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21-year-old becomes first female soldier ever to pass gruelling parachute selection course

21-year-old becomes first female soldier ever to pass gruelling parachute selection course

The notoriously gruelling three-and-a-half week test pushes soldiers mentally and physically

A private has become the first female soldier to pass the British Army’s super tough Airborne Forces test - how’s that for a bit of Monday morning motivation?

Private Addy Cater has successfully completed a gruelling three-and-a-half week military course which culminates in a series of tests including loaded marches, log and stretcher races, as well as an aerial confidence course.

She was awarded a coveted maroon beret this week after completing the All Arms Pre Parachute Selection (AAPPS) – known as P Company.

Private Addy Cater.

Private Carter, who is just 21, is a combat medic providing medical support to to 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team.

The private passed the test on her second attempt after sustaining an injury to her foot the first time around - but despite the set-back, she says ‘never’ doubted she’d give it another shot.

She said: “I never had a moment’s doubt that I wouldn’t try again.

“I heard about P Company during basic training. It sounded really tough, but I just wanted to give it a go and prove to myself that I could do it.

“Physically I found it very challenging, but it’s about showing that you can deliver when things get hard – I just kept telling myself that every step was a step closer to the end.”


Private Carter follows Captain Rosie Wild, of 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, who was the first female officer to pass the AAPPS.

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.”


The next stage for Private Carter is to earn her ‘wings’ by completing the Basic Parachute Course and becoming a qualified military parachutist.

Speaking about her experience of the AAPPS, Private Carter added: “As a woman, I wasn’t treated any differently by the instructors, nor did I expect or want to be.

“I hope that I’ve shown to other female soldiers that it’s achievable.”

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News