CASTLEFORD soldier Katie Heslop has proved she’s more at home in the barracks than the ballet studio after completing the first stage of her army training.
The pint-sized private – who formerly dreamed of becoming a ballet instructor – has completed her 14-week phase one training course at the Army Training Centre in Pirbright, Surrey, and last week was at the Army Careers Information Centre in Wakefield to provide information to future recruits.
The 18-year-old former Featherstone St Wilfrid’s High School pupil – who stands just 5ft tall – said: “It was a shock when I first got there because I hadn’t been trained for anything like that before. It is all about having the right attitude, you have to believe you can do it.
“Not everybody makes it through the course because it is tough and you can get injured, but thankfully made it back in one piece.”
Katie, who joined the Adjutant General Corps as a combat human resources specialist, followed in the footsteps of her two older brothers – Joe, 21, who serves as a trooper in the Royal Dragoon Guards, and Liam, 19, who is serving as a gunner in the Royal Artillery.
Katie was in a group of 45 women whose basic training included first aid, physical skills and exercise.
She said: “There were a lot more girls on the course this year which shows that there are more opportunities for women out there in the army, and they are being advertised better – I think you need a bit of a woman’s touch everywhere.
“I definitely won’t be going back to the ballet shoes now.”
She has returned to her home, on The Croft, before the start of the second phase of her training next week.
She said: “The next course will be teaching us more advanced skills and focusing on specific areas.
“I will be doing a finance training course because I also want to be able to work in the office, it’s great you can leave the course with skills you can transfer to other jobs too.”