TWO years ago 34-year-old Lance Corporal Natasha Petrie was riding the waves on the coast of California, then she joined The King’s Royal Hussars where her main role is patrolling out to schools as an Afghan outreach worker.

It is L/Cpl Petrie’s first operational tour and she says meeting the Afghan children has been the best part of her tour so far.

“My primary role is a combat human resources specialist, but I have done the ten-week Pashtu language course so I am more useful in that aspect. I have been out quite a few times, met some headmasters, there have been rumours of female teachers in some schools and we would like to meet them.

"We have had some shuras to see how they are getting along with educating girls.”

Initially Natasha was apprehensive about how she would be received, but on the whole her reception from the local people has been good.

“The headteachers and the pupils have been very excited to see a female soldier.”