Mother’s Day | Mothers in the Armed and Security Forces of the Republic of Cyprus
Defence Redefined
Published on 10/05/2020 at 11:59

Mother’s Day today with all the mothers of the world celebrating. The editorial team of our website, wanting to highlight the role of the mother in the Armed and Security Forces of the Republic of Cyprus, spoke with four mothers from the National Guard, Cyprus Police, Fire Service and Civil Defence (which, even though not a security force in Cyprus, it has a significant contribution to the latter’s work both in peace and in times of hostilities).

Read below the interviews they gave to us and their message for today’s celebration.

How many years have you been working in your Service and in which department? How did your employment in the Armed / Security Forces come about?

Yiota | National Guard 

-I have served as a Lieutenant in the Infantry since 2010 and I am the first woman to join the Combat Arms branch of the Armed Forces. As a child, because I had a father who loved his homeland and always talked to me about “I Don’t Forget and I Struggle” and in combination with a refugee mother from Rizokarpaso, I was awakened by the feeling of serving my country as much as possible in my own way and help towards its freedom. Also, both the army and discipline were two things I have always liked that urged me to choose an Officer’s school. 

Elena | Police

– I have been working for the Police for 13 years and for the last two years I have been serving in the Department of Minor Offenses. When I finished my studies at the Department of History and Archeology of the University of Athens, I was looking for a job and I had seen that people were looking for employment in the Police. I found it interesting and because there was no prospect in my field of study, I wanted to try to claim a position in the Police Force. 

I have passed the written exams and the sports exams for recruitment and since then I have been serving in the Force. Although this work initially arose for reasons of professional rehabilitation, I confess that I did not regret even a moment when I joined the ranks of the Police, a Service ordered to serve society and ensure the protection and safety of citizens.

Members of the Cyprus Police in a parade on October 1 © CNA

Kiki | Fire Department 

– I have been with the Fire Department since 1995, 25 years in the Service, and I serve in Operations. I registered to go as a Police Officer, passed the exams and it turned out that I had to go to the Fire Department. I was thrilled and I really liked it. I always liked the action and it excited me. 

Civil Defence: How many years have you served in the Civil Defence Force? How did your recruitment as a volunteer come about?


– I have been in the Civil Defence since 2006, as a volunteer Officer, I have the rank of Chief of Department and I serve at the station in Dali. 

I have been a volunteer since 1996 in the Cyprus Scout Corps. There was an opening for an Officer in Civil Defence because of a retirement and since I liked volunteerism I asked to join the Civil Defence. I have been volunteering since I was 14 because in 1974, when the war broke out, there was a doctor’s office near my house with wounded people. The army ordered me as a nurse and since then I have been involved in volunteering. 

How many children do you have and how do they feel about their mother’s work? What are their feelings when you are in office?

Yiota | National Guard 

– My son is a newborn, I don’t know how he will feel when he grows up, but my brothers are very proud of their sister being in the Army. My friends were a little scared, because I would be a woman in the Army, but in the end everyone feels very proud. 

Elena | Police 

– I have two children. An 11-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl. They are used to the nature and schedule of my work. They are also at an age when they can perceive many things and through dialogue I managed to make them understand that not only does their mom do this job to bring money home, but she is also happy to go to work because she helps people and that makes her feel nice. 

-Of course my job also involves risks, but I want to give them the message that I am safe. They know that when I’m at work I don’t abandon them and I take care when I’m not working to make up for it with them, doing various things and activities that please them.

Kiki | Fire Department 

– I have two boys and I think they are very proud of my work to the point that when someone asks them what does your mother do, they always say “Firefighter”, something that is not a common profession for a woman. When I entered the House I was one of the four women in the Fire Department. 

They feel a bit insecure and scared when I am in the Service, but my husband is also a Firefighter and  more or less they have in mind that this is a dangerous profession. When they see fires on TV, they keep asking, “Mom, did you go there? Are you okay?”, but I cheer them on and try to keep them from feeling scared. 

Civil Defence: How many children do you have and how do they feel about your participation in Political Defence?


– I have three children, two boys and a girl, and five grandchildren. They are very proud and they call me by the nickname “Mother Teresa”.

