International Men’s Day: Leading by example

Members of our Force share their thoughts and memories of male colleagues who have inspired them, as positive role models, during their careers with the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP).

Ministry of Defence Police
5 min readNov 19, 2021


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Dave, Retired Chief Superintendent: by Princess, Strategic Development and Change Planning Manager

“Since joining the MDP, I was fortunate enough to meet my mentor, Dave, now a retired Chief Superintendent. Within the first six months of joining the MDP, I met him through what was the MDP RACE Network and having many diversity discussions,that naturally led into career mentoring.

“One of the many things I learnt from my role model was my style of leadership and I was able to get the encouragement and support to uptake my Masters in Law that I am currently pursuing. Although he is no longer with the Force, Dave has certainly been a great role model that has steered me back on to my career path after having a child.”

Neil, Police Sergeant: by Kerrie, Chief Inspector

“Neil was extremely supportive when I was going through the process for promotion to sergeant rank, encouraging me, taking the time to explain processes and policies, and helping me prepare for my interview. This might not sound like a lot, but as someone who was anxious about going through the process and was unsure whether I was good enough to be a sergeant, having someone who supported and had confidence in me really helped.

“For me a role model is someone who is a positive example and whose behaviour is worthy of imitation. He was definitely a positive example to me, especially as he was going through the process at the same time. It would have been easy for him to see us in competition with each other, but he didn’t and was always there to help.

“I’ve always remembered this and now I always make an effort to try to help other officers going through the process, in the same way he helped me.”

David, Detective Chief Inspector: by Stefanie, Detective Sergeant

“From the moment I joined Crime Command in 2016 until now, I have had a male role model. David supported me at the beginning of my career in Crime Command, ensuring I was given the adequate help, support and resources to establish myself as a Detective.

“He gave me encouragement to sit the Detective exam and the promotion exam, helping me to realise my own potential, which I perhaps wouldn’t have seen in myself. He ensured I was given opportunities to access training and opportunities to engage with other Home Office Forces to give me a wider understanding of the role and how I could improve the department I worked in as a manager.

“Without David’s help, support and guidance and him constantly displaying his high standard of work then I don’t think I would be where I am now.”

Mitch, DPF General Secretary: by Claire, Force Welfare Officer

“My role model is actually my husband ‘Mitch, General Secretary of the Defence Police Federation’, some may say that’s unusual, however, we have always had a relationship that has managed to clearly separate our working personas from that of our private lives.

“Mitch has a golden thread of integrity running through him, he has always maintained that no matter what the situation. He has helped me understand that you should always give the best version of yourself, that way you can’t disappoint you or others. Be honest in all that you do, never intentionally cause hurt, but recognise that sometimes your actions may be thought on negatively. Challenge in a professional way and don’t give up if you think the path will be difficult, there is always a way and a voice that should be heard!

“I have worked alongside Mitch for 21 years and I still value his counsel. His views may differ greatly from mine sometimes, but they always provoke thought and remind us that collective views are always better than none at all.”

Ian, ‘The Legend’: by Lucy, PC

“When I first started in the MDP I had no prior policing skills or knowledge, but during my first few years I had the best mentor. Ian was a legend and rightly so earned that nickname! It felt like there was nothing that he did not know.

“He could monitor four radios at a time and know what was happening on all of them, whilst driving and having a conversation in the car. He kept calm under pressure and if you were going out external, he would be the guy you would want to be crewed with. On the route to jobs he would get you to talk through all the information, asking you questions to build your knowledge and experience. He made you feel safe in knowing what you were doing was right and lawful within the National Decision Model.

“Ian’s legendary status didn’t stop with the external job role, but extended into the control room where he was one of the MDP’s most efficient control room operators. His knowledge was much deeper than just the law. He knew a lot about the site we protected and its workers, and helped me build useful contacts and knowledge. He was invaluable and always there to offer assistance, provide guidance if you needed a hand and he never made you feel stupid if you didn’t know something.

“He was the man who taught you to fish, not fed you for a day!”

Kim, T/Inspector: by Helen, T/Inspector

“Years ago, when I was a PC in the Control Room I observed how a particular incident was handled in a way that I thought could have been dealt with better. This spurred me on to go for promotion to Sergeant.

“I was subsequently promoted, and my new Inspector was brilliant. His name was Kim. At the time I didn’t see him as a role model because I assumed that all Inspectors were of the same standard. He did the basics well. He had an air of authority, seemed to always know the right answer and inspired others to follow. He never had to shout. A simple but effective stare to let you know if you had crossed the line.

“Whilst he was my Inspector, I never felt the need to go for promotion, and it was only when he retired that I realised that it was his ethics and the way he conducted himself that really set him apart. This then inspired me to push myself for promotion. I used Kim as a guide to where I want to be and I feel that if I can do the basics well, then the rest will follow.”

More information

International Men’s Day celebrates the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities, highlighting positive role models and raising awareness of men’s health and wellbeing.

The theme for 2021 is: ‘Men leading by example – better relations between men and women.’

Find out more about International Men’s Day.

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