Hannah marches into history as the first woman to commission into the Guards Division

26-year-old Hannah Bird proudly marched up the hallowed steps of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst’s Old College and into the history books as the first woman to commission as an officer into the Guards Division.

Hannah was one of nineteen Officer Cadets from the Commissioning Course Short No.211 on parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

Having completed the eight-week long course those on parade had earned themselves the right to commission as Professionally Qualified, and Army Reserve Officers.

The Commissioning Course Short (CCS) is designed to provide all the necessary military training to enable officers, who are appointed principally for their professional qualifications, such as dentists, doctors, members of the clergy or lawyers to be able to operate within the military environment. It is also required that, as in the case of Hannah Bird, those wishing to become an Army Reserve Officer have to successfully complete the CCS.

For Hannah it has been a long journey to becoming an Army Reserve Officer, she first caught the bug for adventure and exhilaration offered by service in the armed forces when she was at university. In 2014, whilst at university, Hannah signed up to the Sheffield University Officer Training Corps and never really looked back.

I am now the Platoon Commander for recruit training, and it has been so busy. 2nd Lieutenant Bird

As Hannah embarked on forging herself a career as securities trader in the City with Goldman Sachs, she went on to join the city-based Army Reserve unit, The Honourable Artillery Company in 2017. “I sit at a desk looking at computer screens Monday to Friday, being in the Army Reserves allows me to unwind at the weekends in a totally different but still challenging environment.” 

Two years later in 2019 Hannah transferred from the Honourable Artillery Company into the London Regiment, the Army Reserves battalion of the Guards Division. It was here that she made her mind up to become a commissioned officer and set her sights on getting to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. 

Coming from Pinner in North London, Hannah explained how proud her parents were of her achievement, “My Mum and Dad are really proud of this, yet naturally worried in case I’m deployed anywhere – but that is the same for any parent I guess.”

Having now been nearly two weeks since passing out and rising from a private soldier to Second Lieutenant Bird, Hannah had this to say, “It feels so strange to have gone from being a private (lowest infantry rank) to everyone now calling me Ma’am; also, having to acknowledge compliments can be a bit awkward. I am now the Platoon Commander for recruit training, and it has been so busy."

"I find it very inspiring the ability to be able to find out information for people and steer them in the right direction."