AA awarded Gold in Armed Forces Employer Recognition Scheme
The AA was yesterday recognised by the Defence Secretary as showing an outstanding commitment to supporting the Armed Forces.
The AA was one of just 15 organisations that received a Gold Award from the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS).
It recognises businesses that are supporters of the Armed Forces Covenant, a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, or their families, are treated fairly. The scheme was launched by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2014.
We’re delighted to receive this award and it is a testament to a century of the AA’s association with the armed forces
Bob Mackenzie, executive chairman of the AA
The award was accepted by AA Executive Chairman Bob Mackenzie at Number 10 Downing Street. He said: “We’re delighted to receive this award and it is a testament to a century of the AA’s association with the armed forces.
“We’re committed to providing as much support as we can to both service leavers and reservists.”
Earlier Edmund King OBE, AA president, met Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon MP, at Royal Horseguards to discuss the Gold Award and the AA fielded one of the latest AA patrol vans and an historic motorcycle and sidecar combination.
The AA has hired over 60 Armed Forces leavers in the past year alone. The AA was recognised for promoting the benefits of the reserves among employees and developing supportive HR policies, alongside their work with The Poppy Factory, a charity which helps injured service personnel back into work.
The experience and skills I gained in the military help me deal with the unexpected and bring a professional focus to the job
Mo Moran, AA Recovery Patrol of the Year
One of the former service personnel employed by the AA is York-based Mo Moran who is the AA’s Recovery Patrol of the Year. He said: “Working at the roadside presents huge challenges, so you need to act calmly and decisively in whatever situation you face. The experience and skills I gained in the military help me deal with the unexpected and bring a professional focus to the job.
“These qualities are ideal for the AA, which offers a range of support for former service personnel and reservists.”
The AA’s long relationship with the military dates back to its formation in 1905. For many years, most of its patrols were ex-regular or national service soldiers. They wore khaki, military-style uniform, gave members the famous AA salute and the association was organised along regimental lines.
In 1909, the fledgling AA transported a battalion of soldiers from London to Hastings to test the viability of moving troops by motor transport. During the First World War, many patrols enlisted – often returning to their former regiment – and the AA organised converted ambulance cars provided by its members.
In 1938, a Supplementary Reserve to the Corps of Military Police was recruited entirely from AA patrols, whose chief duty was traffic control, and they served in virtually every theatre of the Second World War.
Many patrols joined the reserves in the post-war period and these close ties continue with the AA working with SaBRE (Supporting Britain’s Reservists and Employers) to promote the benefits of the reserves among its employees. It also works with The Poppy Factory charity and Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) to place injured soldiers in work.
The AA is a key partner of the Help for Heroes 4×4 European Rally, which recently topped £1 million for the charity.
(15 January 2016)
Image ©UK MOD Crown Copyright 2015
Left to right: Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon MP, AA police contracts manager, Steve Sharpe (a former regular and reserves soldier), and AA Executive Chairman Bob Mackenzie