She left High School and applied to the security forces (at the time not fully integrated into the Fleet) in the hope of 'putting on the scarlet' and becoming a Redshirt, heavy early War casulties meant that she was accepted as an 'Aspirant' when in peace-time her background would have closed such a pathway off. Housed in a tempoary 'Tent Camp' on grounds near the Onyx Mueseum of Mankind meant that during Indoctrination Training she could sneak in at night to view the collected treasures of early humanity, and recovered relics of Kobol, which were otherwise kept off-limits to the public.
Poppy Derwent nominated and tested to become Medium Transport crew after passing Basic, but was instead streamed into a Raptor training course. Much of the early part of this learning schedule was spent preparing her to become an Officer (first classes included how to Mess appropriately, and traditional song and hymn), which once successfully passed was followed by the actual Flight program. She was awarded her wings, though was graded 'below average' at the end of her course, then attached to the Royal Flight as an Ensign (at the time not only responsible for the transport of the sovereign, but also operating as an OTU).
Not many hours were logged whilst part of the Royal Flight, as Tylium rationing meant holobands were used to expand experience, with the rest of the time typically spent posted to sites as part of ground based security. Poppy Derwent was given the callsign "Pyrite" during this time, with the reference to fool's gold supposed to remind other Redshirts she was without pedigree, despite wearing the scarlet uniform. Immediately after OTU she was shuttled to Caprica and joined a Colonial Fleet Raptor Squadron 'on exchange', her first Tour was with this Squadron under the aegis Caprica Control and providing 'orbital patrols' to free up more experienced units. Derwent's second tour was spent on Picon as a Pilot Instructor, where she stayed out of harms way, and helped with Advanced pilot and ECO training on Raptor variants. With promise of a bonus she signed on for her third tour and hoped to move 'up to the line', obtaining the rank of Lieutenant and remaining within the Colonial Fleet on an administrative 'long term exchange' from the Virgon security forces. She joined a Fleet Raptor Squadron (historically a Virgon formation) that was assigned to Columbia's Air Wing.
After the War she studied Antiquities and Art Conservation in one of Virgon's prestigous old Universities with sponsorship from the Security Forces, then worked at the Mueseum of Mankind as a Painting Restorer.