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This is one of those rare books I have read where I was sad when it ended, I enjoyed it so much. All the other reviewers will tell you about Hackworth being the most decorated soldier serving at the time of his discharge etc etc. However, what gives this book the creditability it needs is the way he rejected the accolades the US army clearly had planned for him (a Generalship and associated prestige) and spoke out very critically against the establishment and its conduct of the Vietnam War.
At the time this was big news and the establishment turned on him quite viciously and for me this gives his words real weight and the book is better for it. It was published in the late 1980s so some of the comments about equipment are a bit dated but when you consider the US has again been caught short by a guerrilla war it failed to predict with equipment not suited (armoured vehicles anyone) it seems the problems he wrote about still exist.
Hackworth called it "going along to get along" or not rocking the boat so as to ensure promotion and towing the party line. One might argue his comments about this add more credence to his work as it seems to still exist in the Pentagon. Think of the contemporary General Shinseki who was effectively sacked for predicting before the invasion that the US would need more troops in Iraq and you can see this malaise exists still. I'm not arguing Hack was a sort of military Nostradamus but this book stands the test of time even though it is now 20 years or so old. So, read, enjoy but place it in the context of modern times and realize that some things don't change.
A very well written book. All respect to To Col. Hackworth whose experiences, learnings and observations as a warrior leader are as valid today as they where when this book was written. First class and thanks to Jocko Podcast for keeping Hack’s words alive.
I cannot put this book down! I know this book is more of a memoir, but I’ve learned so much about becoming a leader from it. After implementing lessons learned from this book, my team that I arrived in only a few weeks ago, is already gelling and getting along as if it’s been years. This book is an accidental bible for leadership.