Corporal Laura Fletcher is often behind the wheel of a truck in Australia, but for now, as a guardian angel in Kabul, Afghanistan, she is providing protection for coalition mentors guiding Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA) female cadets.
Corporal Fletcher is part of the female force protection node at Camp Qargha and leads a team of Australian and British angels.
The all-female team also plays a role with the development of the soldiers.
Born on ANZAC day and raised in the country town of Yass, Laura always dreamed of joining the Australian Defence Force.
On her 18th birthday in 2013, Laura enlisted, eventually posting to the Royal Australian Corps of Transport as a driver, where she contributed to 1st Brigade combat distribution.
“As long as I can remember I wanted to be in the Army. So much of the work and lifestyle just seemed to appeal to me,” Corporal Fletcher said.
Six years on, Corporal Fletcher accepted the guardian angel opportunity.
“I’d been hoping for an opportunity like this,” she said.
“It’s been a big learning experience but a great opportunity to step up and be in charge of soldiers from other nations.
“None of the women here are infantry. They come from different trades and professions, including clerks, drivers and logisticians.”
Now halfway through her deployment she said she had achieved some remarkable things.
“All the women I have deployed with, live and work with, appreciate the importance of what we are doing,” Corporal Fletcher said.
“But best of all, I have made friendships I will cherish forever.”