An ex-Marine captain shares his story of fighting in a Recon battalion in Afghanistan and Iraq, beginning with his training at Quantico and following his experiences in the deadliest conflicts since the Vietnam War.
Author: Nathaniel C. Fick
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: 2006-09-07
If the Marines are “the few, the proud,” Recon Marines are the fewest and the proudest. Nathaniel Fick’s career begins with a hellish summer at Quantico, after his junior year at Dartmouth. He leads a platoon in Afghanistan just after 9/11 and advances to the pinnacle—Recon— two years later, on the eve of war with Iraq. His vast skill set puts him in front of the front lines, leading twenty-two Marines into the deadliest conflict since Vietnam. He vows to bring all his men home safely, and to do so he’ll need more than his top-flight education. Fick unveils the process that makes Marine officers such legendary leaders and shares his hard-won insights into the differences between military ideals and military practice, which can mock those ideals. In this deeply thoughtful account of what it’s like to fight on today’s front lines, Fick reveals the crushing pressure on young leaders in combat. Split-second decisions might have national consequences or horrible immediate repercussions, but hesitation isn’t an option. One Bullet Away never shrinks from blunt truths, but ultimately it is an inspiring account of mastering the art of war.
An ex-Marine captain shares his story of fighting in a recon battalion in both Afghanistan and Iraq, beginning with his training at Quantico and following his progress in the deadliest conflicts since the Vietnam War.
Based on Evan Wright's National Magazine Award-winning story in Rolling Stone, this is the raw, firsthand account of the 2003 Iraq invasion that inspired the HBO® original mini-series. Within hours of 9/11, America’s war on terrorism fell to those like the twenty-three Marines of the First Recon Battalion, the first generation dispatched into open-ended combat since Vietnam. They were a new pop-culture breed of American warrior unrecognizable to their forebears—soldiers raised on hip hop, video games and The Real World. Cocky, brave, headstrong, wary and mostly unprepared for the physical, emotional and moral horrors ahead, the “First Suicide Battalion” would spearhead the blitzkrieg on Iraq, and fight against the hardest resistance Saddam had to offer. Hailed as “one of the best books to come out of the Iraq war”(Financial Times), Generation Kill is the funny, frightening, and profane firsthand account of these remarkable men, of the personal toll of victory, and of the randomness, brutality and camaraderie of a new American War.
Author: David Bellavia
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2012-12-25
On 8 November 2004, the largest battle of the War on Terror began, with the US Army's assault on Fallujah and its network of tens of thousands of insurgents hiding in fortified bunkers, on rooftops, and inside booby-trapped houses. For Sgt. David Bellavia of 3rd Platoon, Alpha Company, it quickly turned into a battle on foot, from street to street and house to house. On the second day, he and his men laid siege to a mosque, only to be driven to a rooftop and surrounded, before heavy artillery could smash through to rescue them. By the third day, Bellavia charges an insurgent-filled house and finds himself trapped with six enemy fighters. One by one, he shoots, wrestles, stabs, and kills five of them, until his men arrive to take care of the final target. It is one of the most hair-raising battle stories of any age -- yet it does not spell the end of Bellavia's service. It would take serveral more weeks before the Battle of Fallujah finally came to a close, with Bellavia, miraculously, alive. In the words of the author: "HOUSE TO HOUSE holds nothing back. It is a raw, gritty look at killing and combat and how men react to it. It is gut-wrenching, shocking and brutal. It is honest. It is not a glorification of war. Yet it will not shy from acknowledging this: sometimes it takes something as terrible as war for the full beauty of the human spirit to emerge."
Author: Donovan Campbell
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2009-03-10
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
After graduating from Princeton, Donovan Campbell wanted to give back to his country, engage in the world, and learn to lead. So he joined the service, becoming a commander of a forty-man infantry platoon called Joker One. Campbell had just months to train and transform a ragtag group of brand-new Marines into a first-rate cohesive fighting unit, men who would become his family. They were assigned to Ramadi, the capital of the Sunni-dominated Anbar province that was an explosion just waiting to happen. And when it did happen—with the chilling cries of "Jihad, Jihad, Jihad!" echoing from minaret to minaret—Campbell and company were there to protect the innocent, battle the insurgents, and pick up the pieces. Thrillingly told by the man who led the unit of hard-pressed Marines, Joker One is a gripping tale of a leadership and loyalty.
