Undaunted: The Real Story of America's Servicewomen in Today's Military

( 3 )

Overview

As she did so provocatively with military spouses in Army Wives, Tanya Biank gives us the inside story of women in today’s military—the professional and personal challenges that confront female soldiers from the combat zone to the home front...

Since 9/11, more than 240,000 women soldiers have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan—more than 140 have died there, and they currently make up fourteen percent of the total active-duty forces. Despite advances, today’s servicewomen are ...

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Undaunted: The Real Story of America's Servicewomen in Today's Military

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Overview

As she did so provocatively with military spouses in Army Wives, Tanya Biank gives us the inside story of women in today’s military—the professional and personal challenges that confront female soldiers from the combat zone to the home front...

Since 9/11, more than 240,000 women soldiers have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan—more than 140 have died there, and they currently make up fourteen percent of the total active-duty forces. Despite advances, today’s servicewomen are constantly pressed to prove themselves, to overcome challenges men never face, and to put the military mission ahead of all other aspects of their lives, particularly marriage and motherhood. In this groundbreaking, insider’s look at the women defending our nation, Tanya Biank brings to light the real issues—of femininity, belonging to an old boys’ club, veiled discrimination, dating, marriage problems, separation from children, questions about life goals, career trajectories, and self-worth—that servicewomen are facing by focusing on four individual stories.

Brigadier General Angela Salinas, the Marine Corps’ first Hispanic female general, faces the challenge of commanding an all-male institution. Second Lieutenant Bergan Flanagan finds herself on the frontlines in Afghanistan, serving in the same military police company as her husband. As a marine drill instructor, Sergeant Amy Stokley demands the very best from the recruits at Parris Island. And Major Candice O’Brien deals with deployment to Afghanistan, with two young children and a strained marriage back home.

Undaunted is the story of these courageous trailblazers—their struggles, sacrifices, and triumphs in the name of serving the country they love.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her latest, Biank (Army Wives: The Unwritten Code of Military Marriage) sheds light on women who serve in the armed forces. She closely follows the careers of four servicewomen between 2006 and 2011: Brig. Gen. Angela Salinas, the first Hispanic female general in the Marines; 2nd Lt. Bergan Flannigan, a platoon leader married to a man in the same military police company; Sgt. Amy Stokley, a drill instructor for the Marine Corps; and Maj. Candice O’Brien, an officer whose deployment to Afghanistan strains her marriage to a military husband with PTSD. Biank is a skilled biographer, providing contextual snapshots of America’s military with each passing year. Her immersion in each woman’s state of mind makes these stories read almost like a novel, and the clarity of detail, from cadet slang to the social politics on base, reveals the thoroughness of her research. Biank doesn’t offer any groundbreaking conclusions—women are ever more prevalent in the military, but still face challenges in a hypermasculine environment—but these engaging glimpses into the life of military women are more than worth reading for their own sake. Agent: Rafe Sagalyn, Sagalyn Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
Biank (Under the Sabers: The Unwritten Code of Army Wives, 2006) analyzes the increasingly important role played by women in the military. The author, whose first book was developed into the popular TV series Army Wives, follows the military career of four women currently playing a vital role in today's integrated armed forces: Brig. Gen. Angela Salinas, the Marine's first Hispanic female general; 2nd Lt. Bergan Flannigan, a military policewoman in Afghanistan; Sgt. Amy Stokley, who drives recruits at Parris Island; and Maj. Candice O'Brien, who struggles through deployment to Afghanistan with a strained marriage and two children back at home. Biank shows forcefully how this commitment to service still runs up against sexism and prejudice. Three of the four served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet nonsensically, by law, women are still prevented from deployment in combat. Women in the armed forces train to the same standards of excellence as their male colleagues who qualify for combat, and they must maintain the same levels of physical fitness and endurance. In Iraq, when Stokley was a driver, her truck came under attack, and one of her passengers died. Flannigan lost her leg to a roadside booby trap when working to train the Afghan National Police. Biank follows the careers of the four individuals over time, as they advance in their chosen spheres. Salinas chose to continue to serve when she was told by a corporate headhunter that she "would not find what you have in the Marines here….You're not going to find loyalty or camaraderie here like you're used to." An eye-opening account of a military in transition.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451417985
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/4/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 171,293
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Tanya Biank is an author and a journalist. Her book, Army Wives, is the basis for Lifetime’s hit series, Army Wives, and she serves as a consultant to the show. Tanya is the daughter, sister, and wife of Army colonels, and during her days as a newspaper reporter she traveled around the world with troops. Her coverage of the Fort Bragg Army wife murders in 2002 led to congressional inquiries and changes in Army policy. Her work has appeared in a number of publications, including The New York Times.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I A Few Good Women

Chapter 1 Ooorah on the High Seas 13

Chapter 2 The General 31

Chapter 3 The Cadet 52

Chapter 4 Doyenne of the Depot 75

Chapter 5 Toy Soldiers 89

Chapter 6 The Burn 100

Chapter 7 Typhoon Season 108

Part II Double Time

Chapter 8 Return to Parris Island 125

Chapter 9 Brotherhood Revisited 136

Chapter 10 The Lieutenant 139

Chapter 11 Paradise Lost 145

Chapter 12 Nicky the New Hat 153

Chapter 13 Exhaustion 163

Chapter 14 The Fight 179

Chapter 15 A Christmas Farewell 191

Part III In the Trenches

Chapter 16 Winds of War 201

Chapter 17 Jedi Knight 206

Chapter 18 Into the Desert of Death 220

Chapter 19 Looking Back, Moving Forward 231

Chapter 20 Three Days 241

Part IV Decision Point

Chapter 21 The Purple Heart 259

Chapter 22 Stars 271

Chapter 23 The Afghan Trimester 282

Chapter 24 The Long Road Home 298

Chapter 25 Diva in Boots 301

Chapter 26 The Iron Major 321

Epilogue 329

Glossary 337

Acknowledgments 341

Index 343

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

    Excellent

    An outstanding book - Tanya Biank, knows about Military life first hand - she has lived the Military life since she was born. The women she portrays in her book are real and dedicated to both our country and the branch of service they represent.

    I looked all of these woman up on the internet after reading UNDAUNTED and found several interesting articles on them.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    Excellent!

    This was a thoroughly inspirational look at 4 servicewomen who faced typical issues that females are challenged with in the uniformed services. Profiling a diverse group made the characters relatable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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