Wow, I can’t believe how long ago it’s been, I do catch myself thinking about my time quite often. I joined in February 2009, out of university and joined the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) as a Vehicle Mechanic Engineer (this was my trade). I spent fourteen weeks at the Army Training Centre Pirbright, learning the basics about being a soldier (fitness training, field craft, tours in Belgium, France, Germany) and developing individual and team skills. This is commonly known as Phase 1 Training.
On completion of Phase 1 training everyone is sent to their respective core training school. For me it was the School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (SEME) at Bordon. I spent ten months learning and specialising in my trade. Once I had completed all my trade training, I was now classed as ready to join a unit where I would begin my journey in what we always referred to as the real army. In April of 2010 I joined the Light Aid Detachment (LAD) of one Logistic support Regiment (LSR).
The Light Aid Detachment comprises of the Vehicle Mechanic Engineer squadrons of about 30 REME soldiers, including all ranks (Commanding officer down to the soldiers) and our role was to keep all vehicles in top condition for the regiment. I spent over two years with my LAD; deployed on various field exercises to Canada, Germany and an operational tour to Afghanistan where I took on a different role as part of the Female Engagement Team (FET).
I enjoyed my time in the army and given the same circumstances, I would do it all again. Coming back from Afghanistan my relationship with my now husband grew, we knew being in the army was not what we wanted for the rest of our lives. We both knew what we wanted and made the decision to leave. It was scary and I didn’t know what to expect.