LIFE as a bus driver really isn’t that different from driving heavy duty military vehicles, retired soldier David Gilmovitch has admitted.
The former Staff Sergeant served across the world while in the British Army, driving everything from jeeps to the massive 28-tonne M2 amphibious rig – a vehicle used to create make-shift bridges over bombed-out rivers.
Now working as a National Express coach driver based in Fareham, Staff Sgt Gilmovitch says it’s a role he is relishing – and one he is urging other veterans to consider taking up.
The 50-year-old – who completed combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan – said: ‘It was absolutely ideal for me being ex-military. It ticked all the right boxes.
‘We’re always on time and polite because that’s what we were trained to do in the military.
‘I’ve served all over the world, driven some of the biggest vehicles on some of the most dangerous roads. So I’m perfectly suited to work with National Express – and it’s a job I love.’
Staff Sgt Gilmovitch, of Gosport, works with Lucketts Coaches and is part of a rota system to ferry passengers across the country with National Express.
He has spoken about his time with the company after National Express renewed its support of the armed forces covenant, a pledge which looks to give military veterans the best possible chance in securing work.
The five-year promise offers a guaranteed interview to service-leavers for all National Express roles. This guarantee also includes spouses and families of veterans.
On top of this, it extends the 60 per cent discount rate for those currently in the military, among other benefits.
Dean Finch, chief executive at National Express, said: ‘Armed forces personnel and their families do a great service to this country and it is right that companies like ours do what we can to support them.
‘We employ many ex-services members and current reservists and also want to recognise their significant contribution to our company and the country.
‘Our extended commitment demonstrates both the success of our first covenant and our commitment to growing this important partnership with the Ministry of Defence.’
Staff Sgt Gilmovitch first joined the Royal Engineers in 1988 before transferring to the army’s Adjutant General’s Corps.
He left in 2012 and joined Lucketts in 2017.
‘The job’s been great,’ he said. ‘Every day is always different.’