Do Some Planning, A Guide for Working with Groups to Accomplish Bottom-Up
Lt. Col. Garry Cooper, USA (Ret). BookBaby. ISBN: 978-1-48356-224-7.
Do Some Planning
fulfills a practical need when working with groups to accomplish
is a how-to book that provides step-by-step descriptions for a variety of
applied-planning methods and techniques: focus groups, mission statements, core
values, changing times, visioning, strategic directions, alternative futures,
action planning, and several more. Descriptions are concise, include essential
information to get started, and are practical platforms for the development of
applied skills that one can use in communities and organizations of any size.
with groups can be challenging, and chapters in this book provide what often is
a missing link in understanding process designs that can help create good ideas
and making them happen. Each chapter independently makes sense, and
collectively they paint a portrait that captures the dynamic nature of several
final chapters include reflections on the art and science of planning and bring
closure to an informative planning journey that involves working with groups to
accomplish applied planning.
The Ragged Edge: A U.S.
Marine’s Account of Leading the Iraqi Army Fifth Battalion. By Lt. Col.
Michael Zacchea, USMC (Ret), Life Member, and Ted Kemp. Chicago Review Press.
Deployed to Iraq in March 2004 after the overthrow of Saddam
Hussein, U.S. Marine Michael Zacchea thought he had landed a plum assignment.
His team's mission was to build, train, and lead into combat the first Iraqi
army battalion trained by the U.S. military.
Quickly, Zacchea realized he was faced with a nearly
impossible task. With just two weeks training based on outdated and irrelevant
materials, no language instruction, and few cultural tips for interacting with
his battalion of Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Yazidis, and others, Zacchea arrived
at his base in Kirkush only to learn his recruits would need beds, boots,
uniforms, and equipment.
His Iraqi officer counterparts spoke little English. He had
little time to transform his troops — mostly poor, uneducated farmers — into a
cohesive rifle battalion that would fight a new insurgency erupting across
Iraq. In order to stand up a fighting battalion, Zacchea knew he would have to
understand his men. Unlike other combat Marines in Iraq at the time, he
immersed himself in Iraq's culture: learning its languages, eating local food,
observing its traditions, even being inducted into one of its Sunni tribes.
A constant source of both pride and frustration, the Iraqi
Army Fifth Battalion went on to fight bravely at the Battle of Fallujah against
forces that would eventually form the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The
Ragged Edge is Zacchea's deeply personal and powerful account of hopeful
determination, of brotherhood and betrayal, and of cultural ignorance and misunderstanding.
It sheds light on the dangerous pitfalls of training foreign troops to fight
murderous insurgents and terrorists, precisely when such wartime collaboration
is happening more than at any other time in U.S. history.
Thieves: A Novel of Intrigue and Terrorism in Arabia — Book One of the Care and
Lt. Col. William Westgard, USA (Ret), Life Member. CreateSpace. ISBN
is set during 1994 in the fictional, small, newly oil-rich Emirate of Al-Khali
on the southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. As the first book of a trilogy,
Forty Thieves introduces the lead characters — four members of the
newly-established defense attaché office in the American Embassy — and follows
them as they interact with the local government and military forces and with
other foreign diplomats and oil company executives to defend against sabotage
and terrorism threats. Also included: a love story between the American defense
attaché and a British diplomat; mystery about the ownership of the oil company;
internal intrigue in the Al-Khali government; and the possibility of
malfeasance by the American ambassador and his wife.
Non Gratae: A Novel of Intrigue and Terrorism in Arabia — Book Two of the Care
and Valour Trilogy. Lt.
Col. William Westgard, USA (Ret), Life Member. CreateSpace. ISBN
continues the storyline begun in Forty Thieves. The setting remains in
the newly oil-rich, fictional Emirate of Al-Khali in 1994.
principal characters — Lt. Col. David Morgan, defense and military attaché; Lt.
Cmdr. Jean-Jacques Pelletier, naval attaché; Chief Warrant Officer Peter
DaSousa, operations coordinator; Marianne DaSousa, office secretary; and Kate
Macleod, British diplomat and Morgan’s lover — continue to lead the plot but
are joined by several new characters. The title alludes to the identification
of those who are removed from Al-Khali because of their personal undesirability
or official malfeasance.
love affair between Morgan and Kate Macleod continues with complications.
Pelletier establishes a relationship with a French female journalist. At the
same time, opponents of Al-Khali’s emir continue their efforts to destabilize
the country by terrorism, and the counterterrorism actions of the Americans and
their Al-Khali colleagues achieve mixed successes.
and Valour: A Novel of Intrigue and Terrorism in Arabia — Book Three of the
Care and Valour Trilogy. Lt. Col. William Westgard, USA (Ret), Life Member. CreateSpace.
concludes the story begun in previous novels, Forty Thieves and Personae
Non Gratae. The setting remains principally in the newly oil-rich,
fictional Emirate of Al-Khali in 1994. However, there are sequences in
the U.S., England, Germany, and the Hebrides Islands of Scotland.
principal characters — David Morgan, Jean-Jacque Pelletier, Peter and Marianne
DaSousa, and Kate Macleod — still lead the plot, and they are joined by both
previously introduced characters and newcomers. The title alludes to a line
from Shakespeare’s play, Henry V, which the young king praises a
professional soldier, Captain Fluellen. Toward the end of the novel, it is
applied to David Morgan by Kate Macleod’s father, a knight and retired major
general of the British army. Kate and David’s love affair continues, although
now at long distance, as she is in London.
same applies to the affair between Pelletier and the French journalist,
Françoise Ducrot, since her work requires her to travel through the Middle East
and East Africa. Terrorism and sabotage against the Al-Khali government
intensifies, but additional allies, some very surprising, are introduced,
resulting, finally, in a successful defense. Personal relationships also are
more or less resolved while being complicated by several
and C-Rations: A Seabee’s Recollections From Vietnam 1968-1969. By Maj. Charles D. Thompson, USA (Ret), Life Member. CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-51889-793-1.
and C-Rations is the memoir of Seabee
Builder Charles Thompson's experiences with the Naval Support Activity, Da
Nang, South Vietnam, from June 1968 through June 1969. A different view of the
war in Vietnam is seen through the eyes of a new builder-construction
apprentice as he witnesses more of the construction than the destruction of the
war. While watching fireworks explode at Da Nang's ammunition dump from atop
Monkey Mountain, viewing incoming Soviet 122mm rockets overhead to adventures
at a French dam up the coast from Da Nang, the stories give an entirely
different look at the war. Working with South Korean allies in carpentry was an
exceptional experience, as was working with and teaching building techniques to
local Vietnamese self-help crews. Finally, while standing at quarters one
morning, he is hit with a whole new realization of the devastating weaponry of
war as the battleship New Jersey fired rounds overhead from its 16-inch
guns. It was like the sound of a freight train racing through the sky as the
shells zeroed in on their targets up to 20 miles inland.