Book Title:

A Woman’s War


Gail Harris (with Pam McLaughlin)

Soar2Success Rating:




5 out of 5 Stars

Content Summary:

This book is a personal and professional memoir of Gail Harris, the first African American female to be assigned in the U.S. Navy to a combat intelligence position (1973). It traces her entire career until her retirement as the highest-ranking African American female in the Navy.

The book shares how family support and the guidance of her father, as well as other mentors, helped her navigate the complicated and restrictive nature of the military culture during a time when just being black was an obstacle, much less being female. It illustrates how faith, humor, and perseverance help her survive and thrive in an often hostile and complex environment. It also gives a striking understanding of how military intelligence changed with the advent of technology. Gail Harris definitely had an interesting and inspiring journey. It makes you ever more thankful for the sacrifice our military members make for our country.


A Woman’s War by Gail Harris (with Pam McLaughlin) is a riveting memoir of the Navy’s first black female intelligence officer, as she overcomes sometimes overwhelming challenges. A pioneer in the international intelligence community, a war gaming specialist, and Iraqi expert, her subsequent stellar career will leave you inspired, informed, and truly longing to meet this amazing woman! An inside look at the military’s intelligence community and the new frontier of cyber warfare will give you a fresh sense of gratitude for our incredible behind the scenes military personnel and a sense of awe for their dedication and sacrifice on behalf of our country.

You will find this book fascinating, compelling, and a very worthwhile read! It presents interesting historical perspectives on major conflicts from the seventies to the turn of the century, along with an intriguing picture of the intelligence community and culture in our armed services. It has a “Hidden Figures” vibe in that critical intelligence personnel are behind the scenes and do not receive recognition or glory when the battle is won, but subject to blame when lost. You will come to admire her willingness to share her struggles and humiliations, as well as her victories.



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