John Yourston rejoined Olive Group as a Senior Advisor in July 2015. John was a founding director of Olive, joining it during the Groups formative stages of development in 2002. From 2002 through 2008 he was Group Director of Security Operations in Iraq and latterly globally and played a pivotal role in assisting the Group grow from a start-up niche security provider to one of the most widely respected and professionally recognized integrated security and technology specialists serving the energy, national security and critical infrastructure sectors.
In late 2008 John left Olive Group to assist Royal Dutch Shell in preparing their strategic entry strategy to Iraq. As their senior advisor on Iraq security operations he oversaw the operational implementation and co-ordination of all security projects in support of Shells hydrocarbon operations countrywide in an investment programme totaling USD $ billions. Shell is now the largest IOC operating in Iraq, conducting two Mega projects concurrently and has one of the largest in country security teams in support.
Before embarking on his career in the private security and risk sector John was a professional soldier, serving 25 years in the British Army, most notably as a member of 22 Special Air Service Regiment. During his service he conducted classified operations and training activities in many environments around the world, accumulating substantial operational experience in delivering projects and programs in hostile areas such as Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Central/South America and other operational theatres.
John was awarded the Military Medal (MM) for operational service during Gulf War 1 and was Mentioned in Dispatches for Special Duties/Counter Terrorism service in Northern Ireland. He is also a graduate of Leicester University and hold a Master’s degree (MSc) in Security and Risk Management.