Being a woman in the Army: 10 years of adventure and opportunity

"It really is a lifestyle as well as a career – and, for me personally, it's a really good life."

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by Closer Online |
Published on

Sponsored by the Army

The daily 9-5 can feel so samey sometimes, can't it? If you're craving more variety and adventure, joining the Army probably isn't the first option you think of – but you might be surprised by the opportunities available.

If you think the Army's all a bit too macho, Closer's here to dispel those myths. Far from being a Boys' Club, there are lots of roles available for women in the Army, from engineering to communication, HR to combat. Plus it's one of the only employers without a gender pay gap!

Sergeant Carly Armstrong has been in the army for ten years, and says: "It's flown by, to be honest – I've been very lucky and really enjoy my career." She joined up at 17, after starting a sports science course at college and deciding it wasn't for her.

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"I initially wanted to be a PE teacher, but I just couldn't settle at college," she explains. "I'd done a Look at Life [Army Insight] course in school, and was the top student for it, so I thought maybe I should join the Army and see how that goes. My two best friends from school had already joined straight from school."

Carly works as an HR clerk in the Adjutant General Corp (AGC)'s Staff Personnel Support division. Initially, this involved dealing with administration and staff pay but, since being promoted to Sergeant, Carly is now responsible for discipline across her regiment.

Despite her administrative role day-to-day, Carly says everyone in the Army is "a soldier first, regardless of trade or cap badge." This means it's vital to keep up with combat training and exercises, as well as completing competency and fitness tests each year.

As captain of the female ski team captain, Carly also has the opportunity to spend two months each winter skiing in Val d'Isère. "I've been released [from my daily role to go skiing] quite a lot since I was made team captain," she says.

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"I get to go and race and compete, doing slalom, giant slalom, downhill and super-G skiing – that's probably the highlight of everything," she adds.

And the adventures don't end there. In her first posting, Carly was based in Cyprus, where she had the chance to go parachuting and scuba diving. She's also spent time in Northern Ireland, the Falklands, and Afghanistan.

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"The opportunities to travel are just amazing really," Carly says. "We do a lot of sports and adventure training as a way of bonding and bringing people together."

As for her colleagues, Carly says there's a lot of trust and teamwork, and male and female soldiers are all treated equally. "We get posted every three years, or on promotion, so you constantly meet new people and you do have to have quite a close relationship with each other," she says. "But being a woman in the Army is no different from being a man, we're not treated any differently."


For any women interested in finding out more, Carly recommends popping along to your nearest Army career office and having a chat with the staff there. "Everyone who works there has plenty of experience, so they can tell you what it's like. From my experience though, I've had an amazing ten years in the Army," she says.

"There's so much more to joining the Army than just a job," Carly adds. "You meet friends – some of them are even like family. You get to travel. It really is a lifestyle as well as a career – and, for me personally, it's a really good life."

Interested in a career in the Army? You should be! As well as offering fulfilling, exciting roles that you won't find in any run-of-the-mill office, the Army are also one of the few employers with no gender pay gap! Find out more about how to kick-start your military career here.


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