Colonel Marian Lauder

Colonel Marian Lauder joined the Army as soon as she finished her politics and history degree and, 33 years later, she is nearing the end of her military career.

Marian Lauder

Her key skills are in defence policy, change management, HR and training. She is currently based at the Defence Academy and is responsible for delivering leadership and management education to the top slice of the MOD’s senior officers and civil servants.

She spent her junior officer years in England, Northern Ireland and Germany. Moving into the fast track, she was the first Army woman to attend the Royal Naval Staff College in 1989, leaving with a Director’s Commendation and a lifelong affection for the Royal Navy. Her subsequent Whitehall posting was dominated by the post-Cold War Defence Review. For her efforts in reducing the size of the Army by 1/3 she was awarded an MBE, an irony that did not escape her.

She was then the first woman to attend the Army’s gruelling Tactics Course, which she describes as 5 weeks of freezing misery on Salisbury Plain (but admits she volunteered). Two key leadership appointments followed, first as a company commander at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and then, on promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, a Commanding Officer’s appointment - the high point of any officer’s career which few achieve, in this case of the Adjutant General’s Corps Depot in Winchester.

She became a full Colonel in 2000, and has since worked as Financial Controller in a multinational headquarters in Germany, back again to Whitehall as the author of the Armed Forces’ accommodation and welfare policy and in the Service Personnel and Veterans’ Agency, where she had responsibility for the casualty notification cell and Medal Office as well as the whole range of day to day issues with the Forces pay system.

Marian has been married to Mike for 30 years and their home is in Winchester. She is passionate about cycling and is National Chairman of Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity behind the National Cycle Network. She is also a qualified Executive Coach. She is a recently lapsed motorbike rider and fills the few remaining gaps in her time with gardening and doing creative things with wool. She is excited about starting a second career in 2012 based around non-executive appointments.

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