CAPTAIN PAT BURGESS MBE
Career: Pat joined the Army in September 1992 and arrived at The Second Royal Tank Regiment in Fallingbostel, Germany. He served with the regiment in Germany, Northern Ireland, Canada, Poland, Iraq and Afghanistan in a career that saw him from Trooper, through Tank Commander to RSM. He later became the Unit Welfare Officer for The Royal Tank Regiment and then went on to become Quartermaster Technical and then the unit Quartermaster. He has since taken up the post of OC Normandy Squadron in The RAC Training Regiment. He has deployed on operations to Northern Ireland and several tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Pat and Mindfulness: His interest in Mental Health, Resilience and more specifically Mindfulness started in 2009, whilst on operations in Afghanistan. He has been practising Mindfulness since then and has gained further qualifications and experience in the human science area. He completed an Open University degree in Psychology after noticing the lack of a ‘therapeutic relationship’ between soldiers returning from operations and their counsellors. He introduced Mindfulness at the end of PT sessions for the Regimental Boxing Team and has trialled its use coupled with visualisation techniques on unit live fire ranges. He has also delivered numerous presentations on Mindfulness and coping strategies across the Field Army to Schools, Erlestoke Prison, The Samaritans, MIND mental health and to those working in welfare and support roles on behalf of Army Headquarters Health. He also delivered Mindfulness workshops at Glastonbury Festival in 2019. To date he has delivered to over 5,000 military and civilian personnel.
Qualifications and Memberships:
He is a member of the Defence Mindfulness Steering Group. He is also a founder of, and currently involved in, the implementation of Fitness Integrated Resilience Skills Training (FIRST), an innovative approach to bringing Mindfulness Informed Recovery into the existing culture of physical training, this initiative is supported by Army HQ. He also runs Mindfulness classes for the permanent staff, both military and civilian, at the Armour Centre in Bovington and has recently created a defence-wide online Mindfulness course, which currently has over 2,800 subscribers internally and has since been released on the Army’s external webpage as open source, averaging 800 views per week.
He has a BSC(Hons) in Psychology, a Diploma in Mindfulness, has been trained in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy at Oxford.
He was awarded an MBE in the 2020 New Year's Honours list for his tireless work in introducing Mindfulness into Defence.
Pat's aim is to make Mindfulness readily accessible to all people, enabling them to learn the skills themselves and helping them to remain in balance.