Tesco marks Armed Forces Day

Samuel McClean
Samuel McClean
Store Manager

This year we’re pleased to be the lead sponsor of Armed Forces Day, working in partnership with Scarborough Council. We’re incredibly proud of the brilliant work our Armed Forces Network does supporting colleagues, communities, and customers every day. Ex-serviceman Samuel joined Tesco nine years ago to start a second career and he’s shared his experience below.

I joined the Armed Forces in 2005 when I left school at 15. I was always very ambitious and wanted to be the best, so I decided to endure the arduous Pre-Parachute selection course. I was deployed to Afghanistan for 10 months where I spent time on patrols with The Royal Irish Regiment. I was injured in 2013 and decided it was time for a new career. A friend put me in touch with the store manager for Tesco Ipswich store where there was a programme to help forces-leavers into careers at Tesco. I displayed my leadership skills and was hired as a Warehouse Team Manager.

What I love most about working for Tesco is being part of a team but also having a structure within the store. Everyone knows what their responsibilities are, and they have a clear purpose in the wider team. I have a great passion for working with people and I’m a firm believer that everyone is welcome at Tesco.

Civilian life is very different from the military life that I left behind. I found the transition challenging at times, but the team at Tesco helped me to adjust, gave me time to settle, and have supported my career ever since. I put myself forward for an accelerated store manager programme and was thrilled to be given the opportunity to progress onto the scheme. I am now in charge of over 400 colleagues. Working within a team you have to create a culture where loyalty, teamwork and discipline are important to achieve success. You also get to form great relationships with multiple cultural groups.

I represent stores and their communities as a member of the Armed Forces Network Steering Group. Presently I’m working with Tesco and local garrisons on how we can support our armed forces towns, whether that is understanding how we can recruit, support community events and support reservists, or simply just trying to build the network in stores.

The Armed Forces Day event in Scarborough takes place on Saturday June 25 to recognise the incredible contribution that members of the Armed Forces community make to our lives.

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