Find out what happened when Marie Claire worked out with the British Army…
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When the British Army asked us if we’d like to spend a day at their 22 Field Hospital unit to put our fitness to the vigorous test, Marie Claire’s media manager Jemma couldn’t get into her camos fast enough.
The unit provides medical care to soldiers in the field and on base, and includes nurses, combat medical technicians and biomedical scientists, to name but a few. ‘The mental and physical strength these guys have is incredible,’ says Jemma. ‘My mission was to find out about the physical side of being a soldier and I learned quickly that being fit is part of the job.’
Suited and booted, Jemma experienced what it would be like to evacuate casualties on the front line. ‘Two medics and I were put into a team of soldiers to rescue an “injured” colleague,’ she explains. ‘All of a sudden there were simulated explosions going off all around us and we had to drag the soldier to safety. She was wearing a lot of equipment so I struggled, but the adrenaline rush was incredible and it kept me going.’
That was the moment Jemma understood exactly why fitness training is so crucial for a soldier. ‘Some of the women and men I met explained that if they hadn’t toughened up their mind and body to operate under stress, then they simply wouldn’t be able to get the job done,’ she says. Jemma also experienced job envy. ‘I sit at my desk all day and the only exercise I usually get is walking to the tea point!’ she says.
‘In the Army you have free access to world-class sports facilities – one girl I met gets nutritional advice and sees a physical training instructor six times a week! She said she loves that she gets paid to stay fit and couldn’t imagine doing a normal 9-5 job.’
Staying fit isn’t the only perk, there’s the excellent pension, 38 days’ annual holiday and subsidised learning, with degrees in subjects such as law. ‘I’m in awe of everyone I met,’ says Jemma. ‘They help protect people and save lives, but were all so humble.’
Feeling inspired? To find out more about life in the Army and career opportunities, or how to become a Reservist, simply search marieclaire.co.uk/army.