Private Addy Carter became the first female soldier to pass the Army’s Airborne Forces gruelling All Arms Pre Parachute Selection (AAPPS) - known as P Company.
Private Addy Carter became the first female soldier to pass the All Arms Pre Parachute Selection, known as P Company (Picture: MOD).
Army

First female soldier to pass P Company course: 'I hope I've shown other female soldiers it's achievable'

Private Addy Carter became the first female soldier to pass the Army’s Airborne Forces gruelling All Arms Pre Parachute Selection (AAPPS) - known as P Company.
Private Addy Carter became the first female soldier to pass the All Arms Pre Parachute Selection, known as P Company (Picture: MOD).

Private Addy Carter became the first female enlisted soldier to pass the Army's Airborne Forces' gruelling All Arms Pre Parachute Selection (AAPPS) – known as P Company.

Honoured with a maroon beret after successfully completing the course, Private Carter, of 16 Medical Regiment said that she wanted to be treated equally and was not treated differently by the instructor.

She added: "I hope that I've shown to other female soldiers that it's achievable. Coming back to my unit, there are other women who've said that they’re now more confident to give it a go."

 All Arms Pre Parachute Selection (AAPPS)
All Arms Pre Parachute Selection (AAPPS) in Catterick Garrison, Yorkshire (Picture: MOD).

Private Carter heard about P Company during basic training and wanted to prove to herself that she could do it even though it sounded "really tough", according to her.

AAPPS consists of three-and-a-half weeks of physically and mentally demanding training in Catterick Garrison, Yorkshire, followed eight arduous events known as Test Week.

The testing elements are spread over five days and consist of an aerial confidence course, loaded marches and log and stretcher races.

One of the elements, the loaded march, is 20-mile long and must be completed in under four hours and 10 minutes while carrying a 35lb backpack and a rifle.

Pte Carter said: "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.”

AAPPS is for non-Parachute Regiment recruits but includes the same eight challenges as the course for soldiers joining the regiment.

This year, 98 candidates attempted the course and 59 were successful.

Although Pte Carter was the first soldier to pass the P Company, she was not the first woman.

Captain Rosie Wild, of 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, beat her to it when she became the first female officer to pass the course in 2020.

Major Chris Braithwaite, Officer Commanding Pegasus Company, said: "I hope that Private 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."

As a Combat Medical Technician, Private Carter's role is to deploy with soldiers from the Parachute Regiment, as a medic.

The pioneering soldier is set to complete Basic Parachute Course at RAF Brize Norton, on her way to becoming a trained military parachutist.