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Tom Petch

Former SAS Commander | Author | Film Director

Tracey Duke

"Tom Petch is a dynamic and insightful speaker whose diverse experiences as a former SAS Commander, seasoned film director & author, provide a unique vantage point on leadership, innovation, and storytelling. Engaging with Tom offers audiences a unique blend of military precision and cinematic creativity, ideal for leaders, creatives, and teams seeking to blend discipline with innovation"



A former SAS Commander, Tom Petch's remarkable odyssey seamlessly intertwines the meticulousness of military tactics with the artistry of narrative creation. His tenure in the British Army, leading intelligence operations in Cambodia and Bosnia, laid the groundwork for a career that transcends the conventional.


Transitioning from military service in 1997, Tom ventured into the realm of filmmaking and storytelling, founding Salt Film in 2000 and later Dark Wave Film in 2018. His directorial prowess was showcased in The Patrol, a film that clinched the Raindance Film Festival Award in 2013 for its authentic portrayal of the Afghan conflict.

Adding to his achievements, Tom authored  "Speed, Aggression, Surprise," a book that delves into the real origins of the SAS, debunking myths and bringing to light the contributions of unsung heroes Dudley Clarke and William Fraser, uncovering the truths of military history and strategy.

Beyond his roles in film and literature, Tom is an ardent advocate for veteran charities, championing the rights and welfare of those who have served, further exemplifying his multifaceted contributions to both military and creative fields.

What to Expect

Expect an engaging and insightful experience from Tom Petch, whose rich background as a former SAS commander, film director, and author brings depth to his presentations. 


Key themes in Tom’s talks include:


Leadership and Resilience: Drawing from his military experience, Tom shares invaluable lessons on leadership under pressure and fostering team resilience. 


Authentic Storytelling: His ability to craft powerful stories from his own life captivates audiences. Tom demonstrates the impact of authentic storytelling in leadership and communication, providing techniques to engage and inspire.


Overcoming Adversity: Highlighting strategies for overcoming obstacles, adapting to change, and thriving in adversity.


Innovation and Creativity: Actionable strategies for fostering innovation and leveraging creative skills to solve complex problems.


A Lasting Impact 

Tom Petch brings a unique perspective to leadership, resilience, and the art of storytelling, making his talks invaluable across various sectors.  


His book, Speed, Aggression, Surprise, coupled with his film The Patrol, serve as compelling case studies on the application of military principles in leadership and the power of narrative in shaping perceptions and driving change.

Ideal Audiences

  • Corporate Executives: For insights on strategic leadership and resilience.

  • Professional Sports Teams: For lessons on team dynamics and overcoming adversity.

  • Creative Industries: For inspiration on storytelling, innovation, and creativity.

  • Educational Institutions: For motivational talks on adaptability, ethics, and integrity.

Tom's message of innovation, grounded in the rigours of military strategy and the creative demands of filmmaking, is a call to think differently, challenge the status quo, and embrace the stories that shape our world

Tom Petch
Quick Look


Represented by: Tracey Duke

Location: West Sussex, England

Who: Tom Petch, an ex-SAS Commander, intertwines military precision with narrative artistry. Transitioning from leading intelligence in global hotspots, he established Salt Film and Dark Wave Film, directing the acclaimed "The Patrol." His book "Speed, Aggression, Surprise" revises SAS history, underscoring his advocacy for veterans.


What to Expect: Expect an insightful journey through Tom Petch's diverse experiences, from SAS operations to cinematic storytelling. His talks delve into leadership, resilience, and creative innovation, drawing parallels between military tactics and filmmaking. Audiences will leave inspired, with a nuanced understanding of narrative power and the intricacies of team dynamics.

The Lasting Impact: Tom will challenge conventional narratives and inspire creative courage. His unique perspective encourages audiences to embrace complexity, think critically, and pursue authentic storytelling, fostering a deeper appreciation for the intertwining of discipline and creativity in shaping impactful narratives and resilient leadership

Available for: Keynote Talks. Panel Discussions. Film & TV

Popular with: Veteran and Military Organization. Film & TV Companies. Universities and Colleges.



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