Ask Trooper Aimee Doolan why she wanted to join the Army, and her answer is simple: it was the example set by her mother, Julie.
Trooper Doolan is beginning her Army career as an Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) driver in the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) based at Gallipoli Barracks, Enoggera.
Gallipoli Barracks is where Trooper Doolan’s mother, Warrant Officer Class 2 Julie Doolan, works.
WO2 Doolan manages the officers’ and sergeants’ messes at Gallipoli Barracks and said she was chuffed with her daughter's efforts to become an ASLAV driver.
“I’m very proud. It’s something I couldn’t do when I joined the Army, which was more than 30 years ago,” WO2 Doolan said.
WO2 Doolan’s experience when she joined the Army in the 1980s highlights how much things have changed for women.
“Back then, females couldn’t carry weapons and weren’t allowed in the field,” she said.
“There was a limited amount of jobs we could do.
“But females now can do anything in the Army. There are far more opportunities for Aimee.”
WO2 Doolan joined the Army as a signaller before transferring to the Royal Australian Army Pay Corps.
She has deployed to Timor Leste and Afghanistan.
Females now can do anything in the Army. There are far more opportunities for Aimee.
When Trooper Doolan told her mum about her desire to join the Army, WO2 Doolan said she had some misgivings.
“I was a bit nervous at first, but that’s what she wanted to do, so I just had to let her do what she wanted,” WO Doolan said.
Trooper Doolan arrived at 2/14LHR (QMI) in April this year and has been busy.
She was deployed to Melbourne on Operation COVID-19 Assist.
“When we got back, we went to Shoalwater Bay to participate in Exercise Diamond Catalyst,” Trooper Doolan said.
“That was my first real experience on an exercise, so that was fun.”
She also has been on a gunnery camp at the Wide Bay Training Area where she fired 50-calibre and MAG58 machine guns.
The ASLAV is a 13-tonne, eight-wheeled long-range armoured reconnaissance vehicle, but Trooper Doolan said it’s not too difficult to operate.
“It’s just like a big car, really. Once you get the hang of it, it’s not too bad. It’s just a lot bigger than a normal car,” she said.
Next year is set to be an exciting year for Trooper Doolan as she will take part in a driving course for the new Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle, the Army’s replacement for the ASLAV.
Trooper Doolan said she has enjoyed her time in the Army since enlisting last year.
“I have had support from everyone. We all get treated the same, the guys and the girls. It’s good,” she said.