LONDON – Ben Allen, who joined the British Army in 2012 and currently serves as a member of the 1st Battalion, the Scots Guards, is being called “the first female infantry soldier to serve” the British Army.
Ben, who now goes by the name Chloe and has been getting hormone therapy treatment, identifies as a woman, and is being touted as the first woman combatant since the British Army’s founding in 1660.
Speaking to The Sun, Allen commented on how honored he was to “make history.”
It is a great honor to be able to make history and at the same time do my job. It’s just brilliant; I’m just looked at as a normal person. … 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 what people think it is, and it’s easier when you’ve got your mates and your bosses behind you. … I didn’t set out to make history; it’s just the way it’s happened. … There’s nothing that can stop me at all. This is not just a job; this is a career for me.
He went on about his transition, which started when a fellow soldier caught him crossdressing and he decided to reveal his plans to become a “woman.”
“My transition has been as easy as it could have got for me, the battalion has been brilliant, the Army has been brilliant, the lads have been brilliant,” he gushed. “You do ask yourself, ‘Am I sure I’m going to go through with this, am I sure this is right for me?”
“But everyone’s different that is transgender,” he added, “everyone has different thoughts they are across the same lines. It’s more about accepting yourself.”
The British Army had banned women from Ground Close Combat units, where troops were required to fight and kill enemy combatants. In July, however, it made the decision to allow women to participate.
In August, the British Army decided to allow Allen to remain with the Scots Guards, where he is now a rifleman and drives 28-ton Mastiff armored trucks. As another role, he participates in and conducts ceremonial duties at Buckingham Palace.