The inspiring and riveting first-ever memoir of active combat by a female helicopter pilot in Iraq and Afghanistan. Amber Smith flew into enemy fire in some of the most dangerous combat zones in the world. One of only a few women to fly the Kiowa Warrior helicopter--whose mission, armed reconnaissance, required its pilots to stay low and fly fast, perilously close to the fight--Smith deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as a member of the elite 2-17 Cavalry Regiment, part of the legendary 101st Airborne Division, the Screaming Eagles. She rose to Pilot-in-Command and Air Mission Commander in the premier Kiowa unit in the Army, repeatedly flying into harm's way during her 2005 and 2008 deployments. In Danger Close , Smith takes us into the heat of battle, enabling readers to feel, hear, and smell the experience of serving as a combat pilot in high-intensity warfare. This is an edge-of-the seat story of learning to perform under pressure and persevere under extreme duress--both in action against an implacable enemy and within the elite "boy's club" of Army aviation. Smith's unrelenting fight for both mastery and respect delivers universal life-lessons that will be useful to any civilian, from "earning your spurs" as a newbie to "embracing the suck" through setbacks that challenge your self-confidence to learning to trust your gut as a veteran of your profession. Intensely personal, cinematic, poignant, and inspiring, Danger Close is a war story on one hand, and also the story of a brave pilot who fought for and earned a lifetime membership in the ranks of the best of the best.