Becoming a Greyshirt

 

Team Rubicon. 

A name I’d not heard until early last year. My mum had seen an advert for the organisation on the History Channel and thought it would be something I would love to be involved with… I looked in to it and I decided to sign up there and then.

Because of my old job stealing most of my weekends for duty, and also my outdoor commitments, I didn’t manage to get on my induction until November.

People have been messaging me over the weekend saying that they’ve signed up for induction this year after seeing my tweets this weekend and so I thought I would go one step further, step into the arena (I’m sorry, I had to) and spread the love in an entire blog post…

So, if you’ve never heard of Team Rubicon or even if you have and want to find out more… read on!

Who are Team Rubicon?

Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders and ‘kick ass civilians’ in order to rapidly deploy emergency response teams in the UK and around the world.

“Team Rubicon’s primary mission is providing disaster relief to those affected by natural disasters, be they domestic or international. By pairing the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders, medical professionals, and technology solutions, Team Rubicon aims to provide the greatest service and impact possible” – Team Rubicon website, 2018.

My journey so far…

Despite having spoken to a number of people who told me to join because I have a multitude of useful skills, I sat in my car before my induction feeling sick with nerves.

I had a degree in International Relations, a real interest in helping people and 4 years of ops experience, but none of it in the military. I was aware that it would mostly be made up of veterans and felt entirely out of my depth. Imposter syndrome to the max.

All until I walked in the door and got chatting to people…

I wasn’t the only civvie, and nobody cared either way. We all got chatting, and I found so many people with similar backgrounds and interests – even some guys who had worked in maritime security too – albeit for the enemy!

That weekend was long, there was a lot of PowerPoint presentations on everything from humanitarian principles to social media, it entailed lots of learning new information and an exercise on scenario training to get to grips with…

By the end of it? I was hooked. I knew I would be coming back.

​I met some truly inspirational people – TR staff, volunteers and my fellow newbie Greyshirts!

Two and a bit months later and I’ve just spent the weekend helping induct 14 new Greyshirts to the fold, have made some fantastic friends, met even more inspirational people and even bumped in to one of my uni lecturers who is also a Greyshirt and deployed to the Caribbean with someone I was at school with (the world is tiny). I’m signed up to help with more of these weekends and, after much encouragement from one of the volunteers who was also my Strike Team Mentor on my induction weekend, have also signed up for the Operational Leadership course in May.

What have I learned?

In short, everyone is there for the same reason…
To help people who need it most, in their hour of need.
One of the new inductees this weekend said TR felt like a family more than an organisation, and I couldn’t agree more. Everyone is welcoming, everyone is inspirational and motivated and I’ve never met a greater bunch of people.

If you’re interested but unsure how you’d fit in (you will) then I urge you to book yourself onto an induction course and go to find out more. You’re not committed to anything you don’t want to to. You don’t have to deploy if you don’t want to, there are so many avenues to take within TR UK. 

Head over to their website – here – for more information and to get involved!
You won’t regret it… 

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