A naval officer's memoir about finding one's voice.
Women have bravely served in the US Navy for nearly a century, but they have been allowed to serve in combat roles for only the last 25 years. When the combat exclusion law was lifted in 1993, women in the navy soon had a new range of opportunities available to them. The repeal of the law finally gave women the chance to serve on combatant ships for the first time. Among the first women to step onto these warships as a new crewmember was Joanna Sprtel Walters. In her memoir, Girl at Sea, she shares her story beginning with training at the US Naval Academy through her service in the fleet aboard combatant warships.
As a member of the class of 1994, she was among the first group of women out of the academy to have selected warfare specialties. This real-life account sheds light on a groundbreaking time in our country's history as gender barriers continue to be torn down within all divisions of our armed forces.
Walters' story will resonate with anyone who has ever had to bump their head against a glass ceiling and then fight their way through it. Her story covers difficult topics such as a sexual assault and extortion case at the end of her time at the academy; struggling to prove herself on a ship where men felt women were invading their spaces; earning the hard-fought respect of her first division; recovering from the career suicide of engaging in a forbidden relationship; fighting to stay in the navy and then thriving in the most difficult of environments; and her eventual blossoming into a strong division officer with an MBA under her belt. Through her successes and failures, Walters hopes to inspire others to reach beyond what they thought they were capable of and find their own inner strength.
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