Lieutenant Charles Edward Martell FRGS is an English ocean rower, adventurer and humanitarian worker. A double Guinness World Record holder, Royal Engineer Charlie Martell is no stranger to adventure. Active service in Iraq, Bosnia and Northern Ireland led to a post-Army career in the humanitarian sector, where he specialised in post-conflict resolution. Working in mine-affected countries such as Cambodia, Angola and the Republic of Georgia opened his eyes to what specialists like him could do for communities living amongst mines, bombs and other debris of war.
What Drives Me | The desire to raise funds for selected charities, knowing that these charities are having a direct and positive impact on the beneficiaries is probably my main motivator. I am fortunate enough to sit on the Management Team of one of my chosen charities, so I do get to hear how raised funds are being spent.
My Highlights | My career has been in two parts so far. The first being my military career where I always aimed to be the best at things I was interested in. I came top of my first promotion course and came top of the Army’s Diving Course. One of the other main highlights was passing the arduous Commando Course, run by the Royal Marines. My career in humanitarian mine clearance, is something I’m incredibly proud of. It was tough in many ways, but the satisfaction knowing that we had put land back in to use and potentially saved someone’s life was fantastic. Rowing across the North Atlantic Ocean (west to east), raising a large sum of money for charity and earning two world records are definite highlights as well.
Key Talents | I don’t believe I have a particular talent, nor strength, so perhaps my advice would be, be yourself, be personable, be able to speak to everyone at every level in society without judgement.
- Do a SWOT test – learn what your strengths and weaknesses are
- Try to work on the weaknesses, make them your extra strengths
- Use moral courage to make yourself (and others) a better person
- Be patient
Characteristics That Have Led To My Success | Stubbornness is probably my main characteristic. Not willing to give in after meeting the first obstacle. I try to relish the obstacles as there is normally a way around them, forcing me to think of alternative routes.
My Critical Skills | Communication is key, without it failure ensues. Setting an example to others, trying to inspire
younger (and hopefully older) generations, through presentation and teaching. Being enthusiastic and not being selfish.
Performing At My Peak | Mental focus coupled with both mental and physical strength is important to me.
Keeping Informed And Inspired | I remain active in fundraising for charities and seeing the beneficiaries, talking to them and where possible, spending time with them keeps me inspired and informed at the same time.
Dreams And Ambitions I would like to circumnavigate the globe both through latitude and through longitude.
The Best Advice I’ve Received | This piece of advice was originally spoken by Sir Winston Churchill, but was reiterated to me by ‘The Forgotten Highlander’, former Prisoner of War (WW2) Alistair Urquhart. Alistair said to me, “Never, never, never give up.” He referred to the quote by Churchill, “Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
On Building Wealth | Does wealth have to mean rich? A wealth of experience far outweighs someone who is rich with no (life) experience. Greed will leave you unfulfilled.
The Legacy I Would Like to Leave | Quite simply, if I could leave a legacy whereby people push their personal limits, whether mental or physical and hopefully help others in the process, I would be delighted.