Before she became a beauty queen, Cpl. Katrina Hodge, 24, had already served in Iraq, where she was decorated for her bravery. But after a year of high fashion, world travel and lingerie modeling, she said returning to duty was difficult.
"I'm not going to lie, it was hard to come back," Hodge told the Daily Mail in London. "It's definitely a change of lifestyle from having your hair and makeup done every day to being in your combats and having your hair scraped back."
Hodge was named Miss England's runner-up in 2009, but won the top tiara when beauty queen Rachel Christie was stripped of her title for assaulting a fellow contestant in a bar. From there, Hodge's career on the catwalk took off, and the British bombshell became the face of La Senza lingerie and Uniform Dating.com, a website aimed at military dating.
But now Hodge, who married a fellow soldier last year, says she's prepared to head back to war, although she's certainly not looking forward to it.
"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," Hodge told the Daily Mail.
But the military remains her first priority, she said. "There are days when I miss getting dressed up and going to an event, but the Army is my life, and the Army has made me who I am," Hodge told Agence France-Presse.
The so-called "Combat Barbie" wrote a book about her unusual story last year, titled "Combat to Catwalk."