Accolades

CNAS

“Women are making absolutely essential contributions to our ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Porcelain on Steel tells the story of how many of them made their way from West Point to the battlefield, and will inspire their sisters and brothers to make the same thoughtful choice to serve our nation.”

foote-pat

“Porcelain on Steel, so apt a title for this book, takes us into the hallowed halls of West Point and shows, through a series of personal narratives, the remarkable impact women cadets have had on this “man’s world” military institution in just three decades.

Women cadets at West Point, from those who broke gender barriers as members of that first Class of ’80 to those standing in the Long Gray Line today, have exceptional stories. The fine sampling of these stories contained in this highly recommended book carry the reader through their experiences in various classes. While each story is unique, common threads are present which link these women together as courageous pioneers and leaders. Their tolerance for adversity is profound, as is their whole-hearted dedication to the West Point ethos of Duty, Honor and Country, and service to the Nation.”

franklin-joe

“Good steel comes from a hot fire. In Porcelain on Steel, Donna McAleer has gathered the stories of an impressive array of women who have graduated from West Point and served as leaders in our nation’s Army. All of the women in this collection have combined West Point’s creed of Duty, Honor, Country, with their personal attributes of courage, perseverance, and vision, to achieve great success in their service to our country in uniform and beyond. From the beginning, the West Point experience is one of accepting and discharging responsibility – personal responsibility as well as the overarching responsibility that is woven into leading soldiers. Women entered West Point thirty-two years ago, and their skills and experience are now reaching into the upper ranks of our nation’s senior leadership. These women, who share the common bond of West Point and have been molded by their service in the Army, share their moments of challenge and achievement in a unique book that is written by one who has been there, done that. This is an important contribution to the history of women in our nation’s military leadership and beyond.”

mccormick-dave

“I have not had the privilege of meeting all of the women profiled in Donna McAleer’s remarkable book, Porcelain on Steel: Women of West Point’s Long Gray Line, but I know their kind well. From high ranking commanders to competitive athletes, from business leaders to stay at home moms, I’ve seen these women in action: They are uniformly tough, smart, resilient, courageous, honorable, and effective. This skillfully crafted collection of biographies of female West Pointers eloquently describes the triumphs and trials of some of our nation’s most extraordinary women. These women are genuine role models, and this book is an inspiring read for men and women of all ages.”

realuyo-celina

“Porcelain on Steel: Women of West Point’s Long Gray Line is a compelling and inspiring book, featuring remarkable leaders who drew upon their West Point experience to triumph over formidable professional, medical, and personal challenges and make a real difference in the public, private, and philanthropic sectors. A great read for anyone motivated by leadership, loyalty, courage and public service.”

mansoor-pete

“A fascinating look at fourteen women of the Long Gray Line – ordinary people with extraordinary stories that span the breadth of the American experience. Their life stories will inspire and captivate – highly recommended for all who want to understand the journey of American women at West Point and beyond.”

murphy-bill

“Donna McAleer’s collection of stories of leadership and service is an important contribution to the history of West Point’s Long Gray Line. What these women have accomplished–what these officers and soldiers have accomplished–makes for an inspiring reminder of the best that our nation has to offer. Porcelain on Steel is an uplifting and important book.”

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“In a world where change and challenge is certain, character matters. The women of West Point have proven that they have the right stuff in terms of character to handle both change and challenge with courage, resilience, and grace. They have reached the pinnacles of leadership and faced the depths of pain and loss, both in their journey through the hallowed halls of West Point and on the distant fields of battle. They have been forged into strong, inspiring and worthy leaders. Donna McAleer’s Porcelain on Steel is an intimate, evocative and candid portrait of the women who serve — not just our country, but their families, and their communities. They have proven to a global audience, women can do anything.”

jung-andrea

“Donna McAleer’s Porcelain on Steel is a powerful and inspirational portrait of the women who serve — not just our country, but their families, their communities, and their own commitment to a purposeful and meaningful life. These women — like the author herself – had the courage and strength to attend West Point — the toughest and most elite military school in the nation — and serve as role models for women everywhere.”

hesselbein-francess

“The history of women on the hallowed grounds of West Point for the past 30 years has largely been overlooked. Porcelain on Steel by Donna McAleer begins to change that, and brings alive the quality, character and contributions of women of courage, integrity and honor. These women are the type of inspiring models that our young people deserve and require. This is a great book about some of the women who helped make our West Point Military Academy, ‘Best College and Business School in the Country‘ (Forbes, Aug. 2009). If you are a teacher, a mentor, a parent or young adult looking for stories of ordinary people that have done extraordinary things with their life—then you must read this book!”

mccaffery-barry

“The admission of women to West Point in 1976 strengthened the Army and enabled the institution to better reflect the composition of the society it defends. Porcelain on Steel tells the compelling and inspiring stories of several of these brave women. The record of women who graduated from West Point is superb, and they have served with distinction on our nation’s battlefields and across a myriad of milieus. Indeed, in every conflict over the past 30 years, the women of West Point have demonstrated the exceptional traits our nation expects of a West Pointer – selfless service, courage under fire, and commitment to country and duty. These admirable traits come to life in the riveting pages of Porcelain on Steel.”

lennox-bill

“For more than 200 years, West Point has provided America outstanding leaders of character for both peace and war. Since 1976, women have been included in the West Point experience, and yet their stories have not been told. In this book, Donna McAleer fires the first shot. She captures the lives of fourteen females who graduated from the Academy to become leaders and outstanding women — women who fight America’s battles and women who fight their own personal battles. It’s about time their stories have been told.”

solaro-erin

“Porcelain on Steel is an important and compelling book whose value goes far beyond the author’s stated purpose. Ms. McAleer gives us portraits of fourteen women West Point graduates: their accomplishments, ordeals and sacrifices. She offers these remarkable stories as role models for young women. In truth, they are far more than that. They are role models for all young people and fellow citizens who exemplify the virtues needed in the perilous age now upon us.”

pressfield-steve

“If you have young daughters and are dismayed by the female role models put forward by today’s media, Donna McAleer’s Porcelain on Steel is the book for you. Subtitled “Women of West Point’s Long Gray Line,” Ms. McAleer’s crisply-written, loaded-with-details work narrates the career and life stories of two dozen West Point grads who have redefined what it means to be a woman in today’s world.

Ms. McAleer’s tale follows its heroes from the initial shock and harassment of “Beast Barracks,” through four years in the Corps of Cadets and beyond. From Maj. Lissa Young, who became a crack helicopter pilot and wound up commanding a company of 300 soldiers and 18 Chinook choppers, to Capt. Dawn Halfaker, who lost an arm to an insurgent RPG in Baqubah, Iraq but went on to found and run her own company in support of the war on terrorism, the women profiled in Porcelain on Steel have blazed the trail that will be followed by thousands in the years to come. Men have no monopoly on courage, honor and the passion to serve. Thank you, Donna McAleer, for shining a light on these women who have lived out and been true to, often in the face of bitter and small-minded opposition, their own highest selves.”