First Lt. Ashley White was selected for Cultural Support Teams that deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. She was the first woman to die and be honored alongside the Army Rangers with whom she served.

First Lt. Ashley White was selected for Cultural Support Teams that deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. She was the first woman to die and be honored alongside the Army Rangers with whom she served. Photo courtesy of the White Family. 

“Ashley’s War” by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon 

Lemmon explores the actions taken by the U.S. military in 2009 that put women on the battlefield through initiatives like Female Engagement Teams (FETs), Cultural Support Teams (CSTs), and the Lioness Program. The main objective behind these initiatives was to engage local women while gathering intelligence and closing security loopholes. Lemmon brilliantly illustrates how these programs came to fruition while providing a more personal account of the women who formed and participated in these initiatives. First Lieutenant White’s story is at the forefront of the book and delves into the obstacles endured in order to ensure Cultural Support Teams were successful.

Lemmon’s book is critical in understanding the role women play in military defense. Women’s presence on the battlefield is, of course, still highly controversial. Their title and recognition are often diluted in order to be acceptable to the general public and fellow service members. This book properly gives credit to the women who shaped and served these programs.

Be sure to pick up this book at your nearest bookstore or order here.

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