As a former Senior NCO in the Household Division in the Coldstream Guards, Geoff, 44, has proudly served his country all over world including operational tours in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Iraq.
He enjoyed his 16-year army career where no two days were ever the same, and completed numerous instructional posts training weapons and tactics at the prestigious Guards Depot and other training establishments. Since leaving the army, Geoff has built a successful career in several sectors, including security and recruitment.
Born in Croydon, Surrey, Geoff moved to Thetford, Norfolk, aged seven and still visits the area regularly to see his parents. Nowadays he lives in Midhurst, West Sussex, with his wife, Gillian, two daughters, and his two dogs – Frank the Springer Spaniel and Daisy the Boxer. A keen biker, another passion is Crystal Palace Football Club, a team he is devoted to through thick and thin.
Born in a military hospital in Germany, Chris, 40, grew up in the British armed forces and is proud to have been part of the best military in the world where the camaraderie and constant laughs form bonds of friendship that last a lifetime.
Married with two children, Chris lives in Shrewton, Wiltshire. Following in his father’s footsteps, he joined the Royal Military Police (RMP) in 1988 and served 16 years, the final 11 years as a member of the Close Protection Unit (CPU).
During his military career Chris supported and led many RMP Close Protection (CP) teams across the world protecting HM Ambassadors, UK diplomats, and UK senior military staff in conflict zones. This included significant time as personal bodyguard and CP team leader to General Sir Richard Dannatt, the former head of the British Army and a founder patron of Help for Heroes.
Colin, 46, is married with three children and lives in Liss, Hampshire. Born in Evesham, Worcestershire, he moved to Guernsey when he was six years old and stayed on the Channel Island until 1986 when he joined the Royal Military Police (RMP).
During his 24 years service, Colin was responsible for the personal safety of Field Marshall Sir Richard Vincent, then chairman of the NATO Military Committee, and ended his military career as the lead instructor in the world-renowned RMP close protection unit.
Since retiring from the military Colin has built a successful private sector career in close protection, working in the field and training others, a job he loves because it can often save lives. He travels to work by motorbike everyday and loves biking in the British countryside where the advantage of being on a bike means freedom and great views that you miss being shut in a car.
Media and PR – Bron Madson
Bron Madson worked as a journalist for nine years before moving into the world of media relations, working in a number of major Whitehall Departments including Education, Health, and the Home Office.
During her 14-year Whitehall career Bron, who now lives in Cambridgeshire close to where she grew up, was Press Secretary to the Rt Hon Alan Johnson, and Dame Suzi Leather. Since leaving Government, Bron has successfully made the transition back to the private sector. She is working pro bono for DD2012 because, being a former military wife, helping wounded servicemen and their families is a cause she is passionate about.
The Medic – Mick Hanley
Mick, 47, trained as a member of the British Military Royal Marines Commandos before joining the Royal Military Police (RMP) in 1984. During his ten years with the RMP and many tours, including commanding a weapons intelligence section in Northern Ireland, he finally became a Senior NCO in charge of a Military Police detachment.
After leaving the RMP, Mick joined the UK police force where, among other specialist duties, he was responsible for the protection of members of the Royal Family. This led to a career in Personal Security; working for the FCO in Erbil, before going to Iraq as Team Commander for a US 1 Star General.
Since leaving the military life, he has used his skills and ability to build a successful career in the security sector – first as a founder and managing director for Longmoor Security Ltd, and now with Armatus Risks Group. Brought up between Manchester and Blackpool, Mick now lives with his wife, Eva, and two daughters in Crickhowell, Powys, in Wales. For him the trip is an adventure but also endurance test which will teach the guys even more about each other.
The Mechanic – Karl Pickering
Karl, 42, lives in Ipswich, is engaged to his partner Liz, and has a 22-year-old daughter, Kerry. Born and bred in Suffolk, Karl is a life-long Ipswich Town football fan.
At 18, Karl applied to join the British army as a mechanic. Unfortunately there weren’t any vacancies for mechanics at that time, and he was asked to reapply the following year. But by that time, he was married and Kerry was on the scene, so he opted for life in civvy street. A keen biker, Karl has always been fascinated with mechanics and, as well as the day job, he is currently building a 1976 Suzuki GS750.
Whilst combining full-time education with work and family, Karl passed his B-Tech in motorcycle design technology and engineering and a City and Guilds in motorcycle mechanics, with distinction and merit.
His admiration for the military and his love of bikes, led to Karl joining the Royal British Legion Riders Branch, and he has never looked back. Karl wants to be part of DD2012 because “the people we are helping are an inspiration to all of us”.