Fight Like a Girl: The Truth Behind How Female Marines Are Trained

Fight Like a Girl: The Truth Behind How Female Marines Are Trained Review

One woman's professional battle against systemic gender bias in the Marines and the lessons it holds for all of us.

The Marine Corps continues to be the only service where men and women train separately in boot camp or basic training. This segregation negatively affects interaction with male marines later on, and, lower expectations of female recruits are actively maintained and encouraged. But Lieutenant Colonel Kate Germano arrived at the Fourth Recruit Training Battalion at Parris Island--which exclusively trains female recruits--convinced that if she expected more of the women just coming into Corps, she could raise historically low standards for female performance and make women better Marines. And, after one year, shooting qualifications of the women under her command equaled those of men, injuries had decreased, and unit morale had noticeably improved.

Then the Marines fired her.

This is the story of Germano's struggle to achieve equality of performance and opportunity for female Marines against an entrenched male-dominated status quo. It is also a universal tale of the effects of systemic gender bias. Germano charges that the men above her in the chain of command were too invested in perpetuating the subordinate role of women in the Corps to allow her to prove that the female Marine can be equal to her male counterpart. She notes that the Marine Corps' $35-million gender-integration study, which shows that all-male squads perform at a higher level than mixed male-female squads, flies in the face of the results she demonstrated with the all-female Fourth Battalion and raises questions about the Marine Corps' willingness to let women succeed.

At a time when women are fighting sexism and systemic bias in many sectors of society, Germano's experience has wide-ranging implications and lessons--not just for the military but also for corporate America, the labor force, education, and government.

Title:Fight Like a Girl: The Truth Behind How Female Marines Are Trained

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    Fight Like a Girl: The Truth Behind How Female Marines Are Trained Reviews

  • Donna Hines

    First and Foremost from one woman to another THANK YOU for having the courage to write this book. Secondly, it's not often that gender bias is given a front row seat in the front lines of the Marine C...

  • Ruth Harmala

    I finished this book in two days; I couldn’t put it down. As I read page after page I couldn’t believe the things she wrote were actually happening. What a disappointment that an esteemed branch o...

  • Beth

    Germano was treated unfairly by the institution to which she committed her life in service of our country. Had she stuck to the facts, it could have been a great book. I wonder what made her think tha...

  • Derek C

    Insightful, honest, and a must-read....

  • Lili

    Bloody shocking and yet somehow not surprising. Germano's story is one worth reading, even if you aren't enamoured with the Marines, or even American....

  • notabattlechick

    Important book, great story and a damning critique of USMC culture re: gender integration and training. The book’s style, though, was not my favorite. It was repetitive at many points and the author...

  • Emylie

    I was so frustrated as I read this book--the sheer amount of BS she had to deal with made me have to put it down a few times. I am grateful she was not alone throughout-I appreciated her husband's cha...

  • Kimberly

    Excellent book. Shows how gender bias is real and still enforced. At our military levels and everywhere. LtCol Germano did everything right to prove that women were just as worthy to be in the marines...

  • Hoolia

    1) This book is poorly-written and poorly-edited. It sounds like it was taken from a bunch of audio interviews and just transcribed with zero editing. This is roughshod work from authors who claim to ...

  • Ann

    Kate Germano was a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marines when she was assigned to Paris Island training unit. She found the Marines trained women and men separately and the men's training wa...