Learning The Ropes
As a young member of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, Mark Laird trained as a radio telegraphist and went on to specialise in a range of communications technology, including mobile tactical communications, radio operations, tactical reconnaissance, mobile communication infrastructure, and vehicle command.
He believes that the training and experience gained in the Armed Forces provided him with a terrific springboard for his non-military career. He said:
“When you're in the military, you're always on edge. A commanding officer can make a phone call and you're being deployed within 24 hours.
"When you're running a business, everyday things are never the same. You have different problems and challenges to deal with. That really keeps me on edge, which I think is a good thing.”
As a soldier, he was responsible for millions of dollars’ worth of equipment, such as armoured infantry vehicles.
He would take care of a wide range of tasks; from simple soldering to setting up secure communications systems and transporting equipment in all weather, including extreme conditions.
Starting A New Chapter
When Mark left the British Army after seven years, he went to university to gain more qualifications, found an IT role working with Ministry of Defence projects, and joined Scottish Fire and Rescue as a retained firefighter.
Then, he started up his own IT support business.
Eventually, in 2008, Mark started 'Lairds of Troon', a company that designs and installs advanced communications technology, such as entertainment systems and audiovisual solutions.
Recognised In Veteran Awards
The business gives Mark plenty of variety and opportunities for problem-solving, which he thrives on. Mark said:
“The more challenges you get, the more you want to get your hands dirty.”
As a result of his achievements, Mark has been named as a finalist for the 2020 Scottish Veterans Awards for Innovator of the Year, which aim to inspire future service leavers that great things can happen.
The awards ceremony is taking place on April 1, 2020, in Edinburgh.
Mark also attributes his success to his top-notch team and the fantastic support of his wife.
This story is part of Life After Service, a week-long campaign where BFBS will be running positive stories about ex-service people across all its media channels.