Some weeks ago the CCOE said farewell to Rudolph Keijzer. The Dutch Lieutenant Colonel served for three years as Chief of the Training & Education Branch (T&E). It’s now time to say welcome to Jan Brouwer, the new Dutch officer, who has just replaced Rudolph Keijzer and to introduce him.
Our Public affairs officer (PAO) met with Jan for an interview.
PAO: Jan, nice to have you here and many thanks for giving us an interview. How would you describe your career up to now?
Jan: My career until now has 3 main blocks: Amsterdam Police Force, Marketing Manager and Military, all 3 for about 10 years.
PAO: You were a real policeman?
Jan: Yes, I have visited the police academy from 1982 till 1986 and then worked as a police officer for 10 years.
PAO: Why did you stop being a policeman? It’s a very interesting profession.
Jan: Yes, it is and I really enjoyed it. I gained a lot of experiences. But, as it happens in life, you continue to develop and you are looking for new challenges. And I found out that I had a mismatch with the typical culture of the police force. I thought it’s time to open a new chapter for my life. I experienced some marketing training and wanted to exploit this in real-business life. So I changed jobs and started in Sales & Marketing and got my Master of Business Administration in a couple of years.
PAO: At the beginning of the interview, you said something of three blocks describing your career. I assume the business environment was the second block?
Jan: You are right. The second block started and kept me busy for just a little but longer than 10 years. I must add to this that the last 4 years was not in a company but as an entrepreneur.
PAO: Let me guess, you missed wearing a uniform. Or what was the reason for joining the military?
Jan: No, it was due to the fact that during this period I started to work as a Reservist. I enjoyed this so much that I got an ambition to become a professional military again. And it was possible!
PAO: You changed your business suit with the uniform of the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps.
Jan: Yes I did and it was a good decision. As a reservist and a Marine I came in contact with CIMIC from the military perspective. In former times I had only insights from the civilian side. And actually, the combination of careers seemed to be very fruitful.
PAO: What were the stations of your military career?
Jan: I was an active CIMIC Reserve Officer, did 3 tours as a Functional Specialist (Economy) in Afghanistan, in 2009 I became a professional and then I had 3 CIMIC missions as a professional. After a 3 year-job at the operational Maritime Battle Staff at the Dutch Navy, I got the opportunity to execute CIMIC activities as a Branch Chief for Training & Education at the CCOE. A perfect step in a career path, especially for a naval officer.
PAO: You already had insights into your job as branch chief, where do you see the biggest challenges?
Jan: This year, 2018, the big challenge lies within the Revision of our whole course landscape. We need to keep up with developments regarding the scenarios that are used, the development on the online front, the implementation of the priorities of NATO into our courses and above all, cooperate and coordinate with all HQ’s of all levels as much as possible. It is a very challenging job with many international elements. Small company, many tasks and dimensions.
PAO: Jan, many thanks for the interview and we wish you all the best for your time here at the CCOE.
Jan: Also many thanks and let me finally add a last remark: I have been a trainer during my business period, with this new chapter I combine two of my favorite things: CIMIC and training.
Interview by: CCOE/ Sven Dube