One of Hawthorne Publishing’s all-time best sellers has been Colonel Horton’s book on the integration of women chaplains into the armed forces in the 1970s. It has been repeatedly reprinted and still leads the line.
Former and present military personnel have been interested in obtaining it from around the country. Although Janet Horton was in our Indianapolis area Ft. Harrison for a period of years, she was stationed not only in this country but in Korea and Germany and eventually at the Pentagon, where she was present for the attack on 9/11.
Colonel Horton is one of ten early women chaplains to be honored in March at the Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame at Fort Lee, Virginia.
She was specifically one of three who followed immediately after the very first chaplain in the mid 1970s. Her book details the difficulties of serving in an army where men only had traditionally constituted the armed forces since the Revolutionary War. The accounts in this memoir tell the story of suspicion, discrimination and outright attempt at suppression of the early women chaplains but also the inspiration, dedication and demonstration of faith of the women.
Cracking the Camouflage Ceiling recounts some of the history of the chaplaincy and includes details of the life of a chaplain in the armed forces. Chaplains do not represent specific denominations. They minister to general religious groups in four categories: Protestant, Jewish, Catholic and Muslim.
Although Colonel Horton is a Christian Scientist and her book has been a favorite of that denomination, she aided soldiers of many faith traditions. This was demonstrated on September 11 when a jet plane hit the Pentagon, where the chaplain was on duty. The dramatic and touching story of the chaplains entering to help mortuary details recover the fallen, killed in the attack, shows the courage and dedication of the chaplains corps.
The US Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame honors, some posthumously, many women who have served. Recent naming to the Hall of Fame included the “Hello Girls,” the 223 female US Army telephone switchboard operations, formally known as the Signal Corps Female Telephone Operators Unit, who deployed to France in World War I and were the sole contact to the soldiers on the front line.
Colonel Horton’s Book Cracking the Camouflage Ceiling: Faith Persistence and Progress in the Army Chaplaincy During the Early Integration of Women in the Military is featured on the Hawthorne Website for purchase.