Amazon is a proud supporter of serving Armed Forces personnel, reservists, veterans, and military families, and in 2022 we are taking our support a step further.
Almost a decade ago, Amazon signed The Armed Forces Covenant. The Covenant has a focus on helping the Armed Forces community to access the same support from Government and commercial services as the public.
Increasing military community support
In 2022, Amazon is increasing its support of the military community by growing its partnership with the Royal British Legion. The partnership, which began two years ago, sees Amazon encourage customers to support the Royal British Legion through an official charity store, featuring products that raise money for the Legion. All proceeds from the sale of goods go directly to the charity. Amazon also offers customers the opportunity to support the Royal British Legion through Amazon Smile.
In addition to several support programmes for the Royal British Legion and other services charities, Amazon offers an employment programme for members of the services community called the Amazon Military Programme. The programme offers members of the military community the opportunity to pursue a wide range of exciting new career paths at Amazon.
“I have a network of like-minded colleagues”
Many of the veterans working at Amazon joined the company through the Amazon Military Programme. Littlehampton-based Aravind Rajendran, who is originally from India, joined Amazon in 2021 through the programme.
Before coming to Amazon, Aravind served for 10 years in the Indian Army, including deployment on missions across the world. After leaving the military, he moved to the UK to undertake a master’s degree in war studies at King’s College London, with the aim of starting a new career in public policy.
Aravind completed his studies and applied for a job at Amazon. He was successful, and was relocated to Sussex to join the team at the company’s delivery station in Littlehampton, where he now works as an area manager.
“I never imagined that someday I would be working for Amazon,” said Aravind. “I didn’t go to management school, English isn’t my first language, and I was anxious about not fitting in due to being a veteran. I was wrong to be worried though because Amazon doesn’t discriminate based on which race you are, which language you speak, or which career background you come from – we are one team, working towards one goal.
“So much of my identity comes from being a solider and Amazon not only understands how veterans work but gives us tools to succeed,” added Aravind. “Being part of the Amazon Military Programme means that I have a support network of likeminded colleagues from all over the country who offer personal, non-judgemental friendships alongside practical advice about career progression.”
“Amazon’s customer obsession appeals to me”
Terri Moloney works at Amazon as a military recruiter and joined the company following a 15-year career with the Royal Air Force. After leaving school, Terri joined the RAF at 16. During her time in the military, she held several positions, first joining the RAF as an air and ground steward.
Later in her RAF career, Terri joined the team at the Armed Forces Recruitment Centre, where she was part of the military recruitment team. After leaving the military, Terri took GCSE exams in English and maths, before achieving qualifications in management and leadership. Deciding to continue with her further education, Terri did a degree in business management, graduating with first class honours.
Towards the end of her career in the RAF, Terri was planning her next move and noticed job posts on LinkedIn for recruiters on the Amazon Military Programme. She applied for a position and the rest, as they say, is history.
“I loved the military and really enjoyed the satisfaction of recruiting people,” said Terri. “The job at Amazon is such a great fit for me, offering the chance to work at a company with countless opportunities for growth while also keeping me in touch with the military.
“One of the things about Amazon that really appeals to me is the customer obsession,” Terri adds. “I’ve always been customer-focused too. In the RAF, I was part of the customer-facing team and I loved it. Amazon’s focus on its customers really resonated with me and that drew me to apply for this role. I also think it’s amazing that Amazon offers so many opportunities for people leaving the military.”
“Building relationships has been fantastic”
Clive Smyth works at Amazon in Doncaster as a learning business partner. Clive, who has been with Amazon for over three years, has 32 years of military service under his belt. He spent 20 years in the Navy as a medical assistant and medical support officer, before transferring to the Army as a medical support officer.
Today, in addition to his role with Amazon, Clive serves as a reservist in the Royal Army Medical Core as a commanding officer of the reserve medical regiment. Clive was inspired to join Amazon after hearing about the Amazon Military Programme at an event he attended. Clive was there with his wife, who was also transitioning out of the Army, and when he learned about the opportunities for the military community he applied for a job with the company.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time with Amazon,” said Clive. “I wanted to join Amazon because of the strong ex-forces network, and it’s been great to get involved in Amazon Warriors affinity groups at the different Amazon buildings I’ve worked in.
“Building relationships has been fantastic for me, helping me to grow my own network and have conversations with like-minded people from the services community.”
“It’s important to give back”
One thing that unites Clive, Terri and Aravind, apart from their military backgrounds, is their appreciation of Amazon’s support of the Royal British Legion.
“I think Amazon’s support of the Legion is fantastic and it will benefit so many people from my community,” said Terri. “It’s important to give back and the partnership with the Royal British Legion is a fantastic example of how Amazon is supporting the military community in the UK,” added Clive.
“Being part of the military community is special and I think it’s fantastic that Amazon is supportive of that community both inside and outside the company. I am sure the campaign with the Royal British Legion will continue to benefit those who are serving and those who’ve left the military again in 2022.”
Walking in their shoes
This year, employees from the Amazon Military Programme will support the Royal British Legion in the company’s operations and corporate buildings across the UK. Activities planned in the run-up to Armistice Day include a fundraising challenge called ‘Walking in their shoes’.
The challenge, led by the Amazon Warriors affinity group, will be commemorating Remembrance Day by taking on a 56-mile walking challenge. This year marks the 40th year since the Falklands War, where British forces marched 56 miles (90km) across the Falklands in May 1982, carrying heavy packs after losing transport helicopters to a missile strike. Amazon is installing three treadmills at the company’s London headquarters where Warriors and volunteers will walk the same distance to raise money for the Royal British Legion.
How to support the Royal British Legion on Amazon
This year’s Poppy Appeal launches on 27/10. Amazon is proud to be supporting the Armed Forces community again this year by encouraging customers to purchase official Poppy Appeal items from The Royal British Legion’s store on Amazon. People can shop poppies, pins, jewellery, and other accessories.
All the proceeds from the store will go directly to the Royal British Legion thanks to the Amazon For Charity a programme where customers can buy products from charities, and 100% of profits goes to their good causes. Customers who want to give more can choose to support The Royal British Legion through AmazonSmile or by visiting The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal page for fundraising ideas.