentoring important?

Brian: It was important and still is important and I am never too proud to ask for help or some direction
even now and first day they took the role on I took Sir Lloyd Dorfman, powerhouse globally successful
individual. I went to see him in Manchester Square and its quite an intimating office to be in. and this
individual had been there and done it and had been very successful but I had a great relationship with
him that I had made the first time I was out. I went to him as he is my mentor I speak about what he
has done with me. I told him the role I had taken. He told me to be under no illusion this was a difficult
role and he had chaired the Prince’s Trust International, he had done for the Jewish community and
what he has done with Great Ormond Street children’s hospital and they have a wing named after him.
The guy has given millions and millions to charity but understands it is a difficult role because raising
funds is hard. And we spoke about it for a long period of time and then he gave me a starting
donation. On my second day which was just goes to show the individual who he is. We were abseiling
from the Spinnaker Tower to start you off there you go there is a cheque. That relationship and him as
a mentor continues to this day.

Michael: Do people see that as you have been handed a cheque?
Brian: I worked hard for him. I worked all hours’ god send to help him and the family and he knows
that and we maintained that trust when he was awarded his CBE from The Queen. I congratulated him
even though I was away and its keeping your presence.

Michael: It’s your touch points and being sincere.

Brian: Of course and we just have a good relationship and we have continued that. I am actually
speaking to The Royal Ballet in Covent Garden. He has asked me to do that. It will be interesting.

Michael: There are many similarities! You are a very good dancer (laughing)
You went on to work with The Office Group (TOG) after that and it was full on to this day and TOG have
been really supportive of you over the years. Was it always like that when you went into TOG?

Brian: I can’t speak high enough of the boys at the Group. There are 3 of them. The 2 COE are like the
Ant and Dec of the flexible workspace. They are just nailing it. Even when they get up and give talks to
the business. You can see why they have dominated their space. They are just brilliant. They took a
massive chance on me. I wasn’t educated. I did not understand the property world, the flexible work
space. I met them through Sir Lloyd and on an away weekend in Cyprus believe it or not on Lloyd’s
private jet. That is not a humble brag I just could not believe I was on a private jet. We went through
ranges good eye opener for them to bring them into my world. So yes then we just got on really well.
So they said should come over go to the back end of the operations you understand structure and
timelines. It was just about doing the basics right and it seemed to work. When everything seemed to
kick off and happened with my story they were just being so supportive and got right behind me and
gave me the time and space and grab this opportunity that I am just going with now and I can’t praise
him enough. The culture that they have created. The work ethic that is in The Office Group, Olly,
Charlie Green and my direct bosses Warren (what a guy he is) just get it. Understand me, which only a
few people do. My old platoon commander works for the Office Group so they have taken that faith
with affection and because they get repaid. I am not saying everyone in the military and always serving
is overly loyal and works hard because there is a percentage don’t and we know that. But a lot of them
do and Jake, one of the old formal officers in B Company, is now Head of Information Security. The
cyber stuff which is a huge job a huge task and has made a name for himself already so they are
believing in them and giving veterans a chance.

Michael: I don’t buy into this clean shaven haircut and on time thing I think that massively undersells
everyone and I see it, all the time.

Episode 1 – Brian Wood MCForces Friendly Podcast

Brian: I would debate you on time. Time is so important
Michael: Yes, but what I am saying that time is just a base level stuff. Base level I would expect that of
everyone and we sell ourselves short. The stuff we should be talking about things like value
operational Ops direct or whatever all these other skills we have built like drive tenacity problem solving
at a really high level and that’s what has come in Here Because we have overviewed it really quick then.
You were working really hard travelling over hour have a day every day to get into work and back again
and a busy family life as well and this was way before the book or appearing on or any of the public
speaking and companies do almost permission do. Need that kind of push to give veterans a chance
but it is repaid and I see it all the time.

Brian: It has repaid honestly and I am not just saying this for me at TOG, and hopefully I have added
value to the Group, but only they could answer that question, but I am passionate about helping
veterans I would not even saying have them second chance but be patient with their transition. I was a
round hole with massive square peg at the beginning. Completely different culture shock. But they
knew that. A lot of organisations don’t. Let them figure it out. It’s just having that overview and
common sense. He or she, has been in a different world for a long time. Now give him a little time to
find his feet and if it doesn’t work nine times out of ten that individual will put his hand up and say it’s
not for me.

