Michelle Partington

From leaving school with little or no qualifications to having a successful career as an officer in the Royal Air Force, Michelle Partington has since resigned her commission after grueling experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq and is now battling PTSD whilst trying to get to grips being a civilian again.  She is focusing her time on charitable work and public speaking whilst writing her memoirs.

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After 22 years Michelle Partington retired from the RAF. She holds a vast amount of Service experience in the UK and operationally in austere and remote environments autonomously and within a team. Initially joining the ranks, reaching Sergeant before commissioning as a Medical Support Officer. My role involved providing tactical and strategic support for the Defence Medical Services. Michelle was operationally deployed as the first female paramedic with the RAF Regiment as well as various tours on the Medical Emergency Response Team taking emergency lifesaving care to the point or nearest to the point of injury on the front line in Afghanistan.

Michelle thoroughly enjoyed her role as instructor/facilitator within the RAF. She presented at the AMSUS Conference in Texas, Trauma Connections in London, CPD events for College of Paramedics & for NATO military instructors in Budapest.  

Michelle relished the opportunity to assist in building future Leaders into the RAF and it was one of her proudest moments as a Flight Commander watching her course graduate as RAF Officers.

Michelle recently worked as a volunteer for Macmillan Cancer Support as fundraiser, heading up a team at RAFC Cranwell. She was also the Regional Lead of a group set up to support patients with cancer living alone within her local community and is currently in the process of setting up a new charity called ‘Behind The Mask’ which will be an online peer-to-peer support and free counselling for anyone struggling with their mental health. The charity launches on 10 Oct which is also World Mental Health Day.

Following on from her experiences, Michelle is in the process of writing a book about her operational experience and subsequent journey with PTSD. She hopes to raise awareness for sufferers and those who support them. Michelle has recently started to undertake public speaking events relaying her experiences, the most recent in the Lord Mayor's chamber in Manchester and the 16th International Trauma Care Conference in Telford. She is a Champion for "Time to Change", supporting mental health. Other talks also include 'My Unique Story' for Purple Tie Promotions in London, Veterans in the Criminal Justice System at Tottenham and NATO First Responder Trainers Symposium in Budapest. Michelle is proof that you can live with PTSD (Mental Illness) and it does not have to define you or put you ‘in a box’. She has a voice and intends to use it to raise awareness of her journey living with PTSD.

Michelle has been invited to become a Diversity Role Model due to the success she has made with her life. she joined the big bad world after school with very little qualifications and no real prospects. She can now talk about how she has gone from little to a Royal Air Force Officer holding the Queen’s Commission, leading many in the battlefield and at home. Her motto being 'If you believe in yourself you can become what you want to be with hard work and commitment'. As a female she has worked in a male dominated environment especially on the front line in Afghanistan with great success. 


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