Life after service

Intelligence Officer Turns Innovator

Rosie was an officer in the RAF who went on to own a global business, Doddl. Here, she lets us into the secrets behind her success

Alongside her sister, Royal Air Force veteran Rosie Phelps-Goggin has produced an innovative range of children’s cutlery.

After leaving the Armed Forces, Rosie, together with her sibling, Catherine, spent two years researching, designing and crowdfunding to produce the first-ever knives, forks and spoons specially made for little hands.

The result of their hard work is Doddl – ergonomic cutlery designed to encourage babies and children to feed themselves.

Breaking Down Barriers In The RAF

After graduating from university in 2001, Rosie joined the RAF as an Intelligence Officer and became the first female in an intelligence post on the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing (JSFAW), providing air intelligence support to Special Forces.

The Armed Forces appealed to Rosie’s sense of adventure as it offered her both physical and mental challenges.

However, overcoming the gender barrier proved to be her greatest hurdle, as women were rarely deployed alongside special forces back then.

Rosie spent six years with the RAF, with half of her time spent on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At the end of her Short Service Commission (SSC), Rosie decided to explore opportunities outside the Forces. She says:

“Towards the end of my SSC, the RAF was going through a period of rationalising, which meant that I wasn’t offered a permanent commission until latter stages of my resettlement.

"I had been fortunate to do one of the best and most demanding roles in my branch.

"My experiences with JSFAW had given me the confidence that I could achieve anything that I set my mind to and I was ready for a new challenge outside of the Armed Forces. ”

Transforming Family Mealtimes

Launched in 2016, Doddl cutlery is designed for little hands – unlike standard products on the market.

Working with child development specialists and product designers, Rosie and Catherine created knives, forks and spoons that toddlers and children can comfortably grip.

Their innovative cutlery helps children to eat on their own and minimise food spillages, while developing fine motor skills.

And, while kids get on with their meal, parents have more time to relax and enjoy family time around the dinner table.

Doddl Goes Global

Although it hasn’t been a doddle setting up Doddl, Rosie’s unwavering ambition and commitment has helped the business become a success story.

The same skills that drove her forward in the RAF, has seen Doddl become a family favourite in more than 30 countries.

The sisters already have exciting plans to extend the range, which comes as great news for parents around the world.

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.