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The Frontline Generation

How We Served Post 9/11

This is the first book that defines the post 9/11 generation of service members, offers lessons learned on life, leadership, and service, all of which is shared from the distinct perspective of a female combat leader.

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Serving. Leading. Breaking Boundaries.

Did you know that less than 1 percent of our society served in the military post 9/11? The 1 percent is commonly used to describe the wealthiest people. The discussion around that term is typically about the growing wealth gap between America’s elite and the rest of the country. But what if we have that all wrong? What if you were told that the greatest value you could add to your life was not monetary? What if, especially as a nation, we should be most concerned about the service gap?

Post 9/11 veterans are the 1 percent of our society that we should be talking about—and learning from. They are the untapped reservoir of leaders in our communities who have been strengthened by the unique difficulties of post 9/11 service. The author, a female veteran who served as a commander on the frontlines, imparts invaluable lessons on life, leadership, and service from the most salient moments of her ten years of post 9/11 service. These lessons are both her own and from those with whom she served, some of which are derived from a daily journal she kept while serving in combat. 

There is something new to be said—and yet, sometimes all too familiar—about this generation’s character, sacrifice, and service.


The Frontline Generation’s legacy is rooted in their actions to volunteer and be exposed to the forefront of action, time and time again. And they were—starting with those in the military and extending to journalists, government officials, nongovernment workers, and contractors alike. This book offers the perspective of being out front as a member of the military. The author shares the story of those in her generation who were alongside her, those who left an indelible mark on not only her heart, but also on our nation’s history.

This post 9/11 generation served all together in this new territory, with no clear preexisting path. And they left a trail.


Experience the intimate story of life with purpose. Because we’ve all asked ourselves who we wanted to be, how we would help, or how our life would count. Are you ready to learn how to face challenges head on, chart new paths, and push through boundaries? These stories will inspire and teach you how to replicate their success, as they illustrate how service is a force that gives us meaning—and can make us leaders.

Chapter-by-Chapter Synopsis

Preface: How I Met Your Mother, by C. W. Eastman

*Origins of the Journal/Book


Introduction: The 1 Percent We Should be Talking About
*Why writing/benefit to reader

Part I: The Road to Command


1. Fist Full of Glitter
   *How will your life count?

2. You Have a Choice
   *Antagonist – Choice

3. Find Your Conviction
   *Passion – Purpose

4. Patriotic Guilt
   *Idiots – Excuses – Service

5. Sometimes All You Should Do Is Smile
   *Antagonist – Assumptions – Patience

6. Chart Your Own Path
   *Unknown – Making sense by creating a path

7. Collect and Wear Pearls of Wisdom
   *Inspiration – Start implementing change now

8. Arrive Before You Arrive
   *Preparation – Twice as hard

9. Yes Men and No Men
   *Antagonist – Road Blocks – Names


Part II: In Command and Mobilization


10. Embrace the Suck
     *Dealing with the unexpected, disappointment

11. Never Turn Down a Command
     *Stubborn – Supple

12. Perfect Discipline
     *Take care of each other – Setting standards

13. Perpetual Optimism
     *Stay positive, regardless

14. Profiles in Courage
     *Stop-Loss – Personnel shortage

15. You Are Not the Bench Team
     *Rapid Change – Uncertainty

Part III: Afghanistan


16. You See a Light, You Don’t Hear One
     *Lead from the front – Leadership beliefs

17. Sometimes You Should Cry
     *Loss of Life – Difficult conversations

18. Christmas Lights All Year
     *Faith – Motivation – What lifts your spirit?

19. Asking the Right Questions
     *Female Integration – Exclusion Policy

20. Close Calls Don’t Discriminate
     *Elements of Combat – Exposed to danger

21. Eating Soup with a Fork
     *Trust yourself and others – Counterinsurgency

22. They Raised Their Right Hands Too
     *Homosexuality – Naturalization – Respect

23. Don’t Be a Hard-Ass All the Time
     *Relate – Be personable – Laugh

24. Never Shower Alone
     *Fear of Sexual Assault

25. Easier to Ask for Forgiveness than Permission
     *Enable – Empower – Think outside the box

26. What Color Is Your Cape?
     *Heroes not just in uniform – Support

27. For Love of Country … My Soldiers
     *How much I cared – They did too – Strength


Part IV: Demobilization


28. Ability to Withstand Hardship
     *Veterans – PTS(D)/Tbi – Suicide – Resilience

29. Service is a Force that Gives Us Meaning
     *Same People Serving – Nat’l Service Culture

30. Like a Girl
     *Misinfo Veterans – Passive Discrimination


Conclusion: Breaking Boundaries
*Our Legacy – Yours for the taking

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