First female soldier passes demanding Airborne Forces test

A private has become the first female soldier to pass the Army’s demanding course to prove that personnel have the toughness to serve in the Airborne Forces.

Private Addy Carter, 21, of Hereford, said it was all “about showing that you can deliver when things get hard” after she became the first female enlisted soldier to pass the gruelling Parachute Regiment’s P Company course.

The three-and-a-half-week course at Catterick, North Yorkshire, is designed to examine physical and mental robustness, and culminates in a series of challenging tests including loaded marches, log and stretcher races, plus an aerial confidence course.

Pte Carter, of 16 Medical Regiment, was presented with a coveted maroon beret this week after completing All Arms Pre Parachute Selection (AAPPS) – known as P Company.

Pte Addy Carter presented with a maroon beret by Major Chris Braithwaite Credit: MoD

It means she now follows in the footsteps of Captain Rosie Wild, of 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, who was the first female officer to pass the AAPPS in 2020.

Pte Carter is a combat medical technician with 16 Medical Regiment, which provides medical support to 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team, the British Army’s global response force that is specially trained and equipped to deploy by parachute, helicopter and airlanding.

In her role, she would deploy as a medic working alongside soldiers from the Parachute Regiment.

Private Addy Carter Credit: MoD/PA

The next stage for Pte Carter is the Basic Parachute Course at RAF Brize Norton, where she could earn her “wings” as a trained military parachutist.

Major Chris Braithwaite, Officer Commanding Pegasus Company, said: “Pegasus Company is designed to test an individual’s physical fitness, determination and mental robustness under stress, to ensure they have the self-discipline and motivation for service in Airborne Forces.

“There is a set standard that anyone who attempts the course must achieve and these are rigidly enforced by my team – of 98 candidates who started this course, 59 were successful.

“I hope that Private Carter’s success on All Arms Pre-Parachute Selection encourages others to attempt the course. I would like to congratulate all who passed and wish them the best for their future service within Airborne Forces.”

Ms Atherton said of Pte Carter: “She has set a high standard for all our serving personnel and is a role model for women to aspire to, proving that no job is beyond reach.

“This is a clear example of what can be accomplished through hard work and determination. I wish her all the best in her future endeavours with the Army.”