Wednesday, August 6, 2008

#20: From Mr. Kohler, Data Coach

This summer, I’ve been reading a book called Generation Kill, by Evan Wright. Wright was with the First Reconnaissance Battalion Marines when they entered Iraq through Kuwait back in 2003. His account of the war is written at the platoon eye-view. Wright is able to show how the average soldier sees the war and immediately identifies disconnects in the logic of some of the decisions made by commanding officers. For example, Wright tells of how the marines from Camp Pendleton, California did not use the same radio frequency as the marines from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. This inability to communicate led to several friendly fire casualties. Wright captures the egos of leadership and the snafus they can cause.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in the reality of warfare. The book is A-political, neither promoting nor condemning the war. The language used by the soldiers is gritty and beyond colorful; therefore making this book not suitable for younger readers. As an ex-military person, I instantly felt a connection with the incredible boredom of a soldier’s life. Not having served in a war, I was glad I couldn’t relate to the battle situations these men experienced.

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