Girl Guides inspired by RAF women

A team of female RAF personnel were invited to deliver a presentation about the career opportunities and experiences of being a female working in the predominantly male environment of the armed forces.

In attendance were 1st Downham Market Guides, 1st Southery Guides, Clackclose district senior section and their representative adult leaders. Squadron Leader Samantha Alexander, took the lead and explained the path she took when joining as a Commissioned Officer, she spoke about career progression, and the numerous roles she has held throughout her service career. Swiftly followed by Flight Lieutenant Natalie Morrell, who works within the Primary Care Rehabilitation Facility at Marham. Natalie talked about being a qualified physiotherapist and working in the NHS before deciding to make the change and join the RAF also as a commissioned officer.

Acting Sergeant Iona Kelly, from Supply Squadron discussed her experiences whilst deployed overseas at Forward Operating Bases in Iraq and what it is like for a female to serve as close to the front line as females are allowed, She also spoke of the different roles you can be employed into as a non-

commissioned rank in the logistics trade. She showed the girls her six medals which she had been awarded over the last 15 years – 4 of which she explained were for operational tours. She spoke of the many extra activities she partakes in, RAF Ski Champs and being a spinning and high ropes Instructor.

Cpl Lindsay Goetz, a qualified aircraft technician openly talked about the deployed operations that she has

been on all over the world, and the challenges of working in a male environment.

Senior Aircraftwoman Alex Parry, went on to tell of her experiences about the selection process involved in joining up to the RAF and what was expected on Recruit Training Squadron (RTS) at RAF Halton.

As a personnel clerk her duties have been diverse, challenging and rewarding and included providing professional support and reassurance to families, which is key in enabling the effective delivery of operations by our military personnel.

Sergeant Joanna Jones, an adult leader, said: “I feel that empowerment is a very important part of a young woman’s life these days and any opportunity to develop and nurture this attribute should be welcomed at any time. It was a gratefully appreciated presentation and would like to thank everyone involved as the Girl Guides enjoyed every moment of it. It now looks like we have a few girls wanting to join and become future leaders of the RAF!”