A former teacher has paid tribute to Corporal Channing Day, who was killed while patrol in Afghanistan on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old was serving with 3 Medical Regiment when she was injured in an exchange of fire in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province.
Corporal David O'Connor, from 40 Commando Royal Marines, was also killed in the same patrol. Both soldiers' families have been informed.
Corporal Day's family said in a statement: "She will be remembered by all who knew her as a wonderful girl who never stopped smiling."
Originally from Comber in Co Down near Belfast, she joined the Army in 2005 and went on to pass her One Combat Medical Technician course two years later.
A statement from the Ministry of Defence described her as a "natural medical leader" with the "potential to go far within the Army".
Mr Maxwell added that her sporting prowess revealed her gritty determination to succeed: "It was not just that she was good but that she always showed commitment, she stayed after school and did all the practice."
Paul Maxwell, the acting principal of Strangford College where she was a student, said she "always said she wanted to join the Army".
He said she achieved top grades in PE and excelled at gymnastics, trampolining and netball.
Jonathan Bell, the MLA for the constituency where Corporal Day grew up, said:
The patrol came under small arms fire near the village of Char Kutsa.
Despite a claim by the Taliban that the incident was a 'green on blue' attack, a spokesman for the MoD said neither "were not working with any Afghan partners at the time,"