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Lt Cdr Guy Wadge celebrates 10 years as a Reservist

22 June 2022
As part of Reserves Day 2022 Celebrations, Lieutenant Commander Guy Wadge, RNR Media Operations Specialist shares his story on a vibrant, action-packed 10-year career, working with both the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, alongside a civilian job in the oil and gas sector.

“I joined the Maritime Reserves in 2017 in the Media Operations specialisation, after leaving the RN as a regular in 2012 to work in the oil and gas sector, conducting seismic exploration. As the price of oil dropped, the number of surveys declined and unfortunately the day rate with it. I needed another source of income, something flexible that I could work around my survey business, which often means I’m away for a few months at a time. 

My prior Naval experience, particularly in Media Operations, has paid dividends over the years. With the Covid-19 Pandemic preventing maritime crews from travelling through ports or airports to ships, oil and gas exploration completely shut down. The Royal Navy immediately put my experience and knowledge to use, first of all by mobilising me to OP RESCRIPT (the British Government’s response to the Covid-19 Pandemic) to help with the internal communications program across the whole of the Royal Navy.

I was then offered a chance to conduct strategic communications for the counter piracy task force CTF-151, based out in Bahrain, working as part of a multinational Headquarters under Turkish command. Finally, I was requested to fulfil a Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) role, coordinating all of the Carrier Strike Group 21 public relations and strategic communications, acting as a liaison between the various ships, including HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH as well as members of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force.

More recently, my input to Exercise Cold Response as a Media / Public Relations Officer onboard HMS ALBION involved planning and coordinating the scenario media activity for the exercise, working closely with the Royal Marines, who specialise in a deeply technical and very structured planning procedure. It brought me back to my roots of my first role in Media Operations some 19 years ago with 42 Commando Royal Marines, and meant I understood how best to support them from a communications perspective. I also routinely advised 1* officers and above on what we should be communicating, providing digital products to support the UK government’s and the Royal Navy’s strategic aims.
There are many similarities between my two jobs. The difference comes with the rewards and the satisfaction. The fruits of my exploration work won’t come to light for many years and the reward is purely financial. What I enjoy with the RNR is seeing things like a press release that I’ve written be published near verbatim in a major daily newspaper. Or writing documents that will be put before senior ministers within the MOD, even the PM himself on occasion. My more recent work has taken me into the heart of Whitehall, where I’ve been party to major policy decisions and direction, gaining insight into how government works. It’s been utterly fascinating. I probably haven’t made that many smart decisions over the years, but joining the Royal Navy as a reservist has certainly been the smartest one yet.”

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