For Armed Forces Week 2024 Red7Marine is celebrating its veterans within the company who have diverse military experiences which match the model of the Red7Marine ethos.  

Red7Marine is a proud signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant and is a Gold Award Holder for the employer recognition scheme.  

Red7Marine has six armed forces veterans in our team at all levels of the business. As an Armed Forces Covenant, Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Cert holder we are recognised for our support of veterans, partners of military personnel and reservists. The six veterans in our business demonstrate the ingenuity and diversity of skills the armed forces provide. 

 Individually, they are all leaders in their own right who recognise the value of working together. This creates a great environment to deliver success, mutual respect, and of course fun.   

We spoke to the veterans in the business and asked them to share how they’ve used their armed forces experience in their roles at Red7Marine.  

Mark Smith  

Mark Smith is our Head of QHSE and Fabrication and he joined us in 2016 from the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry.  

Mark served in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) for 25 years. His core military trade was Metalsmith (Welder, Blacksmith, Plater and Sheetmetal Worker), but he often worked in a number of roles outside of this scope. During his career, Mark deployed and served in Bosnia, Oman, Kenya, Falklands, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan to name but a few. He retired from the British Army in 2013 as a Warrant Officer where he was a Senior Engineering Operations Manager within 16 Air Assault Brigade.  

Mark synergises his current role within Red7Marine to his time in the British Army so far as; no two days are the same, and all personnel are often delivering outputs on multiple fronts by staying focussed, motivated and by adapting to every challenge encountered along the way. 

Casey Shankster  

Casey, one of our Trainee Barge Masters was stationed at HMS Raleigh where he was training to be an aircraft engineer. Despite unfortunately having his training cut short, Casey valued the high standards of leadership and communication that he learnt in the navy.  

One of the reasons he was excited to join the Navy was to see parts of the world he wouldn’t otherwise. Casey has been able to scratch this itch at Red7Marine, working on our Jack Up Barges across the country and building relationships with his colleagues whilst being away on site, similarly to his time in the navy.  

Adam Kiely  

Whilst our Contracts Manager Adam was at university he was in the Officer Training Corp Exeter University (OTC) and following this joined 383 Commando Petroleum Troop (Reserve) where he began training for the TA All Arms CDO course.  

Adam still uses the values he learnt in the reserves in his career in construction, he notes that both the armed forces and Red7Marine encourage strong ownership as well as trust and comradery with colleagues.  

Rob Arnott  

Rob Arnott is our Marine Superintendent. He joined us 12 years ago as a trainee Barge Master, and is now firmly positioned within our management team.  

Rob served 6 years with the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment (The Vikings), and when he left he had achieved the Rank of Corporal. Rob was a Mortar Fire Controller within the Regiment and served worldwide – including Kenya and multiple tours of Afghanistan.  

Rob stated that Red7Marine operations are a close knit team; and when working to tight deadlines, the team pull together to achieve a common goal which is similar to his time in the British Army. He highlighted that the Army teaches you to lead from the front, and has continued to do this within in his current career. It has undoubtedly earned him the respect of his team of Barge Masters and Marine Operatives. 


Piling Supervisor and Barge Master Noel joined the navy in 1990 as a Seaman and had the privilege to work on a number of vessels such as HMS Osprey, HMS Beaver and HMS Coventry. After 9 years in the navy, travelling the world, with the assistance of the Royal British Legion, Noel retrained as a commercial diver. Now, as Barge Master and Piling Supervisor at Red7Marine Noel, uses his experiences in the Navy and the qualities of leadership, comradery and communication that he learnt there on our barges and sites around the UK. He appreciates the family values that Red7Marine embody that give him a sense of belonging which reminds him of his time in the Navy.  

John Walsh  

Red7Marine’s Chairman, John Walsh joined the Royal Navy at HMS Fisgard, Plymouth in January 1981 as an Artificer Apprentice, specialising in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and completing the apprenticeship at HMS Collingwood in Hampshire. During his apprenticeship John served on the Type 22 Frigate, HMS Brilliant and the last Tribal Class Frigate and HMS Zulu before completing his apprenticeship to become a Weapon Engineering Petty Officer. He went on to serve onboard the Leander class frigates HMS Naiad and HMS Juno, being promoted to Charge Chief Petty Officer responsible for the warship’s Weapon systems, Computer systems as well as the Radar and Sonar Detection. After 10 years of service, John left the Royal Navy to pursue a career in construction. 

As Red7Marine Chairman, John comments; “Showing ongoing support to the armed forces community feels like a natural extension to what we’ve always done. Achieving the Gold standard simply reflects our company ethos to be the best we can be in everything we do.”  

As Armed Forces covenant signatories we are proud to support the wider armed forces community by actively recruiting from ex-military employment schemes as the 11% of our workforce being armed forces veterans demonstrates. We benefit from exclusive access to military leadership training days for our employees and we also attend regional military events aimed at armed forces covenant signatories. We would recommend and fully endorse other companies to make their pledge to the armed forces covenant by becoming signatories themselves.