From Barracks to Boardroom: The Remarkable Journey of Major Paul Stone

An army officer in full uniform holding his daughter in his arms. Next to him a woman with another daughter.

In a world where juggling multiple obligations can be a daunting task, there are individuals like Major Paul Stone who have mastered the art of balancing their civilian and military duties. With 17 years of service in the Australian Army Reserves and a full-time role as a Compliance Manager for Defence Service Homes (DSH) Insurance, Paul's story is a testament to the dedication and resilience required to excel in both realms.

For Paul, serving in the Australian Army was a lifelong dream, inspired by his father and brother who had also dedicated themselves to the military. Joining the Army Reserves 17 years ago, Paul has since embarked on a remarkable journey, which includes overseas training, full-time service in Timor Leste, and countless memories that he cherishes.

However, the path of a reservist is not without its challenges. Balancing overlapping responsibilities can often lead to friction points, pushing one obligation into the other's space. Paul acknowledges the tremendous commitment required from him, as he constantly adapts and pivots between his civilian and military lifestyles.

One of the requirements for many reservists is regular weekend training exercises. While it may seem inconsequential to the civilian employer, for the employee, it means 12 days of continuous work without any time off. This can quickly take a toll on the individual, especially when coupled with additional family responsibilities and other neglected tasks.

'As a Company Commander, I have served over 100 Army Reserve Training Days in the last 12 months,' Paul reveals. These training days encompass a wide range of activities, including warfighting exercises, first aid and combat courses, and general barracks duties. The routine of peeling away from the desk on a Friday, packing bags, and hitting the road for military duty has become second nature to Paul.

Returning home on a Sunday evening, unpacking, and then mentally preparing for the full-time job on Monday morning can be an exhausting cycle. Paul found unwavering support from DSH Insurance, his civilian employer. 'I was honest with DSH Insurance, who understood my requirements and immediately assisted with a flexible workplace arrangement,' he shares. This arrangement included accommodating rostered hours and work-from-home allowances, enabling Paul to fulfil his Defence duties.

Paul acknowledges that his ability to achieve this delicate equilibrium is not solely his own. ‘My balancing act has less to do with me and more to do with the support of my wife and family,’ he admits gratefully. Paul recognises the invaluable role played by his wife Lisa, who has been an extraordinary mother to their daughters Ruby and Lola. Paul advised that, ‘as with all service personnel, it is the care and sacrifice of our partners and families that enables our ability to serve in any capacity.’  

In a world where finding the perfect balance between competing obligations is a constant struggle, Paul Stone's journey serves as an inspiration. His unwavering dedication to both his civilian and military duties, coupled with the support of his loved ones, showcases the immense possibilities that can be achieved with determination and resilience.