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Then, still in my early 20s and with a slim figure, I attended a fancy dress party in a nurse’s outfit without knowing that there would be 50 or so genuine nurses in attendance that night, including the wife of Paul’s boss. But Paul always said that I was a breath of fresh air and we married in 1997 in a full-blown military ceremony.
And the higher your husband’s rank, the bigger your house.Colonels were furnished with five bedrooms and a gated driveway.The same applied for an unkempt lawn or a couple of rogue cobwebs.An earlier review, published in 2014, had already overturned the long-held belief that mixing men and women in close combat roles would adversely affect the togetherness of a unit.Sir Nick Carter welcomed the lifting of the close combat ban, saying: “By allowing women to serve in all roles, we will truly help to maximise the talent available to the army and make the Armed Forces a modern employer.” When Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon announced in July that the RAF Regiment planned to start recruiting women from September, he called it “a defining moment for the RAF”.
It was the moment that I began to realise what I’d let myself in for.