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Very funny style and neat perspective especially on SEALs. Highly recommend.

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The SEAL part threw me for a loop. I didn't know there was that much animosity within the SOF community. I loved all the stories from West Point too. It's way better to read about the antics and misfortunes of life at a military academy while I'm in the comfort of my king size bed.

I found it interesting to read his perspective and thought process when they were performing that attack on the Philippines, particularly with regard to the informant that was imbedded with the terrorists.

Great and super easy read.

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Man-Love Thursday isn't until tomorrow. Hate to break the news to you, but McChrystal's policy in Afghanistan was a failure. He risked American lives to protect Afghans that 1) didn't support our

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I just finished My Secret War the other night... What a great book! I've been reading a lot of Vietnam books lately, but I don't think any were nearly as immersive or personal as Drury's. Everything from the demoralizing bad leadership he dealt with, to the excitement and suspense of the rescue missions near the end of the book; everything came accross as an honest account from a guy who loves flying and loves the A-1, with no ego or bullshit to distract the reader. Just a totally excellent book.

The only bad part was that the copy I got is pretty ancient and all the pages are falling out of the binding. I'm going to have to see if I can get it re-bound or something because I'm sure I'll want to read it again eventually.

Now I'm starting on Bob Hoover's book. Pretty good so far. :rock:

Rick is pretty amazing. I read his column for years in airways and have his book. Totally humble guy who's just had a lifelong love affair with airplanes. He retired a few years back from FedEx and lives up in Friday Harbor Washington. When he was in new-hire class at Tigers, they were doing the around the table meet and greet. Rick had commented on how he had just returned from Laos, having flown there as a civilian. One of Rick's classmates commented that he had spent a night there once.

"Where would that be?" Asked Rick

"Tchepone." Replied the man.

"Are you sure?" Rick asked. (Pathet Lao, artillery, not a place to visit.)

"Yes, that was the place. You see, I was shot down there."

"We were both smiling at that point. Everybody else was silent, listening intently.

"When was that, do you remember the date?"

"Sure." he said, and told me.

Something strange rang a bell. A loud one. This was rapidly becoming one of those strange, rare, haunting moments when when you have the feeling of having been there before, when some cosmic forces align to turn our lives around , that special meaning is taking place, when what me might call a coincidence becomes significant and special. Some call it synchronicity: a lovely perhaps spiritual phenomenon.

"You callsign wasn't perhaps Playboy, was it?"

"YES" How did you know?"

Because I was flying the Skyraider on your rescue."

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just saw this on the shelf at the bookstore today and I can't recall seeing it before. Flipped through it for a minute or two and it seemed like it could be decent. Anyone read a copy?

Here's the link on Amazon, if you want to check it out. I'll probably wait for a paperback. http://www.amazon.co...t/dp/0062130358

Edited by Archa3opt3ryx
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Downloaded Chester Wong's (pen name) first two books for free to my Kindle courtesy of Amazon.com for my trip to Yokota last week...

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He's a West Point grad Special Forces officer-turned-writer; but it is one of the most entertaining, honest and humble books you will ever read by an Army snake-eater! It's not the superman novel you'd expect (check the byline), this guy actually spends more talking about his failures and shortcomings than anything else . He has a great sense of humor and isn't afraid to tell the truth about his life as a SF officer, warts and all. Highly recommended, I've finished the first and have started on the second, and can't wait for the third edition to come out!

More about Wong and his books on his website.

Cheers! M2

Vol III for the Kindle out for free on Amazon...

http://www.amazon.com/Yellow-Green-Beret-III-Asian-American/dp/1477405755/ref=la_B006H9NFMI_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1356330635&sr=1-2

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so far It is s decent read. He seems like a very humble leader. Some 4 stars seem like they got where they are by caring about their career more than their country and the mission. General McChrystal doesn't seem this way at all.

Disagreeing with one of his policy opinions doesn’t mean you can’t learn something from him.

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Haven't seen this book mentioned anywhere...

Ed Macy's book "Apache" is the story of a British Apache pilot deployed to Helmand Province. It's a fascinating read, especially the rescue mission that he and his colleague performs. I'd certainly recommend having a read.

www.amazon.com/Apache-Ed-Macy/dp/0007288174

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so far It is s decent read. He seems like a very humble leader. Some 4 stars seem like they got where they are by caring about their career more than their country and the mission. General McChrystal doesn't seem this way at all.

Disagreeing with one of his policy opinions doesn’t mean you can’t learn something from him.

Man-Love Thursday isn't until tomorrow.

Hate to break the news to you, but McChrystal's policy in Afghanistan was a failure. He risked American lives to protect Afghans that 1) didn't support our being there and 2) were not willing to defend their own country in the first place.

He didn't push the ANA or the Afghan government enough to protect their own people. He didn't put them into their own fight. If they're not willing to fight for their country, why should we? That shithole of a country isn't worth one more American life wasted on it.

