SAC Kayleigh M
00:00:03 I’m SAC Kayleigh M and I’m an ICT Specialist in the Royal Air Force and based at RAF Wittering. Basically, an ICT Specialist is an information communication technology specialist. We basically deal with all the IT equipment on stations and on deployment. We look after the networks, the servers, the hardware, the software.
00:00:29 So you’ve got your day to day running of IT equipment on station but then there is the other varied roles where you are deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and you are the first in normally to get the equipment set up so that we can communicate back to the UK from wherever we are in the world basically. So we’ve got a stable communication between UK and where we are.
00:00:53 I was quite a girly girl at school so I was never really thought about joining the forces. My dad was in the army so I knew what kind of life it was but it never appealed to me because I was such a girly girl and thought that it would be too guy-ish for me to do that. And I never really looked at an IT job really and then when I left school, I went to college for a year and in that time at college, I was starting obviously, my eyes were opening to the jobs that were available to me and none of them really seemed exciting enough for me. They didn’t really give me that thing that I wanted.
00:01:26 So I went to the Armed Forces Careers Office just to see what was there to offer and that’s when I came across the RAF and they told me about the ICT Specialist role and that immediately, I was drawn to that and wanted to do that and then when they talked about the travelling and, you know, not being in one place for a long period of time, that really made me want to do what I’m doing now.
00:01:50 The RAF itself I think isn’t just a job, it is actually a lifestyle. When you initially join up, you can…most people live in a block on the unit. You have your own room, it’s like a flat really and so you work with the people, you live with the people and you socialise with the people every day. So it’s more like a family, as a cliché as it may sound, you do form that bond because you’re working with each other, you’re put in situations that you’re not normally put in situations with and you learn to be there for each other.
00:02:21 And then you go out, there’s bowling camps on the units, there’s cinemas, there’s bars. There’s a lot of sport activities that take place so you may play netball for the RAF so you have a team and you go to St Lucia for three weeks playing netball. So it’s, you know, you have that social side is really a big thing I think in the RAF.
00:02:47 My dad was in the army for 22 years and my dad was my sole carer, my dad looked after me. So me and my dad formed a real close relationship as I grew older and I believe watching him in the army, doing the job that he was doing and going away may be in the back of my mind was always part of what I wanted to do because that’s what I was…what I knew. And he’s always been really encouraging ‘cos in any job I think there is going to be times when you do have your down days and you don’t want to be doing it. My dad always the one…has always been the one that’s like keep your chin up, you know, it’s worth it and he’s right, the goods outweigh the bads and he’s the person who’s inspired me the most.
00:03:31 In the near future, I was to progress through the ranks because I want to become a corporal, I want to be promoted and be a junior NCO in the RAF. A bit later on once I have experience being a junior NCO may be think about going for my commission and being an officer in the RAF, possibly an engineering officer because it would be dealing with the same kind of job that I’m doing now but at an officer level. But I do want to stay in the RAF and I want to make that my career. ENDS