Captain Jan Hamilton (born Ian Hamilton, 8 December 1964) is the first officer in the British Army to complete gender re-assignment from Male to Female.

Early life

Born and with a family in Stonehaven, Template:Convert south of Aberdeen, in the North East of Scotland. He had an unhappy childhood and went to a partly-boarding school in Aberdeen as a day boy. He was an outwardly popular and charismatic kid but after suffering years of sexual abuse made worse by gender dysphoria, decided to join the British Army to become a 'Tough Guy' and to prove everyone he was masculine to camouflage her real personality.

Hamilton joined as an officer in the Royal Irish Rangers in 1983, serving in Northern Ireland. He retrained as a TV cameraman in 1987 – his military background saw him dispatched to war zones covering the Gulf War 1, the civil wars in Angola and Afghanistan, and the conflict in Bosnia. He worked as a director for Scottish and Anglia Television in the 1990s, before leaving to become bureaux chief of Edinburgh Live TV in 1997. In 1998 Hamilton was promoted to editor-in-chief of Live's City TV network by boss Kelvin MacKenzie. Hamilton resigned from his position at Live TV in 1999, after management changes at their Canary Wharf Headquarters, and took up a senior management position at Granada TV. He has been nominated 2ce by the British Academy for his television work.

Rejoining the British Army

During 1995, Hamilton rejoined the Army. As an over-age candidate, he joined the Territorial Army and then served with the Regular Army on a series of specialised contracts called Full Time Reserve Service. He later joined the Parachute Regimentin 2003, passing the stringent selection process, aged 35, and going on to elements of Special Forces selection with 22 SAS, becoming a combat survival instructor and a physical training instructor. He served with the Cheshire Regiment and The Highlanders in a variety of command appointments, as well as on operations in Bosnia, Northern Ireland, the War in Afghanistan and IraqGulf War 2, where he commanded a unit from 4 PARA. He returned to the United Kingdom in 2006 and spend a period recovering from two years on operations before taking a position back in Afghanistan with NATO Forces, from where he was medevacked back to the UK with a serious infection. His counsellors confirmed in early 2007 that he had Gender Dysphoria and from that point she bagan to live in role in preparation for surgical intervention. Since then, Jan has had breast augmentation, facial re-construction and finally full gender re-assignment in early 2008.[1]

She informed her Commanding Officer, Lt Col AABR Bruce of Crionaich, of her intention to change gender, and was dismissed from her up-coming post as head of Media Operations in Gibraltar. For 14 months, Col Bruce refused to meet with her or comment on the future of her career, despite repeated requests. A senior officer told her, "You've gone from hero to zero in one day". Hamilton was prevented from appearing at the Parachute Regiment annual officer's dinner. Her family sent her belongings to her with a note saying, "Our son is dead – never contact us again." [2]

Her lawyers repeatedly sought to meet with the Army to settle the issue out of court. The issue has now been amicably resolved and Jan has resigned her commission with the Army. The Regimental Colonel of The Parachute Regiment has written to Jan to thank her for her "years of loyal service as an Airborne Officer".[3][4]

Present Day

Jan was the subject of a documentary on Channel 4 (UK) in March 2008 entitled "Sex Change Soldier", a candid detailing of her journey from Paratrooper to Woman.

Recent press reports indicate Jan has settled her differences with the Army and has resigned her commission. The MOD have confirmed she is leaving the Army and does so with the Army's "best wishes".


Jan has ended up on several front pages, appeared on radio chat shows [5] and was rumored to be a possible participant in Big Brother or I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!. However, she has not appeared on Big Brother.[6]

Most recently, Jan was reported extensively in the press, most prominently in the News of the World, to have secured a £250,000 pay-out for "hurt feelings" from the MOD. She has received several threats of violence from serving soldiers against her because of the attendant publicity of this case but stridently denied the pay-out and currently has 3 complaints against various newspapers lodged with the Press Complaints Commission.

See also


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