Exactly 100 years to the month that women formally enrolled into the British Armed Forces, one Public Services student is celebrating her successful application to become an army vehicle mechanic.
Jasmin Norman has dreamed of joining the army since she was a young girl and said she is beyond excited that this is now a reality.
The 17-year-old from Chippenham has completed the first year of the Level 3 course and will now start her basic training at ATC Pirbright in August.
Jasmin said: “I am really so excited about joining, it’s an amazing feeling and I have had such brilliant support from all my friends and family who are so pleased for me.
“I am a little bit nervous at the same time, but feel that the Public Services course has really prepared me for that next step and it’s actually made me want it even more.”
Today, there are thousands of women in the army, but it wasn’t until 1917, during the First World War, that females were recruited for service in a non-nursing capacity for the first time.
The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corp officially formed on 7th July 1917 and saw women able to work in offices, canteens, stores, army bases and take on transport roles.
Jasmin, who said it was hard for her to imagine women not being in the army, had considered staying on at school to study A Levels but changed her mind after a meeting with the army careers office.
She said: “I thought that A Levels would be a good route after my GCSEs, but the careers officer I spoke with suggested that a Public Services course would be a beneficial route as I was certain that the army was for me and Lackham was the perfect place to do that.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the course and what is great about it is to be surrounded by likeminded people.
“The lecturers are also brilliant and all of them have a lot of experience but from different forces so that enables us to benefit from all their expertise.
“The route that I have taken is very different to many of my friends.
“Some of them asked me if I was worried about being on a course where it might be just boys, but there are lots of girls on the course and I was so determined on getting my career off to the best start that even if it had been just boys, that wouldn’t have phased me at all.”
One of the highlights of the course for Jasmin was the trips all the Public Services students went on.
Jasmin, who was awarded Best All Round Student in Public Services at the end of year campus Student Awards, said: “We have been on some fantastic trips including spending a week on Salisbury Plain which gave me in particular a really good insight into life in the army.
“We were issued kit, which we had to wear all the time, did drills and got to wear camo paint - it was a lot of fun.
“All the other Public Services students from Trowbridge and Salisbury were also there and we really bonded.
“Another trip, which was just brilliant was in Snowdonia, where we took part in all sorts of activities including a zip wire.
“All of the Level 3 students felt like a real family and it was great to spend time together and build on friendships.”
Jasmin will spend 14 weeks completing her basic training before progressing onto her phase 2 training, which will help her specialise as a vehicle mechanic with the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers.
Public Services lecturer Ian Noakes said: "Jasmin was a dedicated student participating in activities at every opportunity, getting her assignments completed to deadline as well as providing guidance and support to her peers.
"With her focus being on joining the army her future potential has been amply displayed in her approach and achievements within her studies.
"It is this attitude that the Public Services, especially the military, are seeking and I wish her all the very best in her future career."