Capt Imogen O’Brien (Nugent 13) qualified as a physiotherapist from the University of Nottingham. After working in the NHS for three years she joined the British Army and commissioned from Sandhurst in November 2020. She is now a military physiotherapist working in an NHS hospital. In the summer of 2021, she was successful in winning a place on the British Army’s ocean rowing boat and became the official Army entry into the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in 2024.
Less than 200 women have rowed any ocean and more people have gone into space and climbed Everest than rowed the Atlantic.
In 2024, the first military female team will compete in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. This is a 3,000-mile unsupported row across the second largest ocean and we will be the official Army team using the Force Atlantic name.
The British Army is one of the top 50 female employers (The Times, 2020), even though women only make up 10% of its total. Our expedition aims to increase this percentage by creating and sustaining an inspiring legacy for women in the military.
By carefully selecting and bringing together a team of four ordinary women who have chosen a ‘unique’ career path, we will inspire other girls and women to dream beyond the mundane.
Teamwork is crucial when embarking on a huge, once in a lifetime challenge such as this. This extends beyond the close-knit crew to the support team and will ensure that the legacy we create outlives our Atlantic crossing. I might not yet be a rower, but I know that with the right mindset, training and support network, I will cross the Atlantic in 2024.
All of this is our ethos. We are changing the narrative around what constitutes a successful Woman in Defence and will show humility in the face of adversity.
PROMOTE INSPIRE BELONG
To achieve this, we need help. We are looking to partner with like-minded and ambitious brands that align with our aims and values. We hope to be trailblazers for the future of women, both within the military and elsewhere.
In return, we can offer branding, advertising and media opportunities. Our campaign will be far reaching and diverse, with a dedicated liaison officer for all our sponsorship partners. For further details please contact me on Imogen.Obrien104@mod.gov.uk.