In our wars since 2001 the term “front line” has long since lost its meaning, and the true combats have waged throughout the countries we’ve invaded, especially along the supply routes. Our opponents have not been able to stand with conventional forces, but instead attack inside our lines, their presence everywhere, if not always discernible. Into this mix of behind-the-lines attacks, combat logistics have played a larger role than ever. In Afghanistan particularly, the long convoy routes have been vulnerable to the same kind of surprise attacks suffered by the Soviets in past decades, the British 150 years ago, and Alexander the Great 2,000 years ago. The combats surround, and in that godforsaken landlocked land, the means to supply a Western army has to be undertaken with blood and sweat, once the quick panacea of airpower is overtaxed. When he joined the Marines, Jeff Clement was not a high-speed, top-secret recon guy. A logistician instead, he led combat convoys across treacherous terrain in southern Afghanistan through frequent enemy attacks in order to resupply US and British positions. As such he and his vehicles were a constant target of the resistance, and each movement was a travail, often accompanied by thundering blasts as the insurgents paved their way with IEDs. Each movement was fraught with danger, even as each objective had to be met. As a Marine Corps lieutenant, he deployed to Afghanistan twice, and always found a learning curve, as men previously on the ground were more savvy, and the insurgents, there for the duration, were savvier still. The Lieutenant Don’t Know provides a refreshing look at the nitty-gritty of what our troops have been dealing with in Afghanistan, from the perspective of a young officer who was perfectly willing to learn, and also take responsibility for his units in a confusing war where combat was not merely on the “front,” but all around, and looking over all their roads.
Author: David Danelo
Publisher: Stackpole Books
Release Date: 2007-07-17
The dynamic story of the life and times of five Marine corporals and sergeants, men at the front lines of the war in Iraq First extended account of the Marine experience fighting the Iraq insurgency from the grunt's perspective Author interviewed charismatic and controversial Marine Gen. James N. "Mad Dog" Mattis, a legendary Marine commander revered by the grunts and gives new details about the battle for Fallujah A sometimes harrowing, often humorous, and occasionally tragic look at the Marine Corps from the inside out in its struggle with the insurgency in Iraq. Drawing from personal experience in the confusing, deadly conflict currently being fought in the streets and back alleys of Iraqi towns and villages, Danelo focuses on the young Marine leaders--corporals and sergeants--whose job it is to take even younger Marines into battle, close with and destroy an elusive enemy, and bring their boys back home again. Sadly, there are losses, but true to the Marine Corps spirit, they soldier on, earning their blood stripes the only way they know how--the hard way.
The star of HBO's Generation Kill and the real-life warrior from the New York Times bestseller presents his empowering philosophy. In his publishing debut, Rudy Reyes introduces his warrior philosophy of "Hero Living": part Homer, part Joseph Campbell, part Bruce Lee, and part Spider-Man. He outlines the various stages in the journey to bring forth the hero within: recognizing the hero's call, following the hero's path, and returning from the battlefield with the hero's hard- earned wisdom. Taking readers step-by-step through his program, Reyes draws from his own heroic story of how he triumphed over his harrowing childhood experiences of poverty and abandonment. Rather than giving up hope, he heeded the hero's call to live up to his full potential-first as a martial-arts champion, then as an elite warrior in the mountains of Afghanistan and sands of Iraq, and finally in his post-Marines life as a personal trainer, actor, and motivational speaker.
Showing the depth of feeling and the range of thinking with which Canadians look at wars and peacekeeping missions overseas, One Bullet Away expands our sense of what poetry is made to do. Here are the poems that speak of war in our time the theatres of war might change but the emotional resonance remains the same. Poignant and accessible, the poems in One Bullet Away will leave an indelible impact on all readers not only poetry lovers but everyone who lived through and those who want to learn about the daily lives of brave and dedicated Canadian soldiers and peacekeepers.
Author: Nicholas Schmidle
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: 2010-03-02
Genre: Political Science
A gritty, lively, and revelatory look inside the crucial and volatile nation of Pakistan In To Live or to Perish Forever, Nicholas Schmidle takes readers to Pakistan's rioting streets, to Taliban camps in the North-West Frontier Province, and on many surprising adventures as he provides a contemporary history of this country long riven by internal conflict. With the intimacy and good humor available only to the most fearless and open-eyed reporters, Schmidle narrates what was arguably the most turbulent period of Pakistan's recent history, a time when President Pervez Musharraf lost his power and the Taliban found theirs, and when Americans began to realize that Pakistan's fate is inextricably linked with our own. In February 2006 Schmidle had traveled to Pakistan hoping to learn about the place dubbed "the most dangerous country in the world." It was while there that he befriended a radical cleric (who became an enemy of the state and was killed), came to crave the smell of tear gas (because it assured him that he was sufficiently close to the action), and in the end, was deported by the Pakistani authorities, managed to get back into the country, and was chased out a second time.