Talent & experience of Service leavers ready to be tapped for society benefit, says General

Dick Applegate, who left the UK armed forces in 2010 as Lieutenant General was the first Chief of Materiel (Land) in the Defence Equipment and Support organisation and a member of the leadership board of the British Army for 3 challenging years. Latterly he was Quartermaster General.

Applegate said: ‘On leaving the Forces, our servicemen and women have a huge amount to offer the nation and business in these difficult times and beyond.

‘Until now, the focus has quite rightly been on their exceptional personal sacrifices on operations. They have masses of ideas, energy and drive, and a ‘can do’ and ‘will do’ attitude which is all too rare – they just need timely and high quality advice and mentoring to become successful entrepreneurs. This is why Heropreneurs and what it offers, is so important.’

Now a successful businessman, Mr Applegate has been appointed as patron to military charity Heropreneurs which specialises in advising and supporting Service leavers and their spouses into business.

His current appointments include Chairmanship of Elbit Systems (UK), directorships in Design Blue/d30 Ltd, Ferranti Technologies and UAV Tactical Systems Ltd, and Managing Director of Eagle Strategic Consulting. He is also a senior adviser to Newton Europe, Atkins, Hewlett-Packard Defence and Renaissance Strategic Advisors (sic).

In addition to his UK honours, Dick Applegate is an Honorary French Foreign Legionnaire following combat command of Legionnaires in and around Sarajevo in 1995, and a holder of the US Legion of Merit (Officer Class). He is also a Fellow of the City and Guilds of London Institute and Chairman of fund-raising for the Royal Artillery.

Richard Morris, the founder and Chief Executive of Heropreneurs said: I’m absolutely delighted Dick is joining the team at Heropreneurs. Dick had a distinguished career in the army and was exceptionally successful in the most challenging of times across an unusually broad range of government and military activity. He is now a very well respected and highly regarded business leader.

‘Dick’s appointment as patron sums up our ambition that we continue to attract the best and brightest of the armed forces community. We are not a tick-box organisation. Going into business is a journey that is not to be taken lightly. To say that ‘anyone can do it’ would be to raise expectations and would be irresponsible of us.

We see people as they are, as entrepreneurs and founders of start-up or early-stage companies, not as charity cases.’