As an Army officer, this book is a breath of fresh air. His West Point background notwithstanding, LTC Sassaman had the fortitude and conviction to make his own decisions, based on HIS observations. Thank God that this man chose not to subscribe to the politics associated with the zero defect officer corps...just do your time and don't make the boss mad, etc. This dynamic may be ok for garrison, but it is NOT a good policy in combat. He was the Battalion Commander....who in the world would be better situated to make the decisions he had to make? No one...not even his Brigade commander!! Rules and procedures that work well in one part of the battlespace do not necessarily work elsewhere---no more than an Alaska winter is the same as a Florida winter. He lost two Soldiers, as an INFANTRY battalion Commander who took the fight to the enemy. Field artillery battalions have lost many more---in LTC Sassaman's AOR...he was doing something right, and I like the odds associated with his style of leadership!
This book illuminates the fact that this country STILL produces great YOUNG citizens and warriors, despite not being considered the Greatest generation, etc. From my foxhole, this young leader and his Soldiers ARE the best generation, because what they are doing is relevant. My only complaint is that non-infantry Soldiers were characterized as lazy and unexposed to regular danger. Perhaps this is true, to some extent, but I know more than a few non combat arms soldiers what have been seriously injured or killed in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the taliban has little sympathy for anyone wearing an American flag; moreover, when they are killed, they are just as dead as our infantry, armor, and artillery brothers
While the performance was not stellar, the underlying story is an eye opener for me and my family.
This book is a very interesting and thorough overview of a very dark chapter in our history. Unfortunately, it is more proof that the federal government generally acts on behalf of the weak long after suffering and abuse has occurred.
NPR-shame on you!! It is unbelievable that they didn't have the courage to fire you face-to-face. keep speaking your mind.
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