'Combat Barbie' set for Afghan trip


Corporal Katrina Hodge, a former Miss England dubbed Combat Barbie, now faces deployment to Afghanistan

A former Miss England, dubbed Combat Barbie, faces deployment to Afghanistan after she returned to the Army following her stint as a beauty queen.

Corporal Katrina Hodge swapped active service for the glitz and glamour of the catwalk when she took the title last January.

But she has since handed over her crown and is back on exercise in Army fatigues, preparing for a possible tour of the war-torn country as early as next year.

The married soldier, decorated for her bravery in Basra, insists she is glad to be back in the forces and ready to take on the challenge.

“At the end of the day, it’s my job,” she said. “If that’s what I’ve got to do, then that’s what I’ve got to do.

“It’s hard to be excited about going to Afghanistan but it’s the reality of our job. Our job is be out there, protecting our country.”

Corporal Hodge, 24, tied the knot with husband Neil – a soldier whose surname cannot be disclosed for security reasons – in a secret ceremony in Sri Lanka in June.

Three months later, when her spell as Miss England came to an end, she joined a new regiment and was thrown back into Army life.

This involved a month on exercise and tough training to get her up to speed.

“I’m not going to lie, it was hard to come back,” she said.

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