A British private has become the first female soldier to pass a notoriously gruelling army course that proves that personnel have the resilience to serve in the airborne forces.
Pte Addy Carter, 21, successfully completed the three-and-a-half-week parachute regiment entry test – known as P Company, which includes loaded marches, log and stretcher races and an aerial confidence course.
She passed on her second attempt, after a foot injury forced her to drop out the first time.
“I never had a moment’s doubt that I wouldn’t try again,” she said. “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.”
Carter, who is from Hereford and is part of 16 Medical Regiment, was presented with the coveted maroon beret after completing the course.
The all-arms pre-parachute selection (AAPPS) is designed to test an individual’s physical fitness, determination and mental robustness under stress, and to determine if personnel 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,” said Maj Chris Braithwaite, the officer commanding of Pegasus.
“I hope that Pte 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.”
In 2020, Capt Rosie Wild became the first female British Army officer to pass the gruelling P Company entry test but no private had successfully completed it until Carter.
The next stage for Carter is the basic parachute course at RAF Brize Norton, which will earn her “wings” as a trained military parachutist.
“As a woman, I wasn’t treated any differently by the instructors, nor did I expect or want to be,” she said. “I hope that I’ve shown to other female soldiers that it’s achievable.”