The British Army is "delighted" to welcome transgender Guardsman Chloe Allen among their ranks of close-combat fighters.
Chloe Allen, formerly Ben Allen, had wanted to legally change her name for some time but was concerned she wouldn't be allowed to keep her post in the First Battalion Scots Guards. But after consulting with a careers officer she learned she would be permitted to keep her role as a rifleman and driver of a Mastiff armored truck.
Armed with this knowledge, Allen set out on her mission to become Chloe - And it was a success.
"All the paperwork within the Army, within the battalion, has been changed and sorted out," said Allen. "My passport will be done shortly. It's brilliant, it's amazing … To say everything that I've wanted it to say and for me to still be serving as an infantryman is even better."
Allen is thrilled to finally be able to talk openly about her feelings, and General Sir James Everard, Commander of the Field Army is delighted to have her among the ranks.
"I'm delighted to have our first woman serving in a ground close combat unit," said General Everard. "The British Army is really proving itself as an inclusive organization where everyone is welcome. Recent awards from Stonewall and the opening up of all elements of military service to women are clear evidence of this."
While Allen is the first transgender woman to take up the role of a close-combat fighter, the British Army has had an employment policy for transgender servicemen and women since 1999.
Allen is helping to pioneer the way for other women and transgender soldiers to become close-combat fighters, and that takes serious bravery.
"Becoming the first of anything takes courage," said General Everard.
Train hard and stay safe, Allen!
[ H/T BBC ]