Career Journeys: Rich Barratt, Former Royal Marine Commando To Cyber Security Professional

Posted on Monday, May 22, 2023 by Faye CoppNo comments

Rich Barratt, a former Royal Navy Mechanical Engineer turned Royal Marines Commando, was one of 30 ex-military personnel who took part in SaluteMyJob’s eight-week course to train him as a cyber ‘penetration tester’. Rich, originally a mechanical engineer by trade, did 10-years-service in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and subsequently spent 12-years working offshore. He is now following an interest he always had in IT, which has led him down the path to cyber security.

From a young age, Rich was interested in computers, but it wasn’t until he was made redundant from oil and gas when he began doing information security based consultancy work, where the interest was ‘re-ignited’ and he decided to focus on getting into cyber security. Rich got in touch with Managing Director of SaluteMyJob, Andrew Jackson, who recommended doing the IBM i2 Analyst Training Course and Cyber Security Fundamentals Course. After these courses Rich said he was ‘hooked even more’, which led to him doing the penetration course - part of SaluteMyJob’s partnership project from Skills Development Scotland with Abertay University and IBM

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“I can’t thank SaluteMyJob enough, the support and guidance, as well as the courses have catapulted me to where I am now,” Rich said. And that is working for Edinburgh-based cyber security firm, Quorum Cyber. CEO Federico Charosky, hosted an informative webinar during the course which led to Rich reaching out to him, and subsequently to employment as an Intrusion Analyst - where he uses the skills and experience he gained within the Armed Forces to successfully do his job.

Federico said: “Quorum Cyber are incredibly proud to partner with SaluteMyJob.  The team over there have consistently proven that individuals who leave the Armed Forces are equipped with skill sets that are of huge commercial value to business - particularly in cyber security.

“We have been so lucky to have somebody like Rich come in and join the team.  When you consider the staggering amount of life experience someone like him possesses, to be able to bring that to Quorum Cyber, and translate this experience - on a daily basis - and use it to help nurture our teams, and better protect our customers; we are deeply honoured to be in the position to welcome an individual with the transferrable skills Rich brings.”

Rich also recognises transferable skills he gained from his military service add value. The ability to take guidance, confidence in communicating with people from all different backgrounds and a ‘security mindset’ are 3 he has used to good effect. He added: “Also being able to take the lead when you know how to do something and having that confidence to project yourself.”

For those looking to get into cyber security, Rich recommends establishing a clear, initial broad area of interest, then research and take advice on a suitable path into cyber security - something, he says, ‘SaluteMyJob is doing really well’. And one of the main things, if not the most important thing to do is networking - as much as you possibly can. Through LinkedIn and if possible, insight days and other veteran platforms. “The more you build that network, the more opportunities you will have.”

Rich believes ex-military personnel are well-suited to cyber security roles because of their security training and experience, can-do attitude and their ability to work under pressure. He added: “And especially in my role at the moment I can see similarities with the military structure and environment; it's having the ability to be adaptable, flexible and all about working hard and working together to get the job done.” 


Rich is still working for Quorum Cyber but has a new role as a Digital Forensics & Incident Response Consultant.

Find out more about opportunities in cyber and our free training courses.

Originally written: 17/12/20

Updated: 27/07/2022

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