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Mum's in the army

Matilda Simmons
Wednesday, November 08, 2017

ON August 4, 2017, a mother of three finally realised her dream of finally making it into the British Army. Michelle Dimau was a proud wife and mother as she marched with comrades in front of close family and friends in England.

After being married for 10 years and being a housewife and mother to her three sons, while her husband worked in the British Army, the passing-out parade was a personal achievement for her.

The family has lived in England for three years. Prior to this they were posted in Germany and Ireland through her husband's work in the army.

"We saw the benefits of being in the British Army and I wanted a challenge," said Michelle. "I told myself, that if I was to join the army there was no turning back."

Michelle decided to try out for the British Army in 2015 but first she had to train to pass the fitness requirements. At the time, her three young boys were aged four, seven and nine months. And it wasn't easy.

"I was really overweight, my youngest son was just nine months when I started training," she said with a laugh.

"I would drop the two older boys to school then I would do laps around a playground and did weights at home. My youngest son would watch from the buggy while I huffed and puffed around. The other military wives wondered what the hell I was doing

"But if you really want something and put your heart into it, you will achieve anything, that's my motto."

There were days when Michelle doubted herself especially when she had to juggle housework, her three boys and her job in the officers' mess in camp.

"Our whole family routine had to change. My aunty came from Fiji to look after the kids while I was in training. My husband, as soon as he knocked off work at 5pm, he would have the boys so I could go to the gym.

"He took me for my army selection and kept encouraging me. He kept saying that I could do it.

"Time away from my family I think was the hardest, I had to get my youngest off breastfeeding before I left in May this year for our in-camp training."

After the extensive physical training, Michelle will be be undergoing her dental training. She is expected to join the Royal Army Dental Corp which finishes on December 22 before she gets her first posting.

She is just excited to join her husband in same field.

"There's loads of benefits in the army and I will be a qualified dental nurse even if I decide to leave the army.

"The best thing about the British Army is that you have oppurtinies for futher education and all paid for and you get to travel the world and meet lifelong friends, it brings out the best in you.

"I just wished I had done this earlier, and not waiting until I was qase (old)," she said.

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