To choose a career path in the military takes guts: it takes courage, commitment, dedication and determination. It is definitely no walk in the park. Hence, women who join the army are greatly respected and admired for their values. One must not simply join the army because everyone else is doing it, or because your family told you to. This job starts as soon as they sign up, and ends when they take their last breath.

Undeniably, there is a growing number of women from all around the world who have chosen to don the uniform to serve and protect the country and its people over the past few years. Being in a line of work mostly dominated by men, these strong women, believe they can fight, lead and defend, despite the conventional wisdom. With this, what I call diversity, women in the army has helped broaden the range and number of recruits with a various range of skills. These women have a huge opportunity to use their powerful skills and techniques for other job roles, but they have chose to be in the military with one main reason in mind – to serve the nation.

Joining the army has proven to be a force to be reckoned with. Flight controllers, radio operators, instructors, pilots, logistics, engineers, nurses and decision-making roles. Women now have been noticed for being effective and operating excellently on the front line in a non-combat roles such as medics and engineers. So, whether you’re a cadet, an officer, a retiree or other ranks, pat yourself on the shoulder and know what you do every single day is deeply valued. 

While women are generally not all foot soldiers in the troops or engaged in direct combat, those in the air force are roped in as fighter pilots and paratroopers, and women in the navy have been appointed as warfare or logistics officers. Nowadays, women are considered to be very close to equal in those works which a man can do, and if anyone thinks that the armed forces is not a good career for women, then he has to analyze upon their thinking. While not every woman will be capable of serving in ground close combat roles, neither is every man. “Fight like a girl” should not be an insult, as how it was, without fail, used back in the day. I believe that women today can do what other men can. For others who can only see what is apparent, that is, from the outside, ‘they’re just doing their jobs’. But for the soldiers in the army who have had a glimpse of the barbed wire, they have first hand experience and knowledge that it is not, in fact, just a job.

The way the world sees women in the military has changed these days. In the early 21st century, Colonel Linda McTague broke the glass ceiling and became the first female commander of a fighter squadron, while women in the Army and Marines edged ever closer to full combat duty. Just like Deborah Sampson, which some of you might not be aware of, is the real Mulan of Disney, who pretended to be a man and fought on the ground and made the impossible possible for women back in the 80s. Well, I have no intention to encourage you to be a man and break the orders, but definitely strive for the better, because we ladies can do the impossible! Let the opportunities be open wider for women to have a role into the highest ranks of military.

Be proud to be a part of such a prestigious workforce, you can’t compare this to any other profession. Face the future with confidence, optimism and professionalism. No. It’s not a career, it’s a way of life.

Brunei Darussalam is celebrating Royal Brunei Armed Forces’ 57th Anniversary on the 31st May 2018, and we, from Muslyfe, would like to wish everyone in the armed forces a Happy Anniversary and a very special thank you for dedicating your time and effort for this wonderful country of ours, which we call home.