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National Crime Agency officer named ‘reservist of the year’ at ex-British forces awards

A National Crime Agency (NCA) officer has received the accolade of ‘reservist of the year’, at the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards.

Jon Schlanker, 56, was handed the award at a ceremony on 27 June, in recognition of his work protecting the public as a reservist for more than thirty years.

Twenty of those years he has also drawn on his military skills and relationships to protect the public from some of the most serious and harmful threats as an NCA officer.

As both an NCA officer and reservist, Jon deployed to numerous countries on myriad missions from curtailing drug traffickers in Tanzania to protecting innocent civilians caught in the crossfire of war in Iraq.

He is currently a Major and Second in Command of a Joint Service Reserve Unit. At the NCA, he runs a multi-agency team that delivers critical resources to UK intelligence.

Jon said: “It’s an incredible honour to have even been nominated for this award, let alone win it. I feel immensely privileged to have been able to dedicate so much of my life to protecting people, both as a reservist and as an NCA officer.”

NCA Director General Graeme Biggar said: 

“I’m extremely proud that we have a reservist of the year in the NCA. Jon’s commitment to protecting the public both in the military and the Agency is admirable and inspiring. Jon exemplifies what we stand for in the National Crime Agency – going the extra mile to keep people safe.”

The NCA is passionate about supporting and developing its staff to be reservists, offering such employees benefits including paid special leave and extended career breaks, to enable them to fulfil their core duties and sometimes embark on longer-term deployment opportunities in the armed forces.

The Agency is also committed to supporting military personnel through a range of career-boosting initiatives.

The Personnel on Recovery Duty Programme is one such initiative, providing injured military personnel with bespoke placements of up to six months while they undergo rehabilitation treatment.

The NCA puts reasonable adjustments in place to allow programme candidates to become fully immersed in NCA activity and to assess whether or not a career in the NCA is for them.

In some cases, roles within the Agency are offered at the end of the placement.

When the NCA was formed in 2013, it signed the Armed Forces Covenant and registered on the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, pledging to be armed forces friendly.

Since then, it has recruited people from military backgrounds, including some with invaluable specialist skills such as intelligence gathering, surveillance and firearms training. In 2023 the Agency even set up an outreach team dedicated to attracting more officers from this community.

DG Biggar said: “Former military personnel are a huge asset to the NCA. People from the armed forces have a strong sense of public duty and a truly impressive breadth of experience and skills that are invaluable to our mission to protect people from the most harmful serious and organised crime.”

To find out more about the wide range of career opportunities available at the NCA, including through the Personnel on Recovery Duty Programme, see

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