The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), established to help Service men and women make a successful transition back to civilian life, is pleased to announce the appointment of Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE as its new Chief Executive.

In his new role, working with a multi-disciplinary Board of Directors, Lock will be responsible for delivery of the strategic direction and operational activities of the Trust, including managing the distribution of a £35 million 20-year endowment awarded to the Trust by the Big Lottery Fund.

Nearly 20 000 people leave the Armed Forces each year and return to civilian life.  Transition from a military career, while a successful process for the majority, has presented problems for a significant minority.  It is this group, and their families, that the Trust seeks to help through a programme of evidence-based research and direct grants to relevant organizations.

Air Vice-Marshal Lock is well equipped to take on this role.  His varied career in the RAF included flying combat missions during the first Gulf War and command of Royal Air Force Lyneham during the second.  He conducted numerous operational deployments and served for over 6 years in Germany.  More recently he worked at the UK’s Defence Academy site in Shrivenham, initially as the Director of the Advanced Command and Staff Course at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, then as head of Joint Doctrine, Air and Space.  After a final promotion he returned to the Staff College as its Commandant, from where he transitioned to civilian life at the end of 2012.

Lock’s long military career, much of it spent on operations and in a joint environment, combined with his own recent first-hand experience of the transition process, gives him the in-depth understanding the role requires.

Lock says: “A smooth transition back into civilian life is essential to give military personnel and their families the confidence and opportunities to build new lives outside of the Armed Forces.  But we need the evidence base to inform and influence those responsible for supporting the transition process, whether it be in the fields of employment, housing, mental health or many others.

“Working with like minded organisations, FiMT is in a unique position to fund research which will give new insights into what contributes to a successful transition.  This will ensure we fund projects that enable the most positive outcomes for veterans, and position the UK as an innovator and leader in this area.”

The Chairman of the Forces in Mind Trust, Tony Stables said: “Ray’s varied military career, particularly his extensive command, joint and academic experience, coupled with his own recent transition, make him well placed to build on existing relationships to develop further new partnerships.  He will be a great asset to the future success of the Trust.”

Since the Trust was established in 2012 with an endowment from the Big Lottery Fund and support from The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, initial projects including SSAFA Forces Help Mentoring Project and the Early Service Leavers trial at Catterick Garrison have been commissioned with more in the pipeline for 2013.  Major ongoing research projects include mapping the whole transition process and identifying any gaps in understanding the mental health of veterans.