renowned war photographer Robert Wilson's iconic image of currently serving women and veterans from the British military

FLIGHT LIEUTENANT CAROLINE PAIGE

FIRST TRANSGENDER OFFICER TO OPENLY SERVE IN THE UK ARMED FORCES

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FLIGHT LIEUTENANT CAROLINE PAIGE

Flight Lieutenant Caroline Paige, 57 from Cheshire joined the RAF as a male officer in 1980 as a Fast Jet and Battlefield Helicopter Navigator. In 1999, she became the first transgender officer to transition and serve openly in the UK Armed Forces. She served the following 16 years as a female officer. 

Flight Lieutenant Caroline Paige, 57 from Cheshire joined the RAF as a male officer in 1980  as a Fast Jet and Battlefield Helicopter Navigator. In 1999, she became the first transgender officer to transition and serve openly in the UK Armed Forces. She sFlight Lieutenant Caroline Paige

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flight Lieutenant Caroline Paige, 57 from Cheshire joined the RAF as a male officer in 1980  as a Fast Jet and Battlefield Helicopter Navigator. In 1999, she became the first transgender officer to transition and serve openly in the UK Armed Forces. She served the following 16 years as a female officer.

When Caroline’s circumstances were revealed, outspoken opinion was negative and occasionally hostile. Instead of hiding away, Caroline stood proud and proved her worth on the frontline in Iraq and Afghanistan; eventually the negative opinions gave way to respect and support.

Caroline left the RAF in 2014 as she turned 55, the maximum age she could serve to in the RAF.  She is now contracted to support a European Defence Agency Programme, teaching tactics to military helicopter crews and does voluntary work as a Stonewall School Role Model and motivational speaker. 

Caroline is also a published author of ‘True Colours: My Life as the First Openly Transgender Officer in the British Armed Forces.’

Speaking of her involvement, Flight Lieutenant Caroline, said:

“It was wonderful to join SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity in its celebration of the centenary of women in the military.  

“Being the first openly transgender officer was very difficult, because back in 1999 the military was a very different place to what it is today.  I always used my experience to inspire a change in attitude and help the military become as is now open and inclusive as it is now.  

“The work SSAFA has done for women in our Armed Forces for the past 100 years is incredibly inspiring and I was honoured to be part of this celebration.”

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