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Sergeant Jennifer, 31, has been in the Army for 15 years. Here she reveals what it’s like juggling her career with raising two-year-old twins…
‘During my career in the Army I’ve been determined to get the most out of the opportunities available to me. I’ve been to Iraq, Afghanistan, Canada, Cyprus, and I’ve lived in Germany twice.
As well as being a Class I Communications Systems Operator, I’ve become a teacher – I can now teach weaponry and how to dispose of improvised explosive devices. It sounds scarier than it is, but I like knowing I can keep calm under pressure.
Like with any job, there are tough days. My first tour of duty was in Iraq, when I was 20, and it was an eye-opener. Women aren’t looked at in the same way there – I was spat at and had insults shouted at me, all because I was female. It was hard to deal with, but it made me realise how lucky I am to do everything that I do as a woman.
The Phase 1 Training was a big challenge because it was such a shock to the system. But looking back, it was good to start so young – I arrived as someone used to having Mum do everything and quickly had to learn to do things myself.
I joined up because I was sports-mad at school, and that’s something you get to do a lot of in the Army! You get free gym access and you’re paid to work out. There are also opportunities to do adventurous training, like skiing and kayaking.
I did consider leaving the Army to be a stay-at-home mum when I had twins. But then I thought: “What can I do that would make them proud of me?” I think I made the right choice.’
To find out more about life in the Army or how to become a Reservist and get paid to train in your spare time, go to army.mod.uk/join/.