Former marine celebrates 10th anniversary with events company

A FORMER Royal Marine Commando from Plymouth is celebrating his 10th anniversary with an events company – where he sets up simulated military operations to develop team work.

Gary Braim, ACF Teambuilding and Event’s regional director for Devon and Cornwall, believes businesses can benefit from the marines’ values – where teamwork saves lives.

Gary, who specialised in weapons and tactics and served on a number of high risk operations around the world, said: “I believe if you can become a Royal Marine Commando then you can achieve anything.

“In the marines you eat, drink, fight and sleep with the same people. It’s a unique situation and you have to be able to work well together as your lives depend on it.

“Teamwork is vital – be it in the military, sport or business – in order to bring out the best performance. It makes for a happier and more productive organisation.”

Gary met Mark Fanning, who now heads ACF, at a business networking event at Westpoint in Exeter in 2008.

Mark, a former firefighter, recognised they could offer a new form of teambuilding together and asked him to come aboard.

They now offer military themed days – alongside their current activities - with scenarios such as survival in the wild, hostage negotiations, anti-ambush drills and being shipwrecked.

Gary, who has also worked as a team leader for a maritime security firm off the coasts of Yemen and Somalia, often shares some of his own real life experiences.

His life has been at risk on several occasions in the past and the reason he is still here today is down to the team around him.

The married-father-of-three said: “They have had my back and I theirs. The marines are a small but powerful unit of men where attitude is everything. You may be great at something, but unless you believe in yourself, you never will be the best.”

The team at ACF apply this belief to the events they run and everyone mucks in.

Gary said: “We have seen team members overcome obstacles they never thought they could. This in turns increases morale and self-confidence. They all get something a bit different out of it.

“We’ve worked with people who have previously experienced a traumatic event and we’ve gently guided them through the process.

“When they complete the course they are delighted and the team rallies round them, which is lovely to see. It brings them closer together and has long-lasting effects.”

For more information about ACF Teambuilding and Events and their military experiences, visit www.acfteambuilding.co.uk