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When it comes to career options, the Army might not seem like a typical choice for women. But if it's excitement and variety you're after, it's definitely an employer worth considering. A career in the Army isn't just for men, and at Closer we're here to prove it. There are plenty of roles available for women, from engineering to communication, HR to combat.
18-year-old Private Molly McKinlay is a Combat Medical Technician in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC). She joined the Army straight from school a year and a half ago, and trained on the Army Foundation College's short course in Harrogate. During her training, Molly also featured in Channel 5's documentary Raw Recruits: Squaddies at 16.
"When I was in school I went on a week's work experience in the Army, and it was brilliant – I've loved it ever since," she says. "I wasn't ever going to go to university, so I thought the Army would be a good career for me, something I could get stuck into for the rest of my life."
For Molly, the variety of experiences and opportunities she gets in the Army definitely beats "having a normal job where you're doing the same stuff every single day. With the Army, there's always something different to look forward to. I love meeting new people and being able to do something new every day."
Currently Molly is posted in Germany, and says her day-to-day role within the regiment involves working with armoured vehicles on site and managing all the medical kit. But, as a medic, it's also vital that she's prepared for treating injured soldiers in the field.
"You go on exercises all the time and do validation to keep you up-to-date with the medical skills. As I progress into my career I'll have the opportunity to go on operational tours as a medic. In the field, you'd either be attached to the infantry or working in a medical centre, so an important part of our medical training exercises is to practise treating casualties, either on your own or with other people," Molly explains.
"We learn everything from everyday diagnoses like colds, flu and headaches, to basic first aid and dealing with more complex trauma injuries, like stopping bleeds."
As a 16-year-old school leaver, Molly says leaving home for basic training was "a bit of a shock", but says the opportunity to be more independent was fantastic. "You get treated really differently compared to when you're at school, and it's really exciting to learn all the different things that you just wouldn't learn otherwise," she says.
Outside of work and training, Molly also plays in the women's football team for the Army Medical Services. "Different medical regiments in the UK and abroad come together and play football in a league, so when the season starts in September we'll have coming up against the RAF and some of the different Army regiments," she says.
While most of their matches are in the UK, Molly says there are also opportunities to travel the world on overseas sports tours, which she's excited to one day get involved with.
As well as a varied career and the chance to travel, you'll also find a great community spirit in the Army. "You see each other every day, and everyone's been through the same thing, so you do get along really well. Everyone supports each other and looks after each other," Molly says.
If you're thinking about signing up, her advice is to make sure your fitness is at a good standard, be confident, and keep your mind open to new experiences.
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.