Jonny Mortimer Hendry served within The Parachute Regiment & Special Forces Support Group for 7 years before transitioning to Investment Banking in London. He then set up a Cybersecurity company and has been running it for the last few years before coming onboard with BMF to support the Veterans’ Franchise & International Projects.
What was the path that lead you to today?
From a young age, I’ve played sport to a high level and prided myself on physical fitness. I won a scholarship to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst where I commissioned and could pursue my ambition of leadership and serving within a unique organisation. I had the privilege of working with elite athletes and highly skilled operators, where I’ve served across the world, spending a number of years on Operations that increased my intrigue of human performance. I’m passionate about supporting entrepreneurial veterans and being part of a team that has a dedicated focus to improving the lives of those involved, this naturally led me to become part of BMF.
Who inspired you to do what you do?
I entered Sandhurst as a teenager and was cast with doubt when I said I wanted to become an Officer in The Parachute Regiment. Upon leaving the military I was greeted on civvy street with the assumption that without a university degree I couldn’t add value. People will always advise you against setting up a business on your own because of the risks involved. I always found proving people wrong to be my greatest motivator.
What have been the biggest obstacles you have encountered?
I went to boarding school at 8 years old around the time my parents were divorcing and had to find my independence from a young age. I broke my leg playing rugby when I was at school and the injury meant I couldn’t join the Army, so I had to rebreak and remove the metalwork just before entering Sandhurst. I was fortunate to service on operational tours in Afghanistan during a busy period and after completing my first tour I went to another unit that was redeploying in a couple of months. The quick succession of deployments and high tempo of activity made it very difficult to adjust back to ‘normal’ life. I found that redefining my purpose was the best way to overcome this transition, especially when entering the commercial world.
I was awarded promotion to Captain at 23 years which at the time was the youngest Captain in the British Army. I was fortunate to have served with some outstanding individuals during a complex time in Afghanistan and testament to our team, I was awarded a Mention in Despatches for Gallantry. I think leaving the military and reorientating your priorities to a civilian life can be challenging, I underestimated the process, but feel that I am getting the hang of it! I spend a lot of time helping others do the same through networking and various schemes. I’ve also completed the London Marathon in 22lbs of Body Armour in 3:28, raising over £15K for charity and setting a world record. Yes, the chaffing was aggressive!
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Never give in to the voice that says “you can’t”
Why is getting outdoors so important in modern life?
I think 2020 has proven that for me! The human physiology and psychology thrives when you’re outside. Scientists have shown that the outdoors offers a natural stress relief, builds immunity and sharpens your focus. In today’s world of powerful technology, many people feel the urge to simplify and get back to nature, but it ultimately comes down to improving your health.
Amongst all the endeavours you have been involved with, which is the most unforgettable and why?
That’s a tough question, but throughout my time in the Army I relished the opportunities to work with like-minded people in austere environments where we needed to complete complex challenges. The espirit d’corps and will to win got us through a lot of situations and I was honoured to be part of some great teams. I trained as a Jungle Warfare Instructor and the most unforgettable part of being in that harsh climate is realising that the ‘jungle is neutral’, it doesn’t care who you are, it can kill you, but you can also thrive within it. I quite liked that life lesson being displayed so vividly.
Why is this particular project so important to you?
Be Military Fitness is on an awesome trajectory and I’m proud to be part of the journey. We help in facilitating veterans’ to run their own businesses which will set them up for success and help those who struggle when they leave. Redefining one’s purpose is incredibly important and I believe you can find it through our International Projects and Franchises.
Who has been an unsung hero in your life?
Do you have a motto you live by?