Steve Heaney MC has an elite military background and is an expert in leadership and management, strategising and decision-making and high performance team building and cohesion within the military both at home and abroad. His unique experience of success and struggle is both enthralling and inspiring.
Steve’s exemplary military career began in 1986, and much of his prowess as a speaker comes from his extensive expertise gained whilst in the services. By the time he left the military, Steve was regarded as one of the most experienced parachutists in the army, and was instrumental in pioneering high altitude jumping techniques including the space age High Altitude Parachutist Life Support System (HAPLSS) an insertion method designed to allow Special Forces operators to jump from altitudes well above 30000 feet.
At twenty he became the youngest ever member of the secretive X-Platoon, or as they are more formally known, the Pathfinders. It was with this group that Steve completed the infamous campaign in Sierra Leone in May 2000.
Just 26 Pathfinder soldiers were dropped into a remote jungle village, expecting a 48-hour operation that soon became a fierce 16-day siege against 2000 rebel attackers. In the early hours of 17 May 2000 the village was attacked by a significant rebel force, the Pathfinders engaged the rebels during a vicious close quarter battle; the first jungle fighting the British Army had conducted for over 40 years. With no reinforcements available to support them the Pathfinders were forced to fight on alone.
For his outstanding leadership and actions under fire, Steve was awarded the Military Cross (MC), becoming the first Non Commissioned Officer in the unit’s history to receive this decoration.
After leaving the military he went on to work for the UAE Government for over a decade and effectively aided in the reshaping and strategising of their Land Forces and Special Operations troops. His work internationally, concerning the tactics, techniques and procedures of both British and foreign military campaigns, embodies many of the values companies and educators seek out in instigating change and encouraging endurance in the wider world.
As an established motivational and keynote speaker, Steve delivers corporate speeches applying his military values to the business environment, his speeches are full of inspirational tales of leadership, dedication, hardship, overcoming adversity, risk and high adventure as well as invaluable business lessons.
Steve Heaney has written about the operation in Sierra Leone in his Sunday Times bestselling book Operation Mayhem, his second book titled X Platoon, also a best seller which describes his early life, entry into the Parachute Regiment and then selection and service with the British Army’s elite Pathfinders was published in 2015.