The Strong Ones

The Strong Ones

Hammel, Sara
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Author Event on March 31
How a Band of Civilian Women Made Their Mark on the Army

They said women couldn't keep up.
They said women weren't strong enough to do the military's toughest jobs.
In 1995, a ragtag band of civilians came to prove them wrong.

"An important story...No pedestal for these young American lionesses! Cheers and accolades instead." --Pat Schroeder, former Congresswoman and member of the House Armed Services Committee 

THE STRONG ONES will inspire a new generation with its cast of ordinary women overcoming daunting obstacles-and will thrill readers with a stunning and heartwarming twist.

The Strong Ones is the inspiring true story of forty-five civilian women, including the author, who volunteered for a controversial seven-month Army strength study in 1995-and proved just how strong women can get. A hybrid of memoir and military history that will appeal to fans of Wild and Ashley's War, The Strong Ones lays bare the raw emotions, vulnerabilities and body image struggles of those who dug deep to show what it means to be a strong woman-in every sense.

With females still banned from combat and their supposed lack of physical strength used as a reason to keep them out, women from around Massachusetts-including moms, teachers, a landscaper, a prison guard, a journalist and one solider-came to change the rules. Female soldiers were busy serving their country so these civilians stepped in, forming a sisterhood like no other through 75-lb backpack hikes, 110-lb trailer pulls, shared pain, keg parties, snowball fights and a refusal to fail.

Author Sara Hammel, a test subject and reporter with exclusive access to the study, traces the women and their results through the years, revealing how their efforts came full circle decades later when all military jobs were opened up to women. Exclusive interviews with former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder and Shannon Faulkner add context to this historic shift in military policy, anchoring the study firmly in the present.
  • Paperback: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Sara Hammel (February 9, 2021)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761156864