WITH more than half a century of service, this ex-Royal Navy officer-turned civil servant could be the Ministry of Defence’s longest-serving employee.
Portsmouth-based Royal Navy resettlement officer Richard Slade, 65, has finally retired from the MoD after 51 years of loyal service, during which time he has helped thousands of naval personnel adjust to civilian life.
Having made the best of the opportunities throughout my service career I was fortunate enough to be able to give something back, and that’s what this job has been all aboutRichard ‘Dick’ Slade
Richard, who plans to spend his retirement at home with his wife Jacqui and family, said: ‘Having made the best of the opportunities throughout my service career I was fortunate enough to be able to give something back, and that’s what this job has been all about.’
Known as Dick, his started his career on October 26, 1965, aged 15, where he joined the navy as a Junior Seaman.
In the early 1970s he transferred to the Royal Navy Police, known then as the regulating branch, and after 10 years’ exemplary work was selected for officer training at Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth, where he passed with flying colours winning the sword for best Special Duties student.
The early 90s saw Dick promoted to Lieutenant Commander and appointed into one of the top Royal Navy Police posts, Naval Provost Marshal Eastern England – the senior naval policeman – based in Portsmouth.
He introduced information technology and steered the organisation away from paper-based and typewritten work adopting new technology.
In 1995 Dick became officer in charge of the Royal Navy Special Investigations Branch where once again he was at the forefront of change.
His final naval post was officer in charge of the Royal Navy Regulating School at HMS Excellent, where he transformed and modernised training before leaving in 2000 for civilian life.
However, it wasn’t long before he was back in the MoD as deputy naval resettlement officer, at Portsmouth Naval Base, where he’s been for the past 16 years.
Since assuming the role he has again been the driving force behind changes and improvements made to the service.
Not satisfied with helping people in his day job, he has spent the past 18 months working with local training provider Military Mentors, offering NVQ support to young people pursuing a career in the armed forces or public sector.
Dick’s deputy, Mac McDowall said; ‘Dick has devoted 51 years of professional working life to the MoD, and has upheld the highest standard of resettlement support to the very end.
Dick now hopes to pursue a hobby of kayaking.