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Navy veteran sailing high in new career as she’s shortlisted for national award

Ms Pacey joined the Royal Navy straight from school as an operator mechanic and served seven years with the service. HMS Southampton, a type 42 destroyer based in Portsmouth, was the first ship she worked aboard.
Ms Pacey joined the Royal Navy straight from school as an operator mechanic and served seven years with the service. HMS Southampton, a type 42 destroyer based in Portsmouth, was the first ship she worked aboard.

An ex-Navy servicewoman from Inverurie has been recognised on the national stage after swapping life on the frontline for the business sector.

Rachael Pacey has been shortlisted as a finalist for the ‘Team Leader of the Year’ award in the Ex-Forces Business Awards for her work as Implementation Team Lead with Aberdeen based IT services company Solab.

The 38-year-old, originally from Market Harborough, England, served seven years in the Navy before retiring from the force and taking on a career with the Aberdeen firm last year.

Just 12 months on, she is being recognised for her efforts.

The national awards scheme, the world’s leading celebration of military veterans in second careers, broke new records this year, receiving 260 nominations.

The awards will culminate with a ceremony in Glasgow on August 19, marking the first major gathering of Scotland’s military and business communities in 18 months.

Sharing her journey to inspire others

Ms Pacey spoke of her delight at being shortlisted.

She said she hopes has accomplishments will inspire fellow ex-military personnel to peruse a career in business.

She said: “I have been extremely impressed with the work of the Scottish Ex-Forces in Business Awards to highlight the value that ex-forces personnel can bring to businesses with their transferrable skills and experience,” she said.

“I felt it was important for me to communicate my own experience and career journey after leaving the Royal Navy.

“I am very grateful that Solab recognises the value in supporting the transition of ex-forces personnel and I hope my career choice on leaving the military will help empower current and future service men and women to carve out new careers in business.”

Kevin Coll, Solab Managing Director congratulated Ms Pacey on being shortlisted, describing her as a true inspiration to many.

Serving aboard HMS Southampton

Ms Pacey joined the Royal Navy straight from school as an operator mechanic in communications in the Warfare Branch. After basic and trade training, Rachael joined her first ship, HMS Southampton, a type 42 destroyer based in Portsmouth.

In her four years onboard HMS Southampton, she served across the globe in various deployments.

HMS Southampton was part of the task force in the Gulf as aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious’ escort in Operation Veritas. Rachael went on to join HMS York as a Leading rating, another Portsmouth-based type 42 Destroyer for two years.

After serving in the Royal Navy for seven years, Ms Pacey relocated to London to work for the Security Service before moving to Scotland in 2009.

She spent five years working for Police Scotland in support roles before moving into the Oil and Gas industry for Lloyds Register, where she started as Logistics Coordinator and was promoted to Global Logistics Manager for the energy division.

Since joining Solab in 2020, the 38-year-old is now in charge of a team of five and plays a crucial role in the successful implementation of Onboard Tracker, the Crew Management, Training and Competence Software.


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Role model

Solab, which has been in business in north-east since 1991, is one of the area’s leading IT support and software companies delivering expert IT services and solutions including Onboard Tracker, the Crew Management solution for highly regulated industry.

Kevin Coll, Solab Managing Director, said he was extremely proud that Rachael’s business achievements with Solab are being recognised.
He said: “We are extremely proud of Rachael and all that she has achieved in her career, both as a servicewoman and a businesswoman.

“Rachael is an incredible role model and by bringing her military gained skills and values to her role, she is helping to lead our business success and is a true asset to the Solab team.

“We are delighted she has been nominated as a finalist and we wish her the very best of luck at next month’s awards.”

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