Reserves Day 2024

Reserves Day 2024

As an Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award holder, Arcanum have demonstrated outstanding support for those who serve and have served. A large proportion of our company have served in the Armed Forces or are still serving as part of the UK Reserves. On Reserves Day 2024, Sam Chamberlain shares his experience completing the ‘Commissioning Course Short’ while working for Arcanum.

It’s early November 2023. Storm Ciaran is battering the country with 100kph+ winds and torrential rains, and I’m sitting in a woodblock in the early hours of the morning, cold and fatigued after long days of training and minimal sleep. I’m at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst undertaking the Commissioning Course Short, a course designed to transform complete civilians into commissioned officers in the Army Reserves in just 8 weeks. Having spent over a decade in the infantry I was no stranger to arduous training exercises, but I couldn’t help but think to myself “Why?”


The commissioning courses at Sandhurst don’t just teach one how to be a soldier, but also why. Do we give and follow orders simply because there is a legal requirement to do so? Or are there deeper, moral reasons for doing so?


There are dozens of books, and hundreds of papers written on the subject and each soldier’s “why” is different. To simplify hours of lectures, dozens of books, and hundreds of papers, I like to think that servicemen and women do what they do because it is the right thing to do. “Doing the right thing, on a difficult day, when nobody is watching” is a mantra that all Officer Cadets who have gone through the Academy will be intimately familiar with.


Coming from a background in recruitment, I’ve often been asked what skills the military brings to civilian life. The list is long and includes technical skills, leadership, teamwork, physical and mental robustness, logistical management, and planning. All critical skills to mission success, whether in a military or civilian environment, but it’s that moral courage to do the right thing, not the easy thing, that I think sets serving and former military apart.


Looking back on my first 6 months with Arcanum, I can’t help but notice the similarities. Officially, the Arcanum Code of Ethics are Impartiality, Reputation, Compliance, and Confidentiality. Unofficially, there is the often talked about, but not always fully quantifiable “Arcanum Way” of doing what is right. I have seen it in the way our consultants work to support clients, I have heard it in the way our directors speak about the help they had personally given to a charity who had been the victim of cybercrime, and I personally experienced it when Arcanum not only supported but encouraged me to take a full month off to commission as an officer in the Army Reserves.

Our team of highly experienced consultants have ex-military or government service experience, high level security clearances, and hold the latest industry certifications. We have consultants who were among the first in the country to be registered as Chartered, Principal, and Associate practitioners with the UK Cyber Security Council. Many are Armed Forces Reservists, using their cyber-security skills and expertise on operational tasking to help protect the UK. They employ the same highly developed principles and commitment to deliver timely, high-quality work and advice to our clients.

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