How These Veterans Went From Frontline To Deadline At Forces Media Academy

From combat to creativity, from Bandsman to broadcasting. Forces TV followed a group of veterans who signed up for a new career path.

Veterans who faced the realities and rewards of military life in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Ireland have an exciting new career path.

The journey these veterans took at the Forces Media Academy towards a new career in the media is being documented in a new Forces TV programme, 'Frontline To Deadline'.

Watch 'Frontline To Deadline' tonight at 9pm UK on Forces TV

Forces TV Blue Logo

Thanks to bursaries from the Royal British Legion to help towards living costs, 15 veterans were given the opportunity to train at SSVC's headquarters at Chalfont St Peter in Buckinghamshire.

The course, taught by academic professionals, lead to a level HNC qualification preparing the veterans for roles in the UK's dynamic media and digital economy.

In 'Frontline To Deadline', Forces TV’s Victoria Smith follows their journey throughout the year right up to their graduation ceremony with His Royal Highness The Duke of York.

All candidates were offered work experience with companies like Forces News, Sky, STV and the Royal Marines Charity.

The CEO of SSVC, Simon Bucks, said:

"These veterans took a completely new direction as they transitioned from service life to study alongside our media professionals here at SSVC.

"Their successes during this course demonstrate how the skills they have learnt in their military careers can be transferred into very creative fields such as digital, TV and radio production."

Forces Media Academy Students Filming at SSVC

The veterans were faced with a variety of practical and academic challenges which included creating social media videos for military charities.

The graduates all have bright futures ahead of them in the world of media.

Poppy Pawsey Invictus Games Forces Media Academy Royal Marines Band Service
Poppy Pawsey

It has been a big year for Poppy Pawsey who won bronze at the New York Radio Awards for a documentary she co-produced on the Invictus Games with Forces Network Digital Producer William Warren.

Poppy is a former Royal Marine musician who was medically discharged from the forces because of injury and sank into a deep depression.

She found a way out when she was chosen for the Invictus Games 2017. Poppy got a place on Team UK for archery and swimming and was so successful that she has been selected for the next Invictus Games in Sydney, Australia.

Freddie Wright-Jones Royal Navy Forces Media Academy
Freddie Wright-Jones

Freddie Wright-Jones is spending the summer with the Forces Network as an LGBT reporter, focussing on diversity within the military world.

Freddie was a Royal Navy medic who came out as gay while serving. Early in his career, he was deployed to Afghanistan where he saved many lives on the battlefield. Sadly, one soldier died, and Freddie developed post-traumatic stress disorder.

Now he is turning his eyes and ears to the future and is hoping for a career in TV and radio.

Anthony Bart-Appiah Forces Media Academy SSVC

Former British Army movement controller Anthony-Bart Appiah has used his new video production skills for a campaign on traditional African textiles called Rock Your African Print.

Emile Gheesen has been inspired by what he learned on the course to push forward with his documentaries. He wanted to learn more formal skills to sharpen what he was already creating.

Peter Lisney has been working on 'History Of The Spitfire', a documentary told in the words of the last surviving veterans who flew the iconic planes.

"It is the story of an aeroplane that was forged in competition, shaped as the war clouds gathered, and refined in the white heat of combat – going on to become the most famous fighter plane ever made."

It has been a groundbreaking year for the students. They graduated in July with special guest His Royal Highness The Duke Of York handing out the certificates.

Want to know more about the Forces Media Academy? Head here >

Get the BFBS App

You can listen to all of Forces Radio BFBS' stations and streams anywhere, anytime using our app for Apple or Android mobile devices.
Get it on Google Play