Stories / mars 02 2022

Bridging the Gap Between the Military and Civilians

As the COO of Grieg Strategic Services (GSS), Hans Peter Kibsgaard gets to use both his military experience from the Special Forces and his middle school logistics experience as a chocolate milk salesman.

“Joining the Armed Forces had always been a dream for me. I started as a paratrooper for a year, before joining the Naval Special Operations Commando, where I stayed for ten years. I loved that job, and I looked forward to every single day at work. But for me, it wasn’t very compatible with being a family man,” Hans Peter says.

When looking for a more family-compatible job, Hans Peter knew he wanted something where he could tap into the knowledge and competence he built in the Armed Forces. When he learned about GSS, it didn’t take long to realise it was a good fit.

“In the Special Forces, you learn how to be creative, to come up with plans the enemy doesn’t expect. You also need to be solution-oriented and structured and have the determination and discipline to follow through despite resistance. I get to use all that in my job in GSS.”


Collaborating With the Military

Grieg Strategic Services has a strategic agreement to provide logistics services to the Norwegian Armed Forces. The company has security-cleared project managers co-located with the National logistics operations centre, who use the Grieg Group’s expertise, resources, and network to deliver its services. By having project managers with both civilian and military experience, the company has a unique ability to provide tailor- made solutions.

In his position at GSS, one thing drives Hans Peter more than anything else: trying to optimise the collaboration between the military and civil society.

Strategic partnerships between the Armed Forces and civilian companies started to gain traction in 2015, and still, only a few parts of the army are used to collaborating with civilians.

“My goal is to build an assurance in the armed forces that civilian companies can be a reliable resource and deliver high-quality services. To be cost-efficient, we have to make common use of available resources. I believe allowing civilians to support logistics, health, and other areas that don’t require military training, and letting the Armed Forces focus on what they do best, is the way to go.”

Chocolate Milk and Veterans

There is little doubt that Hans Peter is a man of initiative. This was apparent already in middle school when he was annoyed that the school cafeteria didn’t sell chocolate milk. It didn’t take long before he organised his own chocolate milk sale, with the profits contributing to financing a school trip.

According to him, that’s where he first discovered a knack for logistics.

In recent years, he has used his initiative to work for an association called Neste Steg (Next Step). The association, of which Grieg Group is a partner, helps veterans and retired professional athletes bridge their experience, knowledge, and competence from the military and athletic career to a civilian one.

“Being in the military gives you so much experience. But the longer you’re in the military, the more adjusted to that world you become. Veterans tend to speak in a way that civilians don’t understand, making them feel like they don’t have anything to contribute. But they possess so much knowledge. Next Step helps them build awareness of their own competence and potential,” Hans Peter explains.

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