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Out Standing in the Field: A Memoir by Canada's First Female Infantry Officer

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  178 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Some books are catalysts. Shake Hands with the Devil was one. For 2017, that book is Out Standing in the Field. In her memoir, Sandra Perron describes her experience of the Canadian Military - one of the most important institutions of our nation. What she has to say is exactly what the top brass has been paying lip-service to for years, and doing nothing to improve. In 201 ...more
Kindle Edition, 443 pages
Published April 6th 2017 by Cormorant Books
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Zach Muttart
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phenomenal read! Captain Perron's memories of her time and tribulation in the Canadian infantry as its first female commissioned officers is an inspiration to any soldier. Her writing style made for a very light and enjoyable read all while portraying the heart-felt story of her life in uniform. Highly recommend to any member of the CAF or those concerned for the advancement of women in the military.
Michelle
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could give this book 10 stars - I would! Read it at work, finished it at work, teared up thinking about it on the way home. Everyone is asking to read it but am only letting a select few. The rest can buy their own copy!

It was like reading in part, about my own career (but not as hardcore). Kudos for Sandra Perron for speaking up for those of us without a big enough voice.
Barth Siemens
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Barth by: Canada Reads 2018 longlist
I have been profoundly affected by this book. If I have ever stated that memoir authors tend to start deep and go shallow after the first paragraph—I have—that was not my experience with this author. She went the distance. She has honoured Canada and the Canadian Forces with her brutal honesty.
Rick
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
This book is very well written. Officer Perron is the first women to successfully join the Canadian Infantry as an officer. She suffers high levels of harassment during her entire tenure in the infantry. This is a topic that is extremely sensitive no doubt, but I can honestly say that until I read this book I never knew how pervasive the problem is. Perron does an excellent job of avoiding putting the blame on anyone group, but at the same time she gets across the point that something has to cha ...more
Allie Demoe
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This should be a must read for everyone. Sandra is such a brave individual for telling her story. I couldn't put this book down. Thank you Sandra for your service and sharing your story with the world!
Janine
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't say that I liked or respected this woman throughout her story, but I am awed by her. What she calls "pig headedness" seems like stupidity to me. But then I do not have her drive, her courage or her strength of body or character. A mesmerizing and infuriating story. I look forward to the movie! Anybody called Sandra Bullock yet?
Michelle
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canada
Its rare for me to read a biography but this one caught my attention as it is the story of Canada's first female infantry officer. Its a fascinating and frustrating look at the price female trailblazers paid to open up traditionally male jobs. The hardest part is to read her story and wonder if things are much better today.
Roman Korol
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Having served in the regular Canadian Army as a junior officer 1962-1965, I can fully appreciate Capt. Perron’s disturbing story. It leaves me speechless. Canada lost a stirling, talented and highly motivated officer who could have done great things but for the prevailing abysmal, invincible human stupidity of the time related to her gender.
Just A. Bean
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian, non-fiction
Had a picture of Perron in a grade-school textbook. She earned it.

This is the story of an army brat who lived and breathed the Canadian Armed Forces, wanted to be a paratrooper who whole life, and then spent a twelve-year army career watching the institution she loved break her heart. (Also, I recently thanked Mom for not letting me join the navy when I was sixteen.)

The author does a really good job of laying out both how she was feeling as events occurred, and a retrospective of how she saw it
...more
Edward Fenner
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in Canadian history or womens's/gender studies
A brilliantly-written memoir about her successes but also the abuses she suffered during her time as an unwelcome trailblazer in the Canadian Forces (Army). Ms. Perron had a dream and pursued it with guts, grit, and determination only to be faced with discrimination, misogyny, and hate day in day out, year after year. Despite the odds, she persevered and had many successes and accomplishments but her dreams and careers were crushed by a truly disgraceful system of male privilege and ego. Canada ...more
Denise
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have never read many memoirs that I have enjoyed. I find that one has to have a vested interest in the person they are reading about. And while I could admire Sandra Peron's heroism and all that she had to go through to become Canada's First Female Infantry Officer...I really couldn't get into it...I just kind of skimmed over top of everything, because to be brutally honest...it bored me. So in the end, it's just my opinion...and I certainly would not want anyone to feel a distraction from rea ...more
Anne
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as it was in the long list for Canada Reads 2018, and I absolutely loved it. Sandra described the difficulty she had in her training, and also showed how the harassment and abuse she suffered as the first woman in infantry training was brushed off not only by her superiors, but also by herself. On the other hand, she also showed great strength and persistence through all obstacles, and I couldn't help but feeling like I needed to cheer her on as she showed what women can do, tim ...more
Pam
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Must read for all in uniform. We’ve come a long way, but it’s still very scary to realize that the men who treated a fellow officer, another human being for that matter, so horrifically are likely still in uniform.