Now he wants to disarm Americans. Fuck him.

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Was it his policy or was he seeing out the president's policy? It is hard to believe an officer in the military doesn't understand the difference between the two. You can argue that he should have resigned sooner but maybe he decided that giving up isn't what a good leader would do in this situation. Do you think he agreed 100% with the president's policy? Why do you think he resigned? If you didn't know, it was because he was shitting on many of the president's policies.

Does he really want to disarm Americans or does he just want slightly stricter gun laws? You might not agree with it, but he is entitled to an opinion now that he is a civilian.

Like I said. It is a pretty good book but it gets a little slow at times. I expected something that was going to be more controversial but it is not at all.

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Was it his policy or was he seeing out the president's policy? It is hard to believe an officer in the military doesn't understand the difference between the two. You can argue that he should have resigned sooner but maybe he decided that giving up isn't what a good leader would do in this situation. Do you think he agreed 100% with the president's policy? Why do you think he resigned? If you didn't know, it was because he was shitting on many of the president's policies.

Does he really want to disarm Americans or does he just want slightly stricter gun laws? You might not agree with it, but he is entitled to an opinion now that he is a civilian.

Like I said. It is a pretty good book but it gets a little slow at times. I expected something that was going to be more controversial but it is not at all.

He resigned because some people on his staff were a little too frank and got thrown under the bus by a Rolling Stone reporter.

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He resigned because some people on his staff were a little too frank and got thrown under the bus by a Rolling Stone reporter.

Even before the article he had clashing thoughts with Biden and Obama’s policies. I am sure no one expects him to agree 100% with the white house but you can’t let it be made public because it will make the US look bad.

The General wanted at least 40,000 more troops and Obama gave him 30,000. The General didn’t want a public withdraw date and the white house insisted on giving a timeline.

It is true that there are no damaging direct quotes but would you really expect there to be? He is not an idiot.

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A great reading list put out by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Some of them apply only to the USMC and no shit platoon leaders but there are a ton of good reads on it.

http://guides.grc.us...059&sid=3340387

+1

I just finished Bottom Billion, which I discovered off this USMC list: http://www.mccs-sc.com/lifelong/docs/readinglist.pdf

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Was it his policy or was he seeing out the president's policy?

I'd say it was his interpretation and execution of policy. I was on the ground in Iraq during COIN and where I was COIN didn't mean let the bad guys kill Americans. We worked w/ the Iraqis to fix stuff, but we patrolled in force, conducted joint raids w/ the INA, and killed dudes that needed killing. You know those sign that say "Durka durka 100 meters Durka durka durka"? Those meant that if you weren't pulled off the road by the time we got within 100 meters of you there was hot metal headed your way.

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Anyone read this one? Sounds interesting, and it seems to echo what a lot of us have been saying on here.

www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/business/bleeding-talent-sees-a-military-management-mess.html

The Military Machine as a Management Wreck

IT was once a wry joke that the military was designed by geniuses to be run by idiots. Not anymore, Tim Kane writes. As an all-volunteer force, the young men and women who serve these days are top drawer; it is the institution that is idiotic, he argues. And he has a drastic remedy in mind: a dose of classic economics.

In “Bleeding Talent” (Palgrave Macmillan, $30), Mr. Kane gives us a veteran’s proud, though acutely critical, perspective on the American military. He offers an illuminating view of the other “1 percent” — not the privileged upper crust, but the sliver of Americans who have accepted the burden of waging two of the longest wars in our history.

The military is perhaps as selfless an institution as our society has produced. But in its current form, Mr. Kane says, it stifles the aspirations of the best who seek to serve it and pushes them out. “In terms of attracting and training innovative leaders, the U.S. military is unparalleled,” he writes. “In terms of managing talent, the U.S. military is doing everything wrong.”

The core problem, he argues, is that while the military may be “all volunteer” on the first day, it is thoroughly coercive every day thereafter. In particular, it dictates the jobs, promotions and careers of the millions in its ranks through a centralized, top-down, one-size-fits-almost-all system that drives many talented officers to resign in frustration. They leave, he says, because they believe that “the military personnel system — every aspect of it — is nearly blind to merit.”

Mr. Kane knows whereof he speaks. An Air Force Academy graduate, he worked in military intelligence for five years before resigning, in the mid-1990s, after the Air Force declined to send him for graduate studies in economics. He is now chief economist at the Hudson Institute, a conservative research group. In the years between, he helped start a couple of small companies and picked up a taste for entrepreneurship.

He finds a natural hero in Milton Friedman, the libertarian economist and intellectual father of the all-voluntary military. And Mr. Kane suggests that today’s Pentagon is ignorant of Adam Smith, whose “Wealth of Nations” taught that society’s interests might best be served by every individual’s seeking his or her own self-interest.

