The first female RAF Regiment Officers have successfully completed the 25-week course required to become members of the RAF Regiment and graduated at RAF Honington, Suffolk.
Flying Officer Emma Graves (22) of Verwood, Dorset, knew that a military career was for her and chose to earn her commission in the RAF undoubtedly due to the time she had spent as an Air Cadet.
“One of the biggest things I did, as a cadet, that led me to wanting to join the RAF Regiment was the Air Cadet Junior Leaders Course. It not only taught me about leadership, fieldcraft and military skills, but it also gave me the confidence in myself that I could achieve more than I thought I could,” said Flying Officer Emma Graves.
Emma said the Junior Regiment Officers’ Course had been ‘tough, but thanks to the experience of the instructors and the great camaraderie of fellow course mates, it had on the whole been an enjoyable course’.
Flying Officer Juliette (Jules) Abson (26) of Hereford, has several family members that were in the military and she herself had always been interested in joining. She was advised to look at the RAF Regiment by a friend and following a visit over two years ago she decided it was the most interesting.
Jules hopes to have a positive impact on other’s careers and looks forward to enjoying and partaking in some of the many sports that the RAF has to offer.
To other women looking to join the RAF Regiment she said: “I would recommend to explore their interest and get on as many visit days or speak to as many people as possible. Then if it is what you want, go for it and don’t let anyone’s opinions hold you back.”
Emma and Jules are two of 13 Junior Officers who have now successfully completed their training at RAF Honington to become RAF Regiment Officers.
Reviewing Officer RAF Force Protection Force Commander, Commandant General Royal Air Force Regiment, Air Officer RAF Police, Air Commodore Scott Miller said: “The Junior RAF Regiment Officers’ Course is exceptionally challenging and its standards are unremitting. Those graduating today, including our first female officers, have demonstrated exceptional skill, fortitude and resilience, and I am proud to welcome them into our Corps. They have earned their right to wear the RAF Regiment ‘mudguard’ and to join our frontline. Here they will lead RAF Regiment gunners, exceptional men and women, on a vitally important mission to enable the RAF and its Air & Space Power in the face of adversity and threats. Demanding but hugely varied and rewarding careers await them.”
The Junior Regiment Officers’ Course consists of three modules: Basic Soldiering, Basic Command and Advanced Command. Recently commissioned RAF Officers are taught, developed and assessed in all the necessary skills and traits, from Gunner to Flight Commander, within the Complex Air Ground Environment to enable them to successfully graduate into their first tour of duty.
Each graduate is now welcomed into the family that makes up the RAF Regiment that delivers global Force Protection for the Royal Air Force. They will now be posted to one of the RAF Regiment’s Field Squadrons whereby they will lead RAF Regiment gunners, exceptional men and women, on a vitally important mission to enable the RAF and its Air & Space Power in the face of adversity and threats.