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Hesitation Kills: A Female Marine Officer's Combat Experience in Iraq by [Jane Blair]

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Hesitation Kills: A Female Marine Officer's Combat Experience in Iraq Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 58 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"Jane Blair gives us a fascinating account of her experience as a Marine in Iraq.  Hesitation Kills is a gripping read!" --Nina Godiwalla, author of "Suits: A Woman on Wall Street"

In this military memoir, Marine lieutenant Blair, who served in an aerial reconnaissance unit during Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003), ably depicts the chaotic and often disillusioning experiences of modern warfare. Laced with observations on the challenges facing women in the Marines, Blair's account provides a compelling behind-the-scenes description of how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, were used to gather crucial intelligence during the first weeks of the invasion of Iraq. Tracing the emotional roller coaster of her own challenges during the conflict, Blair's narrative is especially effective at depicting how the intensity and deprivations of war permanently changed her and her fellow marines. VERDICT Blair's....eloquence in examining the grim emotional costs of military service makes this a timely, moving, and eye-opening work. Best suited to readers interested in women in the military, UAVs, the Marine Corp, or Operation Iraqi Freedom. (
Library Journal )

My son and Jane were in boot camp together. Our shared 'Marine family' history means that I truly understand the remarkable insight found in this wonderfully engrossing book. Jane brings a clear eye to her subject and offers a unique and deep insight into both war and the role of women in the American war machine that rings true. (Frank Schaeffer )

Fresh out of officer’s training, Blair, a second lieutenant with the U.S. Marines, was deployed to Iraq in 2003 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her aerial reconnaissance unit was often on the leading edge of battle, making her one of the few women in the combat zone. In recounting the run-up to the invasion and the first chaotic weeks of the war, Blair offers a bird’s-eye view of military operations and a window into the life and mindset of a soldier. Describing chemical warfare drills, near-ambushes, and what it’s like to order an air strike, Blair gives civilians, if not the actual experience of war, then an understanding of it. A thoughtful guide, she admits to her struggles with boredom, loneliness, and fear not just for her own life but for that of her husband, a fellow marine. Though support for and interest in the war has long since waned, Blair, forever changed by her time in Iraq, reminds readers of the sacrifices soldiers make on our behalf. (
Booklist )

Jane Blair is an extraordinary example of the passionate modern-day Marine leader and female warrior. The pipe hitters I rolled with typically roped and breached in unisex fashion, but
Hesitation Kills makes me wonder if we might have been underequipped. Not only can "Boots" Blair write like a seasoned and inspiring author, she could whip GI Jane's butt! (Dalton Fury )

Beginning in 2003 with her squadron landing in Kuwait, Marine Major Blair (then a lieutenant) reflects positively on her experience in Iraq. Her unit provided backup for army troops, and she was in charge of deploying unmanned planes to bomb suspected enemy emplacements without hesitation. As a new officer she had to face fellow officers who tried to push her to the sidelines, but with the support of her superiors these conflicts faded into the background. 'Marines made war an art form' she writes, describing an incident of friendly fire, '...I knew no matter how much the plan was screwed up … the infantryman's decisive actions would win this war.' Blair writes with honesty as she describes feeling fear during her first experiences in battle, but the greater challenge for her turned out to be the hardship of poor quality MREs (military 'meals ready to eat'), months without access to showers, and sheer boredom.... This is one marine's on-the-ground account of her pride in being part of a military history. Likely of greatest interest for someone--male or female--contemplating a career in the military. (
Publishers Weekly )

In her new memoir,
Hesitation Kills, [Blair] tells of her transformation from a sheltered, privileged daughter of a Manhattan lawyer and an artist who were members of Andy Warhol's social circle to a steel-nerved combat veteran. (New York Post ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Jane Blair joined the United States Marine Corps in 1999. She spent several years in the enlisted ranks before reaching the rank of Corporal and then received her commission as an officer. After mustering out of the Marine Corps in 2005, she rejoined the active duty corps again until 2007 and left as a Captain. She remains a reserve Major serving as a Middle Eastern affairs officer and a Marine attache. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B004XC09RA
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; Illustrated edition (June 16, 2011)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ June 16, 2011
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 8994 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 296 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 58 ratings

About the author

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Jane Blair spent several years in the enlisted ranks and then received her commission as an officer in the Marine Corps. She is an officer in the reserves. She can be reached at:

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
58 global ratings

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