Michael: Just while you are speaking there about veteran owned businesses and why it’s becoming
more and more popular and everything you said there about give them a chance, figure the industry be
vision led instead of cash driven.

Brian: Find someone who believes in your product and who gets it as much as you and you will make
it work.

Michael: Look at us. Look at Sean Jones. He – I can’t believe I am going to say this! I should
definitely be paying him more but I run a small business. He should be on a lot more. But he believes
what I believe in and I have an unbelievable person with me because we share the same kind of values
and mind set if it was t working for him.

Brian: Is he on the right pay scale? Probably not. But he is now spending more time with his family.
Work life balance. Lot of people do not have that. He has missed that last ten years because he has
been away with the military … so does that not kind of fine balance itself out.

Michael: We are in it for the long aim as well.

Brian: You can’t put a price on family time.

Michael: Exactly, just again believing who you are with and what you are trying to achieve that’s why I
like having a vision in small business and knowing what our values are. Our values are honest if do
something dishonest well what’s the point it just goes everything against what you stand for. It goes to
my point when we leave and go to our transition and our values should be aligning in values believe in
you creates that team and good relationship. So this is episode 1 on Declassified and your book is all
out there but before all of that and extremely well documented the court case went through and then
you got invited onto Good Morning Britain. Was that the start of something else?

Brian: Yes, I think it was as it was fist time people heard something from horse’s mouth it wasn’t people
who went through the trial it was me plus many more the regiment the neritic army name was tarnished
but I wanted to let thru people know the great British public know the military and my regiment and
soldiers on ground didn’t do what the allegations saying that we did do. I wanted them to hear how
disappointed I was for the government to Shiner take advantage of human life for soldiers doing their
job on the ground. I wanted people to know it wasn’t fair to have people especially though the mill like
that. We got no support zero. I was passionate about another opportunity and went on and things
escalated from there.

Michael: So from there you took opportunity you weren’t getting paid for that, you wanted to voice the

Episode 1 – Brian Wood MCForces Friendly Podcast

reality of it and then you started getting asked to speak publically for free and what kind of stuff were
you doing at that point? Were you just getting out and telling your story?

Brian: A lot of people were interested in the narrative. But from the narrative there are so many sub
pillars be it leadership decision making, mental health, mental fitness, there was resilience mind sets,
so many sub pillars of people wanted to know. A few enquiries i got were could your key note on
leadership and extract a few things from your real life on operations and I would kind of do that. But
like I said I started off doing it and giving my time because I was passionate about what I was doing I
wanted to keep that rhythm up on what actually did happen and people enjoyed it and it wasn’t just
inspirational I would like to think they took some key pointers away that they could implement in
business. it seems to be going really well and it has ingrown organically since.

Michael: And you have spoken hundreds of times before any money crosses palms and speaking and
speaking at different events

Brian: I think it is like anything you do. You have to give away free content away to see 1. Does it
work, what’s the feedback I am getting because if I am telling I am not going to continue. Are people
taking life lessons away from what I am doing. And if that is happening and you are getting inundated
with request and with value comes with that and it’s your experiences and therefore you should be
credited for that and its figuring out a price on that and trying not to undersell yourself. And it is
difficult and I find it really tough when I get asked the blunt question. It is a hard thing because i.e.
never had to do it before and all of a sudden I am getting these big questions asked of me but I am
learning everything is a learning process.

Michael: like you said that working there that not quite working it’s a learning you start crafting it is a
skill and it’s not like you are Brechan briefing 30 squaddies you can’t speak like that in corporate.

Brian: Course, you need to know your audience. I have done Santander Chief Executive these are like
overly intelligent people. I am going to American Express in 2 weeks’ time to speak to their Executive.
I went to speak to Brighton Football Club, that was meant to be a day it lasted for 3 days. County
Cricket teams. These are elite athletes or elite business people. You can’t just talk as you would
normally talk in military lingo language but like you said it is tapering it. Knowing your audience. I am
talking like a well-oiled machine. I am not. I have done a lot of speaking at the moment I have just
recently come back from New York and boarded Cunard Queen Mary 2 and spoke in front of over 800
guests there that was an incredible experience. And like I said in the next couple of weeks I am going
to speak to American Express and then off to Guernsey. It has been a busy period. I am not fine-tuned
and I knew the one that was really daunting for you.

