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Fight Like a Girl


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About the Author

Kate Germano was an officer in the United States Marine Corps for twenty years, retiring in July 2016. A combat veteran during the war in Iraq, she filled a variety of high-profile positions, including Marine aide-de-camp to the Secretary of the Navy, commanding officer of a recruiting station, and commanding officer of the all-female Fourth Recruit Training Battalion. Following her retirement, she served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Service Women's Action Network (SWAN) and now works as the Director of Talent Acquisition and Management for MGAC, a leading project, cost, and construction management firm in Washington DC. Her writing has been published in national media outlets including the New York Times, Time magazine, U.S. News and World Report, and the Washington Post. She has also been featured on NPR, Vice News Tonight, CSPAN, and the PBS NewsHour.

Kelly Kennedy is the author of They Fought for Each Other- The Triumph and Tragedy of the Hardest Hit Unit in Iraq. An army veteran with combat experience, she formerly worked for the Army Times and USA Today covering veterans' issues and health policy.


""A brave and important book." --Janet Reitman, contributing editor, Rolling Stone "A unique, powerful story of sexism and gender bias that will resonate with women across industries and experiences. A no-holds-barred condemnation of discriminatory training policies within the Marines and of systemic sexism facing women everywhere." --Kirkus Reviews "This passionate and raw account resonates with the Me Too and Time's Up movements and is a powerful story of one woman's perseverance." --Booklist "A deeply personal, fully heartfelt, and powerfully written indictment of the policy of the US Marine Corps on training women for war. Lt. Col. Germano lays out the story of her journey from topflight Marine officer and battalion commander to being fired over differing visions for training female Marines at Parris Island. In the midst of the debate over women in combat roles and, indeed, in the post-Harvey Weinstein world, this is a must-read to see Germano's articulate and compelling side of the story." --Adm. James Stavridis, US Navy (ret.), Supreme Allied Commander at NATO 2009-2013, and chief international security analyst for NBC News "This firsthand account of institutionalized gender bias provides a call to action for the military and society. Kate Germano's courageous narrative exposes the truth about the longstanding myth that women can't fight. Compelling and powerful, her insider perspective on how women are trained to be Marines reinforces scientific evidence supporting gender-integrated military training." --David G. Smith, PhD, associate professor, US Naval War College, and coauthor, Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women "Lt. Col. Germano delivers a detailed account of the deficiencies of separate-and-unequal training at Parris Island, leveling her guns at a legacy of second-class treatment for women in the Marine Corps. Her brave battle against anachronistic traditions in the sea service could benefit all Marines, if war-fighters of both sexes are encouraged to reach their full potential." --Gretel C. Kovach, war reporter (ret.) "A funny and heart-wrenching explanation of how gender bias works in the Marine Corps. Fight Like a Girl makes clear that for all of the Corps' courage in fighting our nation's wars, there is at least one thing many Marines still fear: strong women." --Col. Aaron B. O'Connell, US Marine Corps, associate professor of history, the University of Texas at Austin "A thought-provoking look into the Marines Corps' views and training programs for females. The generals in the Marines didn't want to hear and didn't ask how Germano raised women's qualification rates from 67-78 percent to 92 percent. They just wanted females to fail. Read why women Marines are inspired by Germano and want her to continue her fight." --Beth Brykman, author of The Best of Both Worlds: How Mothers Can Find Full-Time Satisfaction in Part-Time Work "Our society would do well to take heed of Kate Germano's story. Fortunately, she has laid it out in Fight Like a Girl, a deeply personal memoir. The next generation that wears the uniform owes her a debt of gratitude. Read this book and you'll understand why." --Elliot Ackerman, author of Dark at the Crossing "Inspiring, fresh, and highly relevant, as women continue their fight for parity. Germano's tenacity, courage, and leadership are everything I would expect from a Marine and a woman. She is a true firestarter." --Kathy Palokoff, coauthor, Firestarters: How Innovators, Instigators, and Initiators Can Inspire You to Ignite Your Own Life "Charges of sexism in the military have provoked an ongoing debate for years, and especially since the admission of women into combat roles. Training women for the US Marine Corps, long associated with hypermasculinity, presents a highly charged test case. Germano tells of her own fight against low expectations for women in the Corps . . . . Her story is colorfully told, with contrasting accounts of dedication, triumph, humor, and deep frustration. Her book is a must-read for anyone who wishes to understand Marine culture." --David R. Contosta, author, America's Needless Wars

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