War on Terror

England's "Combat Barbie" Katrina Hodge Gives up Tiara for Gun

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

The British tabloids have dubbed her "Combat Barbie" -- the Army corporal who is also a beauty queen. But now she is giving up her tiara and sash, and headed for battle in Afghanistan.

Katrina Hodge joined the Army when she was just 17 on a dare from her brother.

"My brother was then a soldier and I wanted to prove that I could do the hard graft it took to succeed," she said. "By week three, I absolutely loved it."

But while serving her country she also competed in beauty pageants, finishing runner-up for Miss England 2009. She assumed the title when the winner got into a barroom brawl.

Hodge has spent the past year away from the military, wearing swimsuits and skimpy outfits and staying at the best hotels as she traveled the world.

However, the 24-year-old beauty's reign is over, so now it's back to a concealing Army uniform, uncomfortable barracks and deadly weapons.

"I’m not going to lie, it was hard to come back," Hodge said. "It’s definitely a change of lifestyle from having your hair and make-up done every day to being in your combats and having your hair scraped back. To go straight back to this was definitely a culture shock."

She is now preparing to be sent to Afghanistan. Being in the war zone is nothing new for Hodges -- she was decorated for bravery during her time in Iraq.

"At the end of the day, it’s my job. If that’s what you’ve got to do, then that’s what you’ve got to do. It’s hard to be excited about Afghanistan but it’s the reality of our job. Our job is to be out there, protecting our country."

Before U.S. troops in Afghansitan go out of their way to meet her, they should know Hodge could now compete for the title of Mrs. England -- she married a fellow British soldier last June.