While protecting their country in some of the most hostile environments in the world, you could forgive members of the Special Forces for thinking about something else.
Some might talk of football or dream of women – but Ben Wansbrough-Jones thought up a business.
He is part of a team of 11 – five are former members of the Special Forces – who put their military experience to use to create Blackdown UK, which offers adrenaline-fuelled team-building exercises and counts the likes of British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) among its customers.
Mr Wansbrough-Jones, who runs the company in the Warwickshire countryside, said he was keen to set up a business to utilise military skills that all too often go to waste.
“We were in a far-flung place of the world and part of what pushes you on are the dreams of what you are going to do when you get back,” he said.
“I thought through my ideas overseas and when I got back Phil Harvey, a soldier and a good friend I met during training, was leaving the forces and struggling to find work, so I was looking for a way I could help get him into some kind of a career.
“You have got a bright guy who is charismatic, but in reality people come back from roles that require really specialist training from the military which ceases to be redeployed.
“People love to hear about stories but when it comes to getting into work it all goes quiet. So that is where our journey began.”
Mr Wansbrough-Jones left the forces in February 2010, followed by Mr Harvey who, two years on, now looks after Blackdown UK’s client portfolio.
Mr Wansbrough-Jones went into business consultancy before a client meeting eventually led to the inception of Blackdown.
“The first contract I got was for BSkyB and one of their guys suggested team-building,” he explained.
“We wanted to use what we had learned and be able to apply it in a totally new way in the business environment. I have been very lucky to work with the group – the guys are amazing people and I wanted to help them.”
Now, the self-funded business, based in Kenilworth, is helping other companies strengthen their teams through orienteering, survival skills, pistol-shooting and driving off-road vehicles.
The firm recently started a new campaign called Times Are Tough, to encourage organisations to reward their staff through team-building as an alternative to financial incentives, and to boost morale despite the recession.
Blackdown UK sets teams tailored tasks to benefit their needs, from physical challenges to survival tasks which get the heart pumping.
But Mr Wansbrough-Jones said there was far more to the business than just the experience.
He said: “The delivery is one part but beforehand we have to find out what a company is trying to achieve and what their problems are.