A private soldier in the British Armed Forces has spoken about why girls should not be afraid of joining, and how her religion fits into her role.

Idil Hassan, a soldier in the Royal Logistic Corps works as a driver, and loves her job so much, she wants to encourage other girls to defy stereotypes and find a role in the army for them.

The twenty-four-year-old joined the army four years ago, after joining an Army Reserve in South West London.

Drivers for the Royal Logistical Corps have the duty of transporting soldiers and supplies all over the world and learn to drive in all weather and road conditions.

Private Hassan said, ”My experiences here were interesting and I enjoyed the weekend exercises which I was able to attend.

“I began to love it and realised it was where I want to be. It’s close to home to an area I know, and I grew up there.”

But it wasn’t what the sports mad soldier was initially interested in, as she went to college to become a teacher.

She said: “I wanted to become a teacher because I loved to work with children, but I wanted to push myself and wanted more challenges. I just wanted to put myself out there.”

Private Hassan surprised her family when she announced she wanted to join the reserve and then the army, as it is not something a Muslim girl is often seen doing.

She said: “My mum was shocked when I told her what I wanted to do, it was obviously not expected, and she even cried, but everyone around me were very understanding and saw how happy being a part of the Army made me.

“My mum was there for me and supported me throughout my journey.”

Now, Private Hassan is inspiring other Muslim girls to make their own paths and explore careers in things they really want to do, but don’t feel they can because they don’t see themselves doing it.

She said: “I hope this is encouraging for girls within Britain’s diverse communities to join the Army, but I understand that they might not see many people like them in such an environment.

“I tell them that they can do anything they want to do in the Armed Forces because there is a place for everyone, and you can still practice religion at the same time.

“Religion can still very much be upheld in the Army because allowances are made for anyone of whatever faith to observe their commitments.”

Idil is part of the AFMA – who play a role in supporting the male and female Muslims to feel part of the Armed Forces.

The British Army allows time for those who wish to pray, and support fasting in Ramadan.

During this month, it is understood that Muslim personnel may not be able to do as much physical activity at times however as they maintain their fitness on a regular basis anyway, so this is not much of an issue.

Family culture may also play a part in why Muslim girls do not want to join the army, and Private Hassan explains that this means the girls are less exposed to it as a career choice.

She said: “Most Muslim girls don’t think of joining the army, maybe because of family influences and culture.

“I strongly want to encourage other girls, whether Muslim or not, to consider joining the Armed Forces both reserve as well as regular.

“Over four years, I had few very occasions where I’ve crossed paths with a Muslim girl and would love to see more of us representing the country.

“If a girl wants to do something, she should be able to speak up about it. The girls all stick together, it’s like a community.”

Private Hassan also credits the army for the way it has helped her gain more confidence.

She said: “Since joining the army, my confidence has undoubtedly grown.

“When I first started, I was shy but now I drive senior officers and get an opportunity to speak with them despite being a junior rank.

“I am also lucky enough to do adventurous training with the Army and hope to be going skiing for the first time in the future and have also put my name forward to go sailing around South America later this year.

“This is more than just a job to me, it has made me into the person I am today, a Muslim soldier and a woman with ambition.”