In 2005, Mr. Kane made a mark with empirical studies demonstrating that the “myth of the stupid soldier” is indeed a myth. His data showed that the enlisted ranks were brighter and better educated than their civilian counterparts.

He looks at today’s military and sees suppressed entrepreneurs among officers and enlisted ranks alike. “America’s armed forces are a leadership factory,” he writes, saying that former military officers are three times as likely to become corporate C.E.O.’s as their raw numbers would suggest.

In surveying recent West Point graduates, he found that only 7 percent believed that most of the best officers remained in the military. It is not the combat, the low pay or the pull of family life that is the top reason they quit in surprising numbers, Mr. Kane writes, but rather the “frustration with military bureaucracy.” One study found that young officers left because they wanted a sense of control over their careers. In short, they wanted what the rest of us want.

The exodus of young officers means that promotion to lieutenant colonel is taken for granted in a career trajectory. Yet the step beyond colonel, to general, is subject to a rigid and stultifying screen. A thousand colonels a year are considered; only 35 or 40 make the cut, he says. The mavericks, the innovators who rock the boat, usually do not.

ACCORDING to Mr. Kane, “the root of all evil in this ecosystem” is the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act, enacted by Congress in 1980 to standardize military personnel policies. But the system has defied efforts by successive defense secretaries to bring about change.

That act binds the military into a system that honors seniority over individual merit. It judges officers, hundreds at a time, in an up-or-out promotion process that relies on evaluations that have been almost laughably eroded by grade inflation. A zero-defect mentality punishes errors severely. The system discourages specialization — you can’t expect to stay a fighter jock or a cybersecurity expert — and pushes the career-minded up a tried-and-true ladder that, not surprisingly, produces lookalikes.

In the subtitle of his book, Mr. Kane declares a radical intent: “How the U.S. Military Mismanages Great Leaders and Why It’s Time for a Revolution.” The revolution he has in mind would turn the military inside out by creating an internal labor market for job assignments and promotions.

Need an assistant commander of an airborne regiment? If an officer has the training and the credentials, why shouldn’t he or she be allowed to apply for the job? Let the commander, not the Pentagon, choose a sidekick from a stack of résumés, Mr. Kane says. Sounds a lot like civilian life, doesn’t it?

By the same token, a talented 33-year-old colonel could command a 40-year-old major, an age reversal that is commonplace in the civilian economy. The ranks would also be open to lateral entry. Why not readmit a former officer who wants to re-enlist after a stint in logistics for Walmart?

Mr. Kane is taking on an institution whose sheer size boggles the mind. There are 1.1 million men and women in the United States Army, including the National Guard and Army Reserve. The regular Army alone has some 82,000 officers, 15,000 above the rank of major (but only 300 generals). Can it rely on a military Monster.com of the kind the author is proposing to put all those people in the right jobs?

There are skeptics, even among Mr. Kane’s supporters in the military, who say his quest is quixotic, an attempt to dent a stone wall that has defied all efforts to change it. But it might not be hopeless. Our military is part of our society. It has bent before to provide greater opportunities, first for blacks, then for women, and most recently for gays and lesbians. If the demand now is for greater personal autonomy, how long can the military resist?

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I finished Bleeding Talent a few weeks ago. The author makes some very good points and hits on the frustration that I've seen expressed here and I've had in conversations with my fellow pilots. This book is an extension of the Atlantic article (Why our best officers are leaving) that came out a few months ago. I think his plan would solve a lot of the management problems that the military has, but it would require somebody to get promoted high enough under the current system to be able to change it. And by that time the Kool Aid is too strong.

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Fobbit by David Abrams.

BTW, Masshole, I beat you to recommending the Forgotten 500 (page 21 of this thread). Wholeheartedly concur it's a great read!

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I finished Bleeding Talent a few weeks ago. The author makes some very good points and hits on the frustration that I've seen expressed here and I've had in conversations with my fellow pilots. This book is an extension of the Atlantic article (Why our best officers are leaving) that came out a few months ago. I think his plan would solve a lot of the management problems that the military has, but it would require somebody to get promoted high enough under the current system to be able to change it. And by that time the Kool Aid is too strong.

Slightly off topic but related, here is a recent article from him about the Army and their mass exodus of officers not due to the ops tempo but the bureaucracy. After reading this and the comments here, I'm gonna go grab it.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/01/10/an_army_of_none?page=0,0

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just finished a couple books:

When Thunder Rolled by Ed Rasimus - Great book.

To the Limited: An Air Cav Huey Pilot in Vietnam by Tom A. Johnson - Even better than Ed's book! Some amazing stories.

My Secret War by Richard S. Drury - This should be mandatory reading for every Air Force officer. I would say it should be req'd reading at PME, but they'd probably suck the life out of it and twist it's meeting around to their twisted agenda.

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