Lieutenant Alexandra Boshkovska recently took command of the first company within the first mechanized infantry battalion and thus became the first woman in the ARM that manages this unit whose mission is carrying out combat tasks. About love for the profession, challenges, cooperation with her fellow soldiers, Boskovska speaks for MIA.
You have recently become a commander of the first company within the first mechanized infantry battalion and with that you are the first woman in the ARM that manages this combat unit. How satisfied are you with this new duty?
Yes, I have recently been assigned to this duty commander of the first company, and with that I got the epithet the first woman in the history of the ARM that was appointed as commander of the infantry company. Of course I am satisfied; this is a great success for every young officer. I joined the Military Academy in 2010 because I had the desire to work in the army as a child. My dream came true with the admission at the Academy where I spent four successful and memorable years. After finishing, I was assigned to the post platoon commander. I performed this duty for three years. I have to emphasize that I had the support of colleagues, superiors and subordinates. For these three years together with the platoon we have achieved satisfactory results.
What are the reactions of colleagues and friends?
I received many sincere greetings from colleagues and friends. In my family there was no ARM member other than me, and this is a great pride for my loved ones. Their reactions were very positive for me. Every success depends on personal engagement, commitment, of course, from the support I previously emphasized that I had.
In May this year, you led a platoon that participated in the international field exercise “EFES 2018” in Izmir, Republic of Turkey. What was the key to get praise for the participation and was it difficult to present as a unit leader at an international level?
Yes, we participated in an international exercise in the Republic of Turkey, where I was the platoon leader and at the same time a national representative. We received praise for our presentation as an infantry platoon and we accepted all the challenges and performed them professionally. There I was the only female among all the members, and there were over 10 countries that participated with their units. It was strange how a woman could be in the infantry and how she could be in the same rank with all the other men. It was not at all difficult for me to present the unit at the international level, and at the same time, we respected all the rules and the security measures.
How do colleagues with whom you command see it, is it difficult to work as a female member in such a predominantly male profession?
Colleagues and soldiers see me as a superior officer and their commander, regardless of gender and age. Although most of them are much older and have longer work experience than me, they treat me professionally, according to regulations and rules. It is not difficult to work this kind of profession. Everyone in the Army, regardless of gender, should be prepared to complete assignments and orders required with discipline and responsibility. Both my colleagues and I are ready to answer all the challenges regardless of the fact that we are women. And gender should not determine the success of an individual.
Are you confronted with stereotypes that exclusively men should command in this profession?
No, I do not face such stereotypes. In our Army there are many girls and women working professionally. At first we were a small number of female officers and there were stunning reactions, but over time the number increased, the work is even, regardless of gender and I do not see any kind of prejudice and stereotypes. There are a large number of members of the ARM who are especially prominent in the performance of their duties and receive only recognition and praise for this.
What are the recommendations for young girls who see their future in the Army of the Republic of Macedonia?
To young girls who would like to join this profession I recommend to strive for their goals and apply at job announcements. The most important thing is to love the uniform and the profession. I know many girls who have a great desire to join our Army and wish them success in the future. I encourage them to follow their dream, to practice, to invest in themselves, and above all to trust themselves, to motivate themselves and to pursue their goals.
What are your future plans, what do you want to achieve in the medium and long term?
Further in the career I will fulfill many duties and I will be assigned various functions. I will continue to work properly; I will strive to meet all the challenges.
Aleksandra Maksimovska, July 28, 2018