Michael: If you had not put yourself in that position, and it’s scary to put yourself in that position and I
know the one that was really daunting for you – Cyprus.

Brian: Cyprus was hard because I went to speak to 2 fighting regiments Royal Anglican Regiment and
2 Mercian Regiment which are battle hardened and I was going out to share my story but more on the
mental heal piece. Spoke to more on mental health piece and growth. you and I speak about that
growth in a few years’ growth transition came from Michael and it will be spoken about. It was big
audience tough gig and officers were invited in. being true to myself and not to patronise anyone on
war stories. As we all have our own war stories it was more how it affected me and how I extinguished
some of the effects and how How I coped and by that I mean seeking some professional support and
growing from that to where I am now and I mean now standing on one of the most famous ships in the
world RMS Queen Mary 2 and sharing my story with some Vietnam veterans and WWII veterans and it
makes it all worth it.

Michael: Aww mate I remember you coming back from Cyprus and you being totally buzzing about it
scared before and the elation after. I think it is because you connected with people. You did not, not
bore people but you felt like you almost had to disrespect someone.

Brian: I did not want to patronise anyone. “Sit down will you we have been there done that”. It wasn’t
like that. But the CO said made a great point. Look we have similar people within this organisation in

Episode 1 – Brian Wood MCForces Friendly Podcast

this mess who have got a similar story as Woody but have not been brave enough to voice they have
had trouble and had some real times through adversity with mental health, but he has come out he has
spoken about it and he has been public about how he feels through these times and we need more
people like that. Some of the conversations I had after that and also the messages I had from some
really senior warrant officers, made it all worthwhile.

Michael: We touched on mental health there. We can have poor mental health and good mental health
just like physical health too. Those 2 Battalions were doing a lot to promote the management of good
mental health and mental resilience and fitness. Which is great to see. But now day to day because
there is a lot of pressure on you, you have a kids and a mortgage, and things can keep stacking up and
we need to keep bucket offloading, just day spending time with your mates.
What do you do, day to day, because you have a hectic life?

Brian: I always set an hour aside in the day, be it first thing in the morning or evening. I go running. I
know that you swim. For me running is my escape. I think of all sorts of random stuff when I am
running and by the time I get home I think bloody hell I have just run 6 miles. If I don’t I become
admitted I am like I should be running there is always time for your physical fitness and I think it’s so
important but there is something for everyone and its finding what works for you. But it is very
important. I don’t even like running you know. I hate it but what it does for my headspace is incredible.
It hurts, it doesn’t get any easier, I am blowing out my backstation, but I am like it is so good for me.

Michael: I think there is a lot to be said for suffering a little but as well. Like short term suffering when
you don’t like something. Wether talking to a small or big business owner or an individual running a
busy household or working in a high pressured job , or not quite knowing where you are to still have the
mind-set and foresight to suffer a little whether it is going to do some hill reps, a cross fit session , long
swim, just put yourself in an uncomfortable situation for a small amount of time because again like
running a small business you can be as high as a kite one minute but quite literally an hour later a vat
bill comes in and then you figure it pay it and come out the top of it and then something great happens
then your back down and the trick is to try and level it . For me, it’s going to be a little rollercoaster up
and down keep that main stay bring yourself, or know what to do to bring yourself back in with things
like trauma injury can be trickier you have to have the toolbox to bring yourself back. Just day to day
like you said if it is a run the suffering helps. whether it is a cold shower.

Brian: and it’s always nice to go into the pain chamber sometimes like I said on the 1stwe are doing
this charity 24 hour 24 participants and 24 exercises I have not trained for that, who trains to do 24
hour’s worth of fitness I will be taking some dark times no doubt there but just got to keep hold of the
purpose and remind yourself why doing it because there are still soldiers still out there. Veterans still
out there who are suffering. We need to maintain the awareness. Keep the donations coming in to
help these people because they are going through a hard time in their life and we should do as much
as we can to support that.

