A transgender soldier has become the first woman to serve on the frontline in the British Army.
Chloe Allen, who serves with the 1st Battalion, Scots Guards, has begun hormone therapy and officially changed her name by deed poll from Ben last month.
The 24-year-old told The Sun newspaper it was a "great honour to make history".
Late last year, then prime minister David Cameron recommended that women in the army should be able to serve on the frontline, a position that had previously been open only to male soldiers. While the ban on women soldiers being able to fight in close combat was lifted in July, applications were not set to open until the end of the year.
But the army said it was taking a case-by-case approach, and was happy to allow Allen to continue with her role in the infantry as a woman.
“I’m delighted to have our first woman serving in a ground close combat unit," General Sir James Everard, commander of the field army, said in a statement.
"The British army is really proving itself as an inclusive organisation where everyone is welcome and can thrive.
"Being the first of anything takes courage. I applaud Guardsman Chloe Allen for being a trendsetter and wish her every success.”
Allen had initially been worried she would have to leave her post as a result of transitioning, but eventually summoned the courage to approach army career officers, who said she could remain in her role.
“I’ve had my deed poll done and all the paperwork within the army, within the battalion, has been changed and sorted out," Allen said.
“My passport will be done shortly. It’s brilliant, it’s amazing. For that to say everything that I’ve wanted it to say and for me to still be serving as an infantryman is even better.
“I still have a few more years to go, but that doesn’t affect my job in any way whatsoever.”
Laura Silver is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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