The British Army is mostly male in its composition, and is widely accepted to be masculine in character. Of its trained personnel, 92 per cent are male. Men and women have always provided the Army with personnel, support and services. That contribution has always been gendered – the division of labour between men and women has never been quantitatively or qualitatively equal. Narratives about gender set out in contemporary military policy discourse, of steadily increasing numbers of women personnel and the expanding opportunities available to them, belie a more complex gendered present and past. The masculine character of the Army is and has always been maintained by a constant process of imagination of the institution as male, and supported consistently by practices, formal and informal, material and cultural, which have contained women’s participation and have worked to keep the institution male.