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Women soldiers up for British challenge

New experience: Royal Bermuda Regiment’s Lance Corporal Leeann Tucker, left, and Corporal Zelipha Gitari

Two women soldiers from the Royal Bermuda Regiment have broken new ground by becoming the first females to undertake a specialist command course in England.

Corporal Zelipha Gitari and Lance Corporal Leeann Tucker travelled to the Royal Horse Artillery at Tidworth in Wiltshire last week to take part in the programme.

“I’m very excited about it,” Corporal Gitari, a six-year regiment veteran, said. “It’s a great opportunity, not just for us, but for the regiment as a whole.

“We are the ‘guinea pigs’. It’s something new for the regiment and, if it works for us, it’s going to be great.”

The 31-year-old mother of two, who is originally from Kenya, added: “The regiment believes in us and that we can do it. It’s a matter of getting on with it and I’m up for challenge. It’s a win for the regiment as a whole if we have a new course on board.”

Male soldiers can undertake the similar British Army infantry course, run in Brecon in Wales, but, as women do not serve in the infantry in the British Army, the course is not open to females.

The three-week course includes classroom lessons and time in the field on a major battle exercise.

Lance Corporal Tucker, 24, said: “It’s great for me to learn something new and how the British Army operates. I’m looking forward to the experience.”

The nursing assistant from St George’s, who passed out of the 2014 recruit camp as top recruit, added: “I wouldn’t get this kind of experience outside the regiment. I’m very grateful for the opportunity.

“Being in the regiment has been great. I’ve had to be around more people and different personalities. It’s about being able to cope.

“That helps me outside the regiment because if I can deal with all of that, I can deal with anything.”