By Sophie Evans
Guardsman Chloe Allen, who joined the force four years ago as a man called Ben, says she is honoured to be able to ‘make history’
A 24-year-old transgender soldier who was born a boy has become the first female to serve on the frontline for the British Army.
Guardsman Chloe Allen, who joined the force four years ago as a man called Ben, says she is honoured to be able to ‘make history’.
The young woman, from Cumbria, was reportedly overcome with worry after being caught cross-dressing by a fellow soldier .
But after receiving support from the serviceman – and the rest of her battalion – she says she realised she no longer had to ‘live a lie’.
Now, Chloe has spoken out about beginning sex-change treatment, saying she hopes to inspire other people to be themselves.
The soldier, who is in the Scots Guards, told The Sun it was a relief to talk openly about it, and said her family have been accepting.
She said: “I’d love to inspire people to just come out and be themselves.
“As much as it’s a big bad world, it’s not as bad as people think and it’s easier when you’ve got your mates and your bosses behind you.”
Chloe, who is the first female to engage in military combat on the frontline, has officially changed her name and started hormone therapy.
Speaking to the newspaper, she described how she started dressing in her mother’s clothes when she was just eight years old.
The soldier, who wears silver studs in her ears, said she felt frustrated and unhappy and had to ‘learn to control it and crack on’.
In July, then-prime minister David Cameron accepted a recommendation by the head of the Army, General Sir Nick Carter, that women should be able to serve in frontline combat roles.
General Sir James Everard, Commander of the Field Army, praised Guardsman Allen for her courage.
He said: “I’m delighted to have our first woman serving in a ground close combat unit. The British Army is really proving itself as an inclusive organisation where everyone is welcome and can thrive.
“Recent awards from Stonewall and the opening up of all elements of military service to women are clear evidence of this. Being the first of anything takes courage.
“I applaud Guardsman Chloe Allen for being a trendsetter and wish her every success.”
Earlier this year, Army Officer Captain Hannah Winterbourne told how she had decided to come out as transgender.
She also praised the military for being ‘forward thinking’.