only began training with the Army in January 2013 – I started in the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. It was hard work from the outset, but the training is second-tonone – everyone knows it sets you up for life. And in spite of my initial fears, being female has never been an issue. I’m encouraged to do anything a man can do, and when I first joined up, I was in a platoon with 30 other women, so there was always someone else feeling the same way, who I could talk to if things got tough. You experience so much together that they become your best friends.
After Sandhurst, I started training to become a Troop Commander with the Royal Signals in Dorset. So far it’s been amazing – I get to do so much stuff, including participating in the Commonwealth Games in Scotland as part of the regiment that provided security and communications. The social life is pretty good, too – there are plenty of black-tie balls, so we get to dress up and feel very glamorous. Plus keeping fit is an essential part of Army life, so there are loads of opportunities to try new sports. There’s also ‘Adventurous Training’, which gives you amazing experiences in situations such as skiing, climbing or parachuting. You can even compete at the very highest level in your sport of choice. I love that no day is ever quite the same.
Of course, I’ve had moments when things have been hard, and I’ve sometimes wondered if I’m cut out for the job – I’m training to be a Troop Commander, and it’s quite daunting to realise that you’re going to have to take responsibility for looking after the lives of 30 or 40 other people. But everybody pulls together, and you’re encouraged to ask for help if you need it, which means you never feel like you’re on your own. I know I’ve only been doing this for two years, but I have no idea what else I would do with my life if I wasn’t in the Army.’
‘I love that no day in the Army is ever the same’