Royal Air Force veteran Charlie Brown has a new job and it is quite a radical change.

The former aircraft engineer has gone from carrying out maintenance and repair work on sophisticated aircraft to pampering clients with manicures and pedicures.

Charlie was an Aircraft Engineer for 22 years working on Harrier Jump Jets in the Gulf and Afghanistan but now he is at Cornwall College in Saltash, where he is learning how to do nails.

"When I was doing my training to be an Aircraft Engineer they give you a lump of metal and you've got to shape it into a g-clamp to a tolerance of .01 of a millimetre.

"I know some ladies if you only get their nails to within .01 of a millimetre they're not going to be very happy about it."

Many people come on Forces Radio BFBS to talk about their transition to civvy street so how did Charlie find himself on a path to becoming a nail technician?

"I've had manicures and pedicures before. I was one of the first men on the bandwagon when we all started using moisturiser in the 90s.

"I need to do something, can't just kick my heels all the time and I said oh what about a manicure course?"

And how did his wife react to that suggestion?

"Rolled her eyes and went, not again."


From RAF Technician to Nail Technician! Coming up #HatchandGeere Rich and Verity Bfbs speak to Charlie Brown who made #transition from @RoyalAirForce to beauty industry! Here he is at the Koko Salon at Cornwall Colege in Saltash...

Posted by BFBS Radio on Monday, 19 February 2018


The 46-year-old explained how the comradery of the frontline compares to the banter in the salon. Asked if it is like Loose Women, Charlie laughed and said:

"I wouldn't be so sexist as to say it's just constant gossip, but it's constant gossip.

"It is great, there is a comradery. We operate a salon here, we've got customers here all morning and all afternoon."

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