ONE Tamworth woman is redefining a formerly all-male role in the Australian Army Reserve.
Trooper Sara Spokes said she was looking for a challenge when she signed up as a cavalry scout with the 12th/16th Hunter River Lancers.
Little did she know, until her enlistment day, that she was the first female to serve in the role.
“I really wanted an active job and a role that helped Australia, potentially,” Trooper Spokes said.
“It was also a chance to learn more about the army in an active role. I had no idea that
I was the first female until enlistment day, which was pretty exciting.”
Trooper Spokes enlisted on January 28 and headed to Kapooka for her army reserve basic training.
“I’m really hoping I can quickly work through extra courses and training to move up through the ranks,” she said.
“I liked the fact that it was local and I can make friends here, and still be involved in local activities.”
There is a history of military service in Trooper Spokes’ family.
“My father was in the air force when he was younger and my grandfather served at Kapooka,” she said.
“I think dad’s the most proud because when I put on the uniform, he can’t wipe the smile off his face and he can’t stop hugging me and mum takes photos of me in uniform.”
When she’s not serving her country as a soldier, Trooper Spokes works casual jobs at the Capitol Theatre, babysitting and as a casual primary teacher at Calrossy Anglican School.
The unit’s Regimental Sergeant Major Warrant Officer Class One Jason Moriarty said it was exciting that Trooper Spokes was in the regiment.
“Ultimately, it’s all about the right person for the job,” he said.
“She should be congratulated for taking the road least travelled as the first female cavalry scout.”
WO1 Moriarty said the regiment was recruiting across all army roles and encouraged anyone interested to drop into Beersheba Barracks on the corner of Murray and Marius streets anytime on Monday to Friday, particularly Tuesday nights at 7pm to see the recruiting officer.