By Gail Harris
Whilst Gail Harris used to be assigned via the U.S. army to a wrestle intelligence task in 1973, she grew to become the 1st African American girl to carry this type of place. Harris's memoir, A Woman's conflict, follows her 28-year profession as a naval intelligence officer, sharing her targeted event and point of view as she accomplished the complicated activity of supplying intelligence help to army operations whereas additionally fighting the established order, workplace bullies, and politics.
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Additional resources for A Woman's War: The Professional and Personal Journey of the Navy's First African American Female Intelligence Officer
This is where I really learned the value of persistence. I was really not prepared to do the job, so I would have to work hard and long to get myself up to speed. The way the FOSIFs trained you was to throw you directly into the fire. You’d be assigned one of the four watch training positions. ” A junior enlisted person filled this slot, and his or her job was to physically put on a map a “plot” of the locations of all Soviet navy ships and submarines that were operating in waters outside of their ports.
My squadron was going to split its assets between Guam and Adak, Alaska, which was actually one of the islands west of continental Alaska—deployment locations that were obviously as different as night and day. Adak is also known as the “Birth Place of the Winds” and labeled by many of the guys in the squadron as the worst place on earth. Rumor had it that anyone who went there became severely depressed because there was absolutely nothing to do between flights but drink. Hurricane force winds and blizzards were the norm, and the sun, they complained, never shined.
Again, though I thought I’d been dealt a bad blow, it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened. First off, my hospital stay turned out to be a hoot. I had the surgery done in the hospital where my girlfriends worked, so I only had to stay the day before, the day of, and the day after the surgery. Then my friends, Cathy and Donna, whom I had originally met in Adak, came and got me out and we hit the restaurants. I admit I got some weird looks as I walked in with a huge bandage around my neck and a Frankenstein walk.