Sinoland: The Subversion of Freedom’s Bastion. By Lt. Col. Henry J. Poole, USMC (Ret). Posterity Press. ISBN 978-0-98186-598-0.
Heavily illustrated and footnoted, Sinoland offers an exciting, though somewhat disturbing, view of Communist China’s progress in an ongoing 4th Generation Warfare (4GW) attack against America. This book provides partial proof of the People’s Republic of China incursions within U.S. borders for 34 different categories of nonmartial 4GW.
These all are the subsets that can be easily imagined by a long-time researcher of Chinese expansion in South Asia, Africa, and South America. There might be more, but harm to America was discovered within every subset. Obviously, some incursions were more serious than others. One or two might only have even been profit motivated. But, most clearly were intended to undermine the strategic strength of America, as the 15 nonmilitary subsets of the People’s Liberation Army’s “Unrestricted Warfare” treatise would strongly suggest. At some point, they could collectively result in Washington’s subservience to Beijing.
A Walk with Matthew. By Lt. Col. Keith L Sellen, USA (Ret). Westbow Press, ISBN 978-1-5127-5549-7.
A Walk with Matthew is a poetic journey through the Gospel of Matthew, written through the lens of a believer who, like every believer, has been grafted into an extraordinary family. The author begins with the Gospel writer’s thesis — that those who believe in Jesus are grafted into the family of the King — and reveals through poetry how the life and teachings of Jesus transform us as they did Matthew and the other disciples.
It is the author’s hope that this book will motivate the reader to engage the Gospel’s message, reflect on the text and meaning of the scripture, understand all the good that the Gospel presents, pursue the transformation of being grafted in to Jesus’ pedigree, and grow more confident in eternal life and joyfully content in this life.
The Frontline Generation: How We Served Post 9/11. By former Army Capt. Marjorie K. Eastman, Middle Tennessee Chapter. Longbow Six Publishing. ISBN 978-0-99776-156-6.
It began as a personal memoir for her son. Reflecting one day on her 10 years of post-9/11 military service, author Marjorie K. Eastman wanted to capture the lessons and inspiration she’d learned serving beside men and women who represent the very best of what it means to be American: dedication to a job well-done, selflessness, character, and a belief that one person can make a difference. And these servicemembers represent just 1 percent of the American public. Eastman identifies this group as the “Frontline Generation” and notes it is an untapped reservoir of leaders — now back in our communities — who have been strengthened by the unique difficulties of post-9/11 service.
The compelling journey of Eastman’s time in uniform culminates in her final assignment, when she was responsible for the lives of more than 100 servicemembers — men and women — scattered throughout Eastern Afghanistan. Her first-person account of that time is a moving story from personal commitment to the conviction that service — no matter where or how — is the best path to success. She offers lessons on life, leadership, service, and the way for every person to find a role in them.
Eastman’s journal entries further reveal frustrations, inspiration, joy, heartbreak, laughter, purpose, resolve, and the remarkable ways servicemembers came together to solve problems and break boundaries well beyond the heartbreaking day of 9/11. She defines the legacy her Frontline Generation leaves on this country, and encourages readers to think about who they want to be, how they can make a difference, how they can make their lives count. Service is the key. The Frontline Generation abounds with wisdom, compassion, and humor.
Heart of Gray: Lt. Raymond “Iggy” Enners, Courage and Sacrifice of a West Point Graduate in Vietnam. By former Army Capt. Richard W. Enners. Acclaim Press. ISBN 978-1-94261-337-4.
Leading in combat is a delicate balance between accomplishing the mission and, in its context, protecting the soldiers in your command. Enners’ instincts were to do both just as he was taught.
Enners chose the harder right instead of the easier wrong Sept. 18 1968, during a brutal firefight southwest of Hà Thanh,Vietnam, Enners rescued a wounded squad leader 10 meters from the People’s Army of Vietnam position and then led his men into the tree line, giving his life in the process.
Heart of Gray is a gripping narrative of a leader-warrior who, through his grueling education and military training, chose to serve the nation in the most unpopular war in modern history and protect the freedoms that some Americans take for granted. It’s a pulse-pounding combat story of events that took place in Quảng Ngãi province, Vietnam, as seen through the lens of Enners’ letters and the soldiers he served with and commanded.
More so, it is a story of leadership and the roles character, courage, and selflessness played in influencing others. Fueled by his intense desire to lead, schooling, and training, he demonstrated these characteristics both on and off the battlefield.
Paine – Time of Anarchy, Book One in the Paine Series. By Lt. Col. J.B. Durbin, USA (Ret). CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-48480-817-7.