Was there an incident in which there was a problem at home while you were on duty? How did you handle it?

Yiota | National Guard – 

There was a time when my little boy was teething and had a high fever, but fortunately I have a very good Commander who did not refuse to let me return home.

Elena | Police 

-There were definitely times when, while on duty, one of my children was ill. If my husband couldn’t handle it on his own, who – I have to say – helps me a lot and supports me, then I would discuss it with my Manager and he would give me permission to go to my child.

Kiki | Firefighter 

– It happened several times when there was a problem at home, but because my husband and I both work on shifts, we always arranged our schedule so that someone was always with the children. Sometimes I instructed my husband when he was at home. 

Female Firefighter ©Cyprus Fire Service

Artemis | Civil Defence 

– When the explosion in Mari took place, I was one of the first officers to respond and during the whole time my people and especially my daughter were constantly calling me. I left my two grandchildren to my brother’s wife and immediately ran to Mari. I kept telling my daughter to calm down and that soldiers had priority. 

How difficult is it to combine your work with family responsibilities?

Yiota | National Guard 

– It’s difficult. But I love my job. Now that the baby has arrived, my job is definitely not in second place, but my son is my first priority. It is not easy when you are performing Service, but there is help from both my husband and my mother because no one can cope on their own in a family and in the Army especially when you are serving in an active Unit. I also serve away from home. However, I managed to combine both the Army and the family and I am also doing a second degree in law. 

Elena | Police

Of course, both my family and friends have realized that my work schedule is peculiar and it is difficult for me to follow the “normal schedule”. I happen to work on holidays, Sundays and nights and I often miss family or friend gatherings. Everyone shows understanding and I’m used to it now, although I must admit that sometimes it’s difficult. But it is part of my job and I have accepted it.

Kiki | Fire Department 

– I adjust my schedule because I always know in advance and so I organize my obligations at work and family. 

Would you suggest to other women to follow your profession? What is your message to other mothers this holiday season?

Yiota | National Guard 

-I was a trainer in the first row of professional women soldiers and I was surprised by the fact that the biggest percentage of women in my company were mothers. They wore the uniform with love and were thirsty for education. All women should enlist in the military, at least because of the situation we live in in Cyprus. A woman may need to take a gun in her hands. 

Don’t be afraid to have children and don’t be afraid of motherhood. You develop unprecedented yet wonderful feelings. It makes you feel two times stronger and complete as a person. 

Professional Women soldiers’ vowing in ©General Staff of the National Guard

Elena | Police

– I would recommend the profession of Police to other women because it has a lot to offer. Beyond the livelihood part it is a profession of offering to fellow human beings. You are there, day and night, to help anyone in need. Every day at work is a new experience because you do not know what will happen. You are next to everyone who needs you, to give them a solution to the problem that concerns them, to support them and to guide them. Your colleagues in this job are a second family because with them you have to face all the difficulties but also the beautiful things that happen every day.

Mother’s Day is a celebration in honor of motherhood. A minimal tribute of honor and recognition to the mother’s contribution to the family but also to society in general. I wish all the mothers happy Mother’s day and enjoy their children.  

Kiki | Fire Department 

– I tell the girls who think they succeed at the Fire Department, if their soul tells them then come, if they don’t really want it, they won’t be able to perform themselves. For the rest of the mothers, happy Mother’s day and may God give us the strength to cope with the difficulties of life because there are many. 

Civil Defence: Would you suggest to other women to volunteer in Civil Defence? What is your message to other mothers this day?


– I do this all the time and I always tell the girls that there is always time. It depends on how organized you are. It is a matter of strength and will. I wish all mothers, especially now with this situation, strength to be close to their children at all times, because the mother is the pillar of the home. 

Women have repeatedly shown that they are no different and can cope equally with men in the operational requirements of each Service. In fact, the feeling of motherhood may be a factor that can bring extra security but also love for one’s fellow man in the performance of duty. 

The team of DEFENCE ReDEFiNED, wishes Happy Mother’s day to all mothers, to be strong and to continue their important contribution to the Homeland, to Society and to all of us. 


* File photo in title image for woman in National Guard and Police





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