Major Fern Thompson
I joined the Army as I was genuinely drawn towards the variety of opportunities that the Army has to offer. I joined the Army Reserve initially whilst attending university and underwent Officer training prior to joining the Regular Army as a helicopter pilot.
Describe a moment or event that is most memorable during your time in the Army.
As a helicopter pilot graduating from pilots course with being awarded the Army Flying Badge was certainly a significant event in my career.
The most memorable and the most challenging and rewarding was commanding an aviation combat team on operations in East Timor as part of Operation Astute.
This command presented me with the opportunity that most members of the Australian Defence Force seek, the opportunity to put all my training and experience into effect on operations.
Who has been the most influential person throughout your Army career?
The person who has been most influential is actually more than one; those being my commanders on operations. The mentoring and support I have received from senior officers has been instrumental in shaping my future career aspirations within the Army.
What is one important piece of advice that you can pass onto other women considering a career in the Army?
I would offer the following to other women considering a career in the Army:
If you are seeking a challenging and exciting career, do not discount the long term career opportunities that the Australian Army provides.