A CIA-manufactured plague is bioengineered to attack cocoa plants in an effort to eliminate cocaine production. The plague mutates and destroys food plants worldwide, governments collapse and billions die. Follow Michael Paine Martin, the son of a mercenary leader, as he tries to protect himself and his family from the ravages of anarchy.
UN Real Paine, Book Two in the Paine Series. By Lt. Col. J.B. Durbin, USA (Ret). CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-49538-436-3.
The plague that destroyed billions of people is over but a more insidious plot is hatched, one that threatens the privacy of everyone on the planet. Unaware of the new threat, Michael Paine Martin joins the U.N. Military Force and is sent on a mission to stop a potential war between Serbian guerrillas and the rest of Europe. Then things begin to go wrong. Steven Corvis, founder and CEO of the Corvis Foundation, attempts to set up control over the world. He enlists the aid of sinister and vengeful Gen. Josh Martin, Paine's father. Martin works with Corvis to discredit the U.N. and destroy the recently established government of New York. Personal and political intrigue abounds in this fight between two conflicting ideas of the future of Earth — and who ultimately will rule.
Legacy of Paine, Book Three in the Paine Series. By Lt. Col. J.B. Durbin, USA (Ret). CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-50867-360-6.
Sovereign United New York is safe — for now. But Josh Martin still is on the loose and the Corvis Foundation has the power to reach out and hurt anyone they think of as a threat. Ashley Miller is intent upon rebuilding the U.N. building in a way the members could never imagine. Elle is continuing her mission of revenge, and old hatreds begin to resurface as the world repeats the sins of the past. Paine must take the battle outside of New York to keep his country free. The Earth is not a safe place as the saga continues.
Threshold of Paine, Book Four in the Paine Series. By Lt. Col. J.B. Durbin, USA (Ret). CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-53903-454-4.
Josh Martin is dead, and the Corvis Foundation is no more. Technology on Earth has been disabled — or has it? The space colonies still are functioning. The SUNY émigré’s are adjusting as they travel to a new world light-years away. Unseen forces try to prevent them from crossing the Threshold and leaving the solar system. Meanwhile, humankind continues to engage in a battle for power and control in a dystopian world.
Many Come, Few Are Chosen. By Lt. Col. Robert G. Harris, USMC (Ret), Life Member. Instantpublisher. ISBN 978-1-60458-679-4.
A narrative history of the life of a Marine Corps officer from the days of World War II to retirement and beyond.
The story includes the unique experience of pioneering the Marine Corps' first Ground Directed Bombing System during the Korean conflict.
Let’s Do Some Planning, A Guide for Working with Groups to Accomplish Bottom-Up Planning. By Lt. Col. Garry Cooper, USA (Ret). BookBaby. ISBN: 978-1-48356-224-7.
Let’s Do Some Planning fulfills a practical need when working with groups to accomplish planning-related tasks.
This 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.
Working 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 applied-planning concepts.
The 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. ISBN 978-1-61373-841-2.
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.
Forty Thieves: A Novel of Intrigue and Terrorism in Arabia — Book One of the Care and Valour Trilogy. Lt. Col. William Westgard, USA (Ret), Life Member. CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-53505-052-4.
Forty Thieves 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.
Personae 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 978-1-53700-078-7.
Personae Non Gratae continues the storyline begun in Forty Thieves. The setting remains in the newly oil-rich, fictional Emirate of Al-Khali in 1994.
The 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.
The 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.
Care 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. ISBN 978-1-53751-496-3.
Care and Valour 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.
The 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.
The 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 factors.
Shovels 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.
Shovels 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.
The View from the Rigging: Memoirs of a Coast Guard Career. By Capt. Richard J. Marcott, USCG (Ret). Wave Cloud Corp. ISBN 978-1-53560-395-9.
The View From the Rigging will plunge you into intriguing stories of a 28 year Coast Guard career that spanned the cold war, the turbulent 60s, and the period of detente with Russia.
Richard Marcott’s crisp, scenic details will make you feel as though you are with him when he encounters Ernest Hemingway, Jacques Cousteau, Eliot Richardson, and Perry Como.
You will feel the tension during a dramatic night rescue as his command, the Cape Knox, pulls a fisherman from the cold, stormy Chesapeake Bay. You will experience the fury of a hurricane at sea on cutter Absecon en route to one of the largest sea searches in history for survivors of German sail-training ship Pamir. You will laugh with him as he outfoxes a U.S. Navy blockade while pretending to be the enemy. You will giggle as he stumbles to explain to a Japanese artist why his portrait of the captain’