Michael: That could come in form of employment and opportunities as well because there is a lot of
high functioning people suffering as well and understandably if you have 15 years of war fighting and I
am not disrespecting anyone else but look at your battalion most would have said right up there with
most time spent like really on it understanding is going to be trauma injury but the seek personal help
and guidance and listening to stuff like Declassified podcast or this podcast or whatever it is or
speaking to a mate. Coming of the back of all of this your future is looking really bright. We are not
going to talk about the long term stuff but there is going to be a time when you will have to make really
important decision for you and your family but also really important opportunities that come off the
back like ambassadorial and paid ambassadorial other opportunities that we are going into now it is
exciting but it does not happen overnight. Brian: Some people think it does but you cannot control
that. I would like to think it comes down to had work. People think stupid and fit their brand and
would align themselves back to their value and have I had some opportunities come up ahead. I
turned down some opportunities I have as well because it has not aligned and there is a big
mainstream channel production company that wanted me on their show but I turned it down but did
not align with my brand and who I was and the money was good but sometimes it’s nice to turn things
down as well. So I have been infant of some good opportunities I have taken on some good
opportunities with ambassador for Bremont incredible watch company Nick and Giles English. They

Episode 1 – Brian Wood MCForces Friendly Podcast

have just been incredible to me. Thrifty Rental incredible partnership with them I am showcasing a car
each month top of the range cars as well and I actually kind of twisted their arm on a discount code for
veteran sand now they have down that to remote Thrifty, Path Finder magazine because they should be
supporting armed forces and they are now. Having conversations with Soldier magazine. My discount
code is Bria 19. is being a flexible fleet. I do not get their commission, trust me, they have just
partnered me on my book tour.

Michael: Even like Bremont Watches. They do so much for the military community they do it with a
subtle leverage. It is not vulgar the way they do their own ambassador stuff.

Brian: It came through a good friend of mine. I then met the managing director at a hotel for a coffee.
I kind of would not say I bullied him into the military I just told him my back story what we are about
and what he should think about doing and then he called me and said we are going to do something
for the military. And I really want to help.

Michael: Is that Thrifty ?
Brian: Yes Martin Wilson, who is the MD. Think it has only been since they looked and partnered with
me the community, a special community and they should help out and its, yes mate its going in the
right direction.

Michael: Being an example, and this is an example of being that role model and you don’t set out to be
a role model inadvertently that’s what you have become. Why can’t you do this. you getting pushed
and pulled around. Because people want a piece. Like it does not just fall, it takes time.

Brian: And don’t get me wrong it has been a learning curve because I have never been an expert and I
am still not a subject matter on social media. I get these requests. people do ask me to post and to do
x y z at times etc. and stuff. I am trying to find a fine balance myself but you know I’ve just got to be as
well, remember who I am and be true to myself. And like I am too old I think in the tooth to not
understand who I am now. so it’s a great journey. Obviously a lot of people will know Hillary Meredith
she’s the solicitor who really support the armed forces and she has been campaigning for years and
years on helping soldiers. and helping soldier’s families with whether it be helping them with injuries
with claims and you know the …

Michael: The compensation scheme thing which has been a big thing

Brian: Compensation which has been huge and also the Al Sweady stuff which has been a great
shoulder for me to lean on and to go back and forth and have conversations and legal spin on. she has
been an incredible I would say she has been ambassador for the military community so to kind of go in
as an ambassador for her most recently is a Yes I am privileged to do that because we are going back
to her values are aligned with mine. And it’s going to be a great little partnership and journey.

Michael; Yes, mate. Think. Look, you have summarised this episode, you have looked at value, you
have stayed true to what you believe in. Surrounding yourself with great people. But also willing to
speak to new people. But relationships take time even if that’s on social media or whether that is
meeting someone at dinner parties.

Brian: Do you go to dinner parties …? (laughing)

Michael: You know what I mean drinks. (laugh) .. take time. These things do take time. You don’t jump
into bed with people straight away, like it takes time to forge that relationship. Mate I really do always
appreciate your time. I enjoy spending time with you and I know you love spending time with me and
we will leave it there.