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GE Aerospace’s Quick Six with Andy Bell, member of the Military Officer Leadership Program (MOLP)

June 26, 2023 | by Gina Daugherty
In our next installation of Quick Six, GE Aerospace sat down with Andy Bell, a member of the Military Officer Leadership Program (MOLP). Bell spent 25 years flying several front-line aircraft for the Royal Air Force before joining GE Aerospace a year ago.

Located at Cheltenham site in the UK, Bell is halfway through the two-year program, which consists of 3 rotations anywhere in the business. He is currently working within the Defense and Systems Supply Chain.

Tell us a bit about your experience in the Royal Air Force and how the transition to GE Aerospace has been going.

I spent 25 years as aircrew in the Royal Air Force flying as an Air Electronics Operator on maritime patrol aircraft, as a helicopter pilot and on surveillance aircraft and tactical heavy lift transporters including the A400M.

I was looking for a more stable life for my family than the military could offer, and I was thrilled to have found the opportunity within GE Aerospace to explore various roles within an aviation commercial business environment.

Despite having left the RAF over a year ago, I am still transitioning from military service and adapting to the different challenges that present themselves. A key moment in my transition was while attending the annual GE Veteran’s Networks summit in Boston last October. I found myself surrounded by people who understood my 25-year-career in service who were all willing to help in the transition journey. From those connections, doors have been opened that I didn’t expect, helping me grow a wide business network for my future with GE Aerospace.  I am determined to reignite efforts on this side of the Atlantic and strengthen global relations in the GE veteran community.

What are your roles and responsibility at GE Aerospace?

I am part of the Military Officer Leadership Program (MOLP) which offers me the chance to explore three different business areas over a two-year period, demonstrating and developing the transferable skills from my military service and applying them to solve complex problems and effect business goals. I am currently on my 2nd rotation and conducting a change management and implementation project within the Defense and Systems Supply Chain.

Outside of my main role, I am coordinating efforts to re-ignite the UK arm of our GE Veterans Network and strengthen the ties across the Atlantic as it seeks to grow on a global scale.

All photos courtesy of Andy Bell.

What made you want to get involved with the Veterans Network employee resource group?

As part of the program, I was privileged to receive an invite to the GE Veterans Network summit in Boston last year but found that I was the only representative from a UK site. Seeing the success of the network in the US, I was determined to re-energize veteran activity in the UK, which has unfortunately been in decline over recent years, and there’s a real opportunity to make a difference for our people here, and not just our veterans. We’re a fully inclusive network that welcomes all employees to join in and benefit from our efforts. It would be great step forward to see more of us from the UK side of the house.

What inspired you to join GE Aerospace? Did you always envision yourself working in aviation?

GE Aerospace jumped off the page as a company that offers opportunities to work on some the world’s most exciting aerospace products and initiatives which have several military applications. Given that most of my life has been devoted to aviation this was a natural and exciting choice as I transitioned from my military career.

What motivates you in your work? What do you enjoy most?

I relish a challenge and the post-pandemic commercial aerospace sector offers plenty of those as it recovers. What I have always enjoyed is the feeling of completing a project or task that has real impact and celebrating that success as a team; this role has given me the opportunity to do just that.

The Veterans Network has Esprit de Corps at its heart, a value which most who have served will probably admit was a key driver to why they did. The opportunity to develop and strengthen a similar level of teamwork within the business through veteran network activity gives me a real buzz and the number of contacts I have made as a result is simply unbelievable. Transitioning away from a military career is often difficult and certainly true in my experience; to say that it has lifted me up would be the understatement of the century.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Life outside of the military has allowed me far more time to spend with my family and has given me a more predictable and stable lifestyle to enjoy with them. We love tennis. My wife is a coach and our boys play at a great standard for our local clubs and county. My involvement is rather social and more on the spectator level, but we all get involved in playing at the local cricket club which is more my sport. Community is important to me and I support the growth of our village primary academy as a school governor.

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GE Aerospace is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, as well as integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft.