I enjoyed a fourteen year career in the British Army that took me all over the world, exposed me to the best and worst that life could offer, and gave me the most incredible experiences.
 
I joined aged eighteen, rebelling from the expected university route. I then served operationally in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan, and exercised on the prairies of Canada, the icy lakes of Norway and the arid plains of Kenya, as well as many other locations.
 
Having always having had the aptitude for languages, I later found myself at the Defence School of Languages learning Pashto. From there I was deployed to Afghanistan as an interpreter, conducting hearts and minds efforts as well as low level intelligence gathering.
 
I loved my career but in 2014 it all came to an end when injuries I had sustained were not healing as quickly as they should have. Without taking any time to absorb what had happened, I threw myself straight into working in project management consultancy. Five years later I made the decision to join BAE Systems Digital Intelligence because I knew I would be working with like-minded people - many of whom would come from a similar background as I did, which gave me confidence.
 
It was clear to me that upon joining I would have benefited from having a dedicated veterans network. So I made it my mission - along with other employees from across the UK and beyond - to build an employee resource group called VetNet, to provide tangible support and benefits to our employees from the military.
 
 
Press coverage about the withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 had a huge impact on some of my colleagues. With eight qualified Armed Forces specifically trained Mental Health First Aiders offering their support, our network could offer a virtual hug during a challenging period. Rebs Foran-Coutts , Business Analyst, Digital Intelligence at BAE Systems
For example, press coverage about the withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 had a huge impact on some of my colleagues. With eight qualified Armed Forces specifically trained Mental Health First Aiders offering their support, our network could offer a virtual hug during a challenging period.
 
Looking back, I have never been afraid of speaking out where I think change needs to happen, or simply being visible in situations where women have historically been in the minority. That’s why I helped build VetNet from the ground up, and it is why I continue to take great pride in encouraging young females into a career with the Armed Forces or in the defence industry. 
 

BAE Systems has more than 7,000 employees around the world who have served in the Armed Forces. We are fortunate to have four of these, plus VetNet and our Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) business, shortlisted for the 2022 British Ex-Forces in Business Awards taking place on 8 September 2022. The awards recognise exceptional veterans and reservists who have successfully transferred the talents they developed in the Armed Forces into other organisations. Business Analyst Rebs Foran-Coutts was nominated for the ‘Champion of Women’ award. 

 
 

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Rebs Foran-Coutts

Business Analyst
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