A soldier from Warrington in Cheshire has recently taken part in her first overseas exercise since joining the British Army less than a year ago.
Gunner Sadie Creamer, who serves with 32 Regiment Royal Artillery based in Wiltshire, deployed for the very first time to take part in Exercise Gothic Dragon in Germany. The exercise was part of preparation to deploy on Operation Cabrit where British troops are leading a multinational Battlegroup as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Estonia.
“It is the first time I have fired the general-purpose machine gun and I only did my weapons handling test a week ago. It was a bit scary at first but after a while I got the hang of it. Now, I really enjoy it.” Gunner Sadie Creamer, 32 Regiment Royal Artillery
During her five-week deployment Sadie experienced live firing on the Sennelager Training Ranges:
“It is the first time I have fired the general-purpose machine gun and I only did my weapons handling test a week ago. It was a bit scary at first but after a while I got the hang of it. Now, I really enjoy it.”
Sadie recalls her parents' reaction when she told them what she had decided to do:
“It was a bit of a shock for them and they were a bit scared for me but at the same time were really proud of what I was going to do and what I could achieve.”
Sadie attended Padgate Academy in Warrington which was where she had her first thoughts of a career in the military. Finally, in March 2020 after studying public services at college she decided to realise her ambition and join-up. She headed to the Army Foundation College at Harrogate where she undertook her phase one training:
“After my brother joined up, I decided to find out more about the modern army. I saw that there were more girls signing up and I thought if they can do it so can I.”
32 Regiment RA are the British Army’s only regiment equipped with Mini Unmanned Aircraft Systems and part of Sadie’s job involves ensuring that the equipment takes off and lands safely.
Sadie recalls her pass-out parade was rather different to those that normally take place:
“The whole event was live-streamed on Facebook and my Mum and Dad watched it on their phones in the car park before they collected me. We were in normal rig and did rifle drills. The whole event was online because of the pandemic. Mum and Dad were really proud of me and there were a few tears too.”
For Gunner Creamer it is the first time away from home and the first time away from her family too:
“I like it, it is something different, it is nice to get away from being in camp every day and it beats being on exercise on Salisbury Plain all the time.
Looking ahead, Sadie already has her future mapped out:
“I have got a long way to go but my aim is to make it up to Captain but I need to progress through the Operator to Pilot roles first.”
Looking back to the time when she was contemplating a military career, she has this message for those back home in Warrington who may be thinking along the same lines:
“Don’t worry about it, it’s a great life and everyone looks after you. Follow what you want to do instead of what your mates are doing.”