From the call centre to the cool centre
Adventure and travel have always been in Eoghan O’Sullivan’s blood so joining the Territorial Force (TF) to get paid to do both made a lot of sense.
LCPL O'Sullivan at Granite Harbour, Antarctica (AW-10-0126-2-170).
Eoghan was born in Uganda where his parents were working as teachers but he grew up in Donegal, Ireland. He moved to New Zealand seven years ago, attracted to the sporting lifestyle, and joined the TF two years later. Eoghan has been a member of Auckland based 1 Field Squadron, Royal New Zealand Engineers ever since and currently holds the rank of Lance Corporal.
Qualified with a BEng in Electrical Engineering and a MSc in Computer Science, Eoghan puts his technical expertise to good use as a sales team leader for Vodafone, having worked in IT / Sales since 1996.
Antarctica has always held a strong appeal for Eoghan and when the opportunity came for a three month deployment to the ice with the Army, he leapt at the chance.
Eoghan deployed to McMurdo Sound in Antarctica as a General Assistant from October 2009 – January 2010.
“In that role we did pretty much anything that needed doing, all sorts of work from unloading shipping containers to working with the field science support teams”, said Eoghan.
“I was originally attracted to the TF by the combination of the outdoor activities and travel. My ultimate goal was to get to Antarctica in the footsteps of Shackleton and Crean. The highlight of my time in Antarctica was getting to work with a BBC film crew making David Attenborough’s next TV series.
“While I definitely missed my girlfriend, the opportunity to undertake a short deployment to a place that is so remote and unique was fantastic and one I could not refuse.
“Vodafone is very supportive of my military service and there was a lot of interest at work before I left. The company provided great support by giving me extra time off and enabling me to deploy easily”, said Eoghan.
Eoghan found that being a TF soldier actually helped break down barriers when working with civilians at McMurdo. Many of the civilians had never encountered military personnel before but being a part-time soldier meant Eoghans ability to move between the civilian and military worlds helped bridge the gap between both communities in the US facility at McMurdo.
The Antarctic deployment definitely rates as a highlight in Eoghans military career to date. He is now back at work and pondering his next deployment, this time he says, he wants to serve in a more tropical climate.