FRENCH NATIONAL GUARD AND MILITARY RESERVE: POCLAIN SUPPORTS ITS EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN THE ARMY
January 8, 2020
Poclain recently signed a convention with the French National Guard in charge of the Ministry of the Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior, in support of military reservists to give Poclain’s reservists eight days with full wages a year in order to fulfill their commitment.
Poclain joins 370 private companies making this commitment to their reservist employees. Harry Callebaut, Health Safety & Environment Director, represented Poclain on November 14th to sign the convention for the Enterprise-Defense partnership with the Lieutenant-Colonel of the National Guard and CRED (Correspondant Reserve Entreprise Defense), and the Head Lieutenant-Colonel of the National Gendarmerie for the region.
In France, reservists manage the time between their professional lives and their engagement with the Armed Forces. With different backgrounds, transferable skills, solid ethics and discipline, these men and women are exemplary employees. At Poclain France, Pierre and David serve in the French National Gendarmerie, and Mickael serves in the French Air Force.
Lieutenant Gendarmerie Reserve
Pierre is an application engineer with Poclain since 2015. At 18 years old, in his last year of high school, a three-week military prep program piqued his interest. He wanted to contribute positively to society, so he became a reservist in 2005 while at the University of Technology in Compiegne (UTC). All through his studies, starting with a degree in material engineering and finishing with a doctorate in data simulation, he maintained his commitment to the Gendarmerie. Currently, he is part of gendarmerie operational reinforcement. He helps maintain security at major events such as the Tour de France, the G7 Finances, and the Euro 2016 in Paris.
In 2014, he participated in a youth seminar for the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de Défense Nationale), covering current defense and geopolitical subjects. Pierre has also lent his hand to other projects: setting the framework for a mobile application to help gendarmes assess electrical risks and take safety measures during an intervention, as well as activities promoting the gendarmerie with students of the UTC earning the “Armées-Jeunesse 2016” award and “Trophée de la citoyenneté 2019’’.
“I can’t mono-task. I like prioritizing and handling many different projects. My experience has also helped me keep things constructive when working with others. It has helped me to hone soft skills and implement them in my day-to-day,” says Pierre. “What is really interesting though are the people the network of reservists brings together from a variety of backgrounds and trades.”
Mirage 2000, Alpha Jet, Falcon and Casa 235 Specialist
Mickael is a veteran of the French Air Force, an flight engineer from 1997 to 2006. “It was a demanding job that requires being deployed for 6 to 8 months a year,” says Mickael. For a better home-life balance, he decided not to re-engage... Well almost. This hydraulic specialist who performs on combat aircraft, freight aircraft and passenger transport, engaged as a reservist the next day.
“I used to install Poclain motors at OEMs. I started at Poclain in 2013,” he explains. He is a production leader, dedicated to assembling motors on the night shift to have more time for his obligations as a reservist. He splits his professional life between the Creil air base and the night shift at Poclain. "In the military, I learned to be disciplined and deliver quality. If the plane does not work, it falls out of the sky. I love what I do in the military so much. It is my passion. I still participate in missions abroad, and I get to meet passionate people." Thanks to the reserve, Mickael is still a flight engineer. The commitment to the military runs in his family: Mickael's father was a professional soldier, and today his daughter serves as a reservist in the Gendarmerie.
Mickael is dedicated. He is involved with middle and high schools to promote the Brevet d’Initiation Aéronautique (BIA) a French certification in the basics of aeronautics in partnership with national education and the air force. He is also a national administrator for the memorial commission an organization dedicated to sustaining the memory of veterans and president of the veterans association in three communes.
A licensed investigative officer
David is a manufacturing engineering technician in charge of machining tool testing processes and continuous improvement, on machines like the CNC. He moved up to his current position over the years, starting out as an operator. He is also a first responder.
“Tooling is what I do. I learned from veteran tooling specialists. Even with all of the advances in technology today, the experience I have has a lot of value. Today, when I meet with application engineers, we speak the same language. I like my job a lot,” he says.
David learned order and discipline with the Gendarmerie squadron in Paris at Seine-Saint-Denis. He originally volunteered for 18 months. Then in 2003, the Compiègne Gendarmerie contacted him to be part of a team of 15 to launch a reserve platoon of auxiliary gendarmes. "When I engaged in the reserve, it was for my country. Thanks to this agreement, I will have eight more days of service I can give per year.” The commitment runs in David’s family as well, “My father was in the national police in Paris, then Dieppe.” David also holds the title of “Judicial Police Officer” allowing him to participate in criminal investigations.
“As a reservist you learn empathy. When I started with the reserve, psychology was part of our training. You learn how to listen to others." David continues. Empathy is something he uses every day. “When I’m evaluating an issue with a machine, I get input from the person who works on it. I am there sometimes for one hour, but the person who is there all day has a different perspective.”
Safety is also very important to David, having intervened in many serious or fatal accidents. “It leaves an impression." It has made him more adept at identifying safety risks and helping rectify them.
The Compiègne Gendarmerie Company has 95 reservists. They are 30,000 operational reservists in all in the National Gendarmerie, and 39,000 in the army. In today’s national and international climate, the thousands of reservists who give their time and make the sacrifices to serve under the Ministry of the Armed Forces or the Ministry of the Interior are indispensable.