Today we celebrate the talented and inspirational women behind the innovation and capabilities of our Armed Force. On International Women in Engineering Day, here are some of their inspirational stories…
Brigadier Lizzie Faithfull-Davies, Commander 102 Logistics Brigade
“I was commissioned into the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in 1999 after graduating from the University of Bristol in 1998 with an MEng(Hons) in Mechanical Engineering and following basic military training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS).
“My first assignment was to the Queen’s Royal Hussars as the Second-in Command of the Light Aid Detachment (LAD). As a Platoon Commander, I served in Northern Ireland and Bosnia and then completed Op TELIC 4 and 6 as the Officer Commanding LAD of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and the Royal Regiment of Wales in 2004 and 2005 respectively.
“I was then promoted to Major in 2006 and went on to command 14 Armoured Company at 6 Close Support Battalion REME for two years. In this role, I served in Afghanistan on HERRICK 11 and 13 within the Theatre Equipment Support Battalion. I then became a Company Commander at RMAS.
“After completing the Advanced Command and Staff Course in 2012 where I gained an MA in Defence Studies, I then moved on to an assignment in Capability Management within the Army Headquarters and took command of 6 Armoured Close Support Battalion REME in 2015. After gaining the rank of Colonel in August 2017, I returned to Army Headquarters and went on to took command of 102 Logistic Brigade in March 2020.”
Major Lisa Brown MBE RLC, Regional Command
“I joined the Army in May 2007, commissioned into the RLC and deployed on Op HERRICK 10 as a transport mentor in the Operational Mentoring and Liaison team. I was awarded the Carmen Sword of Honour (for best RLC Troop Commander) in 2010 following my tour. Following this, I attended the ATO course from Jan 10 until Jun 11, qualified as a Joint Service Explosive ordnance disposal operator, and was posted to 11 EOD Regt RLC to run my own isolated EOD detachment in Tidworth.
“In Sept 12 I deployed with the US C-IED task force for 9 months as the theatre explosive exploitation cell second-in-command, overseeing 7 coalition force exploitation laboratories and managing end-to-end EOD exploitation from the field all the way to the court house. On return to the UK, I was awarded an operational MBE for services to Afghanistan. I took up post as Adjutant of 4 Regt RLC in July 13 and immediately deployed to BATUS as part of the CSS Battlegroup.”
Major Lisa has three children, Dylan, Florence and Alice, and her husband is a a Major in the Royal Signals. Both are also charity fundraisers for Anthony Nolan — the charity that has supported their son Dylan’s treatment journey through Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, and have raised over £20,000 to date.
Captain Maddie Pizzoni , 1st Regiment Army Air Corp
“After finishing school, I went to university in 2009 with my heart set on becoming a nurse. I spent five years at Nottingham studying and working out in the hospitals where I also decided to become a Reservist during that time.
“I really enjoyed my time in the Reserves and it really inspired me to go on and join the regular Army. I started training at Sandhurst in 2014 and became a commissioned officer in 2015. Following that, I took an Army pilots course and completed training as a Wildcat helicopter pilot last year, making it to frontline 659 Army Air Corps Squadron in December 2019.
“During the peak of the pandemic 659 Squadron were deployed up at RAF Leeming as part of the Covid Support Force transporting people and essential equipment in support of the NHS in the fight against Coronavirus.
“Having trained as a nurse I did feel conflicted at first when Coronavirus hit, wondering where my skills were best placed. I wondered whether I should be on the front line in hospitals, helping my friends and former colleagues on the wards.
“However, as I have experienced through the vital role 659 Squadron played supporting the NHS, I’ve found that everyone has their role to play - and I played mine. I firmly believe the work I did then has helped both the UK Armed Forces and the NHS to fight this virus, save lives, and keep people safe and I’m proud of it.”