Commodore, 47, rises to become Britain's first female admiral

Britain’s first female admiral: Commodore, 47, rises to Royal Navy’s top ranks… after nearly 500 years of it being the preserve of men

  • Commodore Jude Terry will become a Royal Navy rear admiral in August 2022 
  • Role is equivalent to a major general in the Army or air vice marshal in the RAF
  • Today said she had ‘always been allowed to be Jude’ during her naval career  

The Royal Navy today named its first female admiral in its nearly 500 years of service after a 47-year-old commodore rose to the top rank. 

Commodore Jude Terry, 47, will become a rear admiral in August 2022, and wants to use the role to help increase female representation in the forces. 

The role is equivalent to a major general in the Army or air vice marshal in the RAF, positions which are already held by two women.  

Commodore Jude Terry, 47, (pictured) will become a rear admiral in August 2022, and wants to use the role to help increase female representation in the forces

She told the Telegraph the Navy had ‘always allowed me to be Jude’, adding: ‘I’ve never ever thought about being female in the services.

‘If you deliver, you get the credit for it. If you don’t deliver, you have to redeem yourself.’

Commodore Terry was born in Jersey when her father was away at sea aboard HMS Tiger, and joined Britannia Royal Naval College in 1997.

She was awarded an OBE in 2017 in recognition for her work in the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ), the operations hub for the UK military.

While serving on HMS Ocean, she was responsible for working with the documentary team producing the series Warship for Channel 4. 

On being the first woman in the position, she said: ‘Someone’s got to be first. There will be others.’

Women currently make up around 12 per cent of the almost 30,000 headcount in the Royal Navy. There is a target to increase this to 20 per cent by 2030. 

While serving on HMS Ocean,(pictured) she was responsible for working with the documentary team producing the series Warship for Channel 4 

HMS Queen Elizabeth departs HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, on May 22 for her maiden deployment to lead the UK Carrier Strike Group on a 28-week operational deployment travelling over 26,000 nautical miles from the Mediterranean to the Philippine Sea

Commodore Terry said there was a plan to make the service ‘more representative of society as a whole’. 

She added: ‘There’s been the odd moment when you turn up somewhere and there’s no female heads (toilets) and everybody gets a bit excited about it but you know that’s only on occasion.’

The rank of rear admiral is above that of a commodore and captain, but below a vice admiral.

In 2019 there were 34 serving admirals, vice admirals and rear admirals in the Royal Navy. 

It is not yet known where Commodore Terry will serve when she takes up her new role. MailOnline has contacted the Navy for comment. 

Leading the charge: The two women of equivalent ranks in the RAF and Army  

Air Marshal Sue Gray 

AIR MARSHAL SUE GRAY  

Sue Gray, 58, became the most senior woman in the RAF when she was promoted to the rank of Air Marshal in 2019. 

Born in Tanzania, joined the RAF in 1985 after gaining a degree in electronics from Newcastle Upon Tyne Polytechnic.

Commissioned as an engineer, she has climbed through the ranks during a 28-year career.

She has twice served on the frontline in Iraq, in the First Gulf War in 1991 and again in 2003 as chief engineer for the Joint Helicopter Force.

More recently she lead the department delivering engineering and logistics support for fighter, training and Remotely Piloted aircraft for all of the Armed Services.

In June 2016 she was appointed Air Officer Commanding Number 38 Group, with responsibility for more than 3,000 personnel across disciplines including engineering, logistics, aviation medicine and catering.

Speaking to the Telegraph after her appointment, she reflected on the challenges faced by women in the services.  

‘You naturally thought that you had to try harder because it was a male-dominated environment,’ she said.  

‘I don’t remember being treated differently; I didn’t find my path any harder than my male colleagues at the time. If anything, you get remembered – hopefully for the right reasons – because you do stand out.’  

Major General Sharon Nesmith 

MAJOR GENERAL SHARON NESMITH 

The 51-year-old currently serves as General Officer Commanding Army Recruitment and Initial Training Command. 

Major General Nesmith, joined the Royal Corps of Signals in 1992.

She spent the first few years of her career in Germany, serving in the Electronic Warfare Regiment, the 1st Armoured Division Headquarters and Signal regiment, during which time she completed three tours in the Balkans.

In 2010 she commanded 215 Signal Squadron while on Operation Telic 10 in Iraq. She later commanded 22nd Signal Regiment and afterwards was promoted to Colonel.

She was put in command of 1st Signal Brigade, based in Gloucester, which prepares forces which are held at high states of readiness to support current and future military operations all over the world.

She was then made commander of the 1st Signal Brigade before later taking up her current role. 

Outside of work, she enjoys taking part in marathons, fell running in the Lake District, mountain biking and skiing.

She is married with two sons, according to a 2015 profile.  

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