Full Battle Rattle

My Story as the Longest-Serving Special Forces A-Team Soldier in American History
Narrated by: Eric Pollins
Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (348 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

With over 100 combat missions and 24 years as a Green Beret, Changiz Lahidji is an expert in military operations. Full Battle Rattle is the legendary audiobook memoir of a soldier who served America in every war after Vietnam. 

Master Sergeant Changiz Lahidji served on Special Forces A-teams longer than anyone in history, completing over a hundred combat missions in Afghanistan. Changiz is a Special Forces legend. He also happens to be the first Muslim Green Beret. 

Changiz served this country starting with Operation Eagle Claw in 1980, when he entered Tehran on a one-man mission to spy on Iranian soldiers guarding the US embassy where 52 US diplomats were being held hostage. Three years later he was in Beirut, Lebanon, when a suicide car bomb exploded in front of the US embassy, killing 83 people. Weeks after that he was shot by Hezbollah terrorists on a night mission. 

In Operation Iraqi Freedom, he led a convoy that was ambushed on its way to Fallujah. He was clearing houses in Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993 when a US Black Hawk helicopter was shot down 50 feet away from him in the incident that inspired Black Hawk Down. In 2002 he dressed as a farmer and snuck into eastern Afghanistan and located Osama bin Laden for the CIA. Along the way, Changiz earned numerous commendations, including the Special Forces Legion of Merit, Purple Hearts, and many others. Last year he was nominated for induction in Military Intelligence Hall of Fame and cited as "the finest noncommissioned officer to ever serve in Special Forces".

Written with Ralph Pezzullo, Changiz's story is an amazing audiobook of perseverance and courage, of combat and one man's love for his adopted country. 

©2018 Changiz Lahidji and Ralph Pezzullo (P)2018 Macmillan Audio
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

They need to find a narrator who knows military.

I really wanted to like this book, however it's easy to tell that Mr. Lahidji had a co-writer who took too many liberties.
He added fluff and conversations that just don't happen in any environment such as when hanging out with other operators and picking up women at a local bar. The conversations which were written sounded like a horrible B-movie script. "Go get her Changiz!" Who says that?
When he wrote of radio dialog he added fluff that just doesn't happen on military radios by professionals. No one ever says, "Over and out." Never.

At the beginning of the novel he went to jump school, did he required jumps and got his wings and was immediately awarded his Ranger Tab. Excuse me, WTF??? How would Changiz even allow that to be printed? That's a major flaw and one that every single military veteran who is listening to this book pissed off about.

I wanted so much to like this book, I really did, but the annoying additions by the co-writer were horrible.

The narrator has done a few military books and I recognize his voice. By this time he should have been coached on the proper pronunciation of military terms. It's small, but annoying. No one ever says 'five point five six', we say 'five five six' for small arms ammo or 'one fifty two', but rather 'one five two' when talking about howitzer rounds. Petty, but if you're listening to a military book, you expect military speak to be spot on.

I'm sorry, but pass on this book. I'm struggling to get through it.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Great man, not a good book.

I have great respect for Mr. Lahidji. He had an amazing career in the military. I wish he would have written several books about his career rather than try and capture it all in one. This book just was hard to stay interested in because it was so broad and generalized. At times it felt like an acronym dictionary. It seems like a bigger emphasis was on teaching me acronyms than telling me the story of this impressive individual. Thank you for your service Mr. Lahidji.

8 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Boring dry waste of time

This book was dry dry dry. Even the exciting war portions came off boring. Tons of mil spec terms were used to dress things up. Sadly the story does not match the book title. The book is more of an after action report Not a story You should pass on this book

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Superficial and hyperbolic

The narrator has obviously had no military experience. The story is superficial in scope and appears hyperbolic rather than detailed. Would not recommend to anyone with military experience

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Little Snippets That Cover EVERYthing!

Believe me when I tell you that Changiz Lahidji has seen it all. I mean EVERY scrape and tangle, big and small, the US has gotten into. The man has served the country like no other.
He started in the US by pumping gas and then his dedication and drive took him to places he can talk about, places he can't.
He was in Iran for the failed mission to free the hostages in that country; he was in Mogadishu when the black hawk went down; he was in the convoy that was ambushed in Iraq, where contractors were killed, their bodies strung up from the bridge. What is covered in Full Battle Rattle is so extraordinary that I had to Google Changiz to see if any red flags were raised, but thus far, I've seen nothing to indicate that this is anything less than the truth.
Don't expect ANYthing in-depth--the man has done too much for him to really get into accounts of what he's seen and been through. The book is snippets, really.
Still, I have nothing but respect for him (until he gets to the parts where he discusses women and then they're viewed as nothing but objects to him. Fortunately, there aren't too many meanderings in that direction...), and if the lack of depth doesn't earn the book a 5-stars, my respect for him definitely serves up 4.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A REAL American idol

I wish I was a fraction of the man this hero is. There should be a holiday to commemorate him, and the selfless service he voluntarily gave for his adopted country. Everyone in the US should know his name and what he has done for the country. If you're looking for a great story that is non-fictional, look no further than to this book. The man has visited and worked in over 50 countries, mostly with his life on the line. I read a review that said he views women as objects but I'm not sure that's true. You be the judge while you hear about a living legend and how he has served his adopted country, the US.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A soldier's story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is not a bad book. It chronicals Changiz Lahidji's career and missions over several decades with average storytelling. If you are looking for a story, then this is good. If you are looking for highly detailed battle descriptions then this is less likely to keep you interested, but it is worth the read or listen.

How could the performance have been better?

Unfortunately, the narrator sounds like an average man, maybe a teacher, or a lawyer, or a salesman. He does not sound convincing enough to have been in the military, so the soft well enunciated words with little inflection, to me, clearly took some authenticity out of the read.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent book. Horrible narration

Need I say more? Great story but the narrator has NO. Familiarity with the military.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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UH-1N 40th ARRS

A well told account of SF life , the dedication to Duty , Honor and the American dream ! Thank You for your Service Citizen !!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome book with a lot of great lessons

Great book, written very well performed very well lot of great lessons. As an immigrant myself who joined the US military I really connected with a lot of this book. I found it thoroughly enjoyful everything was laid out well and there's a lot of knowledge to absorb from his stories. I will say that one part that was hilarious as an infantry man what's when they talked about a 240 caliber machine gun which I'm sure was a misread from a 240 bravo.