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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’

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