I served as a combat arms officer in that early group, during the same time period as Sandra Perron (Artillery Officer, 1991-2005). Many of us, like me, had positive experiences but I’m sure every one of us can relate to at least some of this book.

And beyond the issue of gender integ
...more
Spartanfan
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book moving on so many different levels. I was struck by this woman's perseverance, mental fortitude, and physical strength all through extremely trying times. The accounts of what she experienced were told so vividly that I noted myself cheering aloud, felt the adrenaline coursing through my chest, or crying huge tears, sometimes all in the same chapter. The CF would have been lucky to have even a handful of other officers with one tenth of her devotion to her job and her country. ...more
Lizzie
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow this is a very powerful read!! The title has so many different meanings.
While reading her story, I recognized all the places she was stationed as my brother was stationed in those places as well. They were in different units, but I wonder if their paths did cross as they were in the same time. It is truly a shame that the "old boys club" reigned.
Ms. Perron is a true, genuine heroine who just wanted to be the best, not to prove a point, but to serve her country and serve it well.
I hope that l
...more
Ellen
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was totally engaged with this book from start to finish. I know nothing about military life but recognize the struggle for gender equality as an ongoing, seemingly never-ending issue - (meanwhile, checking my calendar to see if we are, indeed, in 2018). I can't imagine wanting to do what she did in the Canadian Armed Forces, but according to Perron, the combat portion of her career was the least of her worries. I was fascinated by her thoughts on "trying to fit in" and trying to "be a man". So ...more
François Carrière
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jaime
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have just read this book and I couldn't put it down. It details a complicated relationship between a military career Capt Sandra Perron loved and the many obstacles she overcame. Her strong leadership shines through some of the very real examples of abuse she experienced. Nevertheless she remains dedicated to changing the institution even if it's from the outside in. My son who will be joining the military will be reading this book. My hope is that many more people will. I found it inspiring.
Leanne Robertson
An account of the experience of the first female infantry officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. A riveting read, one that will make you angry at the treatment of the author. I repeatedly found myself upset and angry while reading this book. I can only hope that times have changed since the writer's experience. Someone had to the be the first and let's hope the author paved the way for the next women to follow in her footsteps.
Nina Usherwood
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have never read a book before that impacted me so emotional that I could not read it before bed. I have read books I could not read before bed because they were too intellectual stimulating but never too emotionally stimulating.

I meet the author I am really glad I did before I read the book because it gave me a chance to have a conversation about shared experiences rather than just her book. It the most meaningful book to me I have read in a really long time.

Thank Sandra

Victoria
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not the type of book I would usually read - I am primarily a fiction reader with the odd of-interest non-fiction title popping up on my nightstand. I chose it because I was working my way through the Canada Reads long list and what a surprise it was. Well written, interesting and, given the current proliferation of #MeToo stories, timely. Hopefully, Captain Perron's book will serve as another nail in the coffin of the misogynistic culture of the Canadian military.
Lia
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sandra's memoir is an inspiration to all women in male-dominated professions - she is a true trailblazer and symbol of female empowerment. It stands as a testament that we have a long way to go before we can break down biases and barriers but also highlights the power of men who support women in non-traditional roles.
Ruth
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is so obvious that adding the wisdom and tenacity of women like Captain Perron would make any army better, and yet we allow such talents to slip through our fingers because of baises that we are unwilling to jettison. Sad. Excellent book though, which ironically gave me a greater appreciation of the military overall.
Kevin
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gripping and honest read from Captain Sandra Perron. A glimpse into the evolution of the Canadian Armed Forces and a story about a life spent trekking uphill, in the snow, with gale-force winds blowing against you. Brava for sharing your story, Captain. I hope people read it.
Kaitlin
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding
- Looks like: lonely and powerful
- Sounds like: a determined woman
- Tastes like: expected misogynistic bullsh*t
- Smells like: sweat and testosterone
- Feels like: a woman suffering because of the littleness of men
Alison
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must-read. She captured the essence of what 1000 tiny little cuts of harassment can do to a person. She also shows how much she clearly loved and devoted her life to her army career. Emotionally charged and excellently written.
Carrie
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recommend this book to everyone.
I was anticipating some CF bashing, however it is anything but.
Sandra did an amazing job sharing her experiences and her concerns while keeping a positive tone throughout the entire book.
Kelly Osmond
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Squeaked by as a four. Some great perspectives, some great lines and come great fodder for thought. Sometimes I feel as if we really haven't come that far at all.
C
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A powerful memoir.
Samantha
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot believe how much this woman has endured and how she came out victorious. Although she made strides in the military realm, I hope she has contributed to the wider progress of Canadian women.
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