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From Selling Scrap Metal To Being A British Army Instructor

Cakacaka Divinigauna Tuilovoni is the first Fijian woman Physical Training Instructor (PTI) at the British Army. The 33-year-old hails from Vatoa in Lau with maternal link to Naroi Village in Moala, Lau. A single mom, Ms Tuilovoni had to balance work with her motherly role to her three-year-old daughter, Eilidh Asher.
11 Apr 2022 12:30
From Selling Scrap Metal To Being A British Army Instructor
Cakacaka Divinigauna Tuilovoni in her Physical Training Instructor uniform and with her three-year-old aughter, Eilidh Asher at their home.

Cakacaka Divinigauna Tuilovoni is the first Fijian woman Physical Training Instructor (PTI) at the British Army.

The 33-year-old hails from Vatoa in Lau with maternal link to Naroi Village in Moala, Lau.

A single mom, Ms Tuilovoni had to balance work with her motherly role to her three-year-old daughter, Eilidh Asher.

 

Journey to the British Army
When Ms Tuilovoni failed her Year 13 Examination in 2007, she applied to join the British Army, but she failed mathematics during the first phase of selection when they had to do a Mathematics and English test.

“I was really devastated, and I felt like I did not have a purpose,” she said.

“One day my aunt contacted me via Facebook messenger telling me that the Navy was recruiting commonwealth soldiers and if my younger sister and I wanted
to join.

 

“We applied and were successful, but our visas were rejected.

“My mum, a woman who does not take no for an answer told me we will apply again but we will do my application first,” Ms Tuilovoni said.

“My aunt and uncle sponsored us, and we had the privilege to live under their roof until we joined the Army.

 

“We applied for my visa, and it was successful but the next big challenge for my family was finding the airfare.”

Ms Tuilovoni and her dad collected and sold scrap metal to help with her airfare.

“The Navy process was taking long, so my aunt asked the recruiting office if they could transfer all our documents to the Army.”

 

Physical Training Instructor
“I asked one of my Staff Sergeants to ask on my behalf if I could join the PTI course. I was told to go work in the gym as a trainee to gain experiences, confidence, and knowledge on how to take PTI sessions,” she said.

“An application for me to attend was submitted but my Chain of Command rejected the approval of it and didn’t want me to attend. Arguably, they felt I needed to be a rank higher to attend.

“I successfully attended and completed PTI course number 69 at the Army School of Physical Training from January 24 to March 25, 2022.

 

“PTI course is male dominated, but they welcome equal applications from both males and females.”

“I successfully completed the PTI course on March 18 this year.”

“It never crossed my mind that I would be the first Fijian female PTI.

 

“I only realised I would be because other soldiers who served longer than me started telling me that I would be the first.

“A message to young women, men and struggling parents is never give up on your goals and dreams.”

“If you do not achieve it now there will always be a way out of it.”

 

Feedback: wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj



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