Canadian

Out Standing in the Field

Sandra Perron's memoir about her life as Canada's first female infantry officer tackles her battles on the field in in the barracks.

Sandra Perron

In her revealing and moving memoir, Sandra Perron, Canada's first female infantry officer and a member of the Royal 22e Régiment — the legendary "Van Doos" — describes her fight against a system of institutional sexism. Though repeatedly identified as top of her class throughout her training, she was subject to harassment by her male colleagues.

Her military experience, however, wasn't all negative. Through two deployments to Bosnia and Croatia, Perron forged lasting friendships with men and women, serving her country with courage and compassion, and her determination helped pave the way for women's inclusion in the Armed Forces.

Out Standing in the Field is the story of a soldier who refused to let her comrades or her country down, even while serving a military institution that failed her repeatedly. Beautifully written, Perron's memoir is a testament to her fortitude and patriotism and serves as proof that the spirit of a true hero cannot be bent or broken. (From Cormorant Books)

From the book

I wore a royal blue gown, one of the regiment's colours, accompanied by expensive nylons, silver sandals, and a small Van Doo beaver proudly fastened on my dress strap. My long hair was pinned up, but wisps of curls escaped on the sides. I had never spent so much time getting ready for an evening out, but tonight I desperately needed to feel strong, beautiful, and composed. Tonight was momentous. I'd been waiting for this reunion for the last twenty-two years.

Tension radiated throughout my body. I felt like I was returning to a war zone to pick up something I had left behind; something I had once
cherished and now couldn't live without.

Tonight, I would get it back.

From Out Standing in the Field by Sandra Perron ©2017. Published by Cormorant Books. 

Author interviews

Twenty years after she left the military, Canada's first female infantry officer is breaking her silence about the sexism she faced on the job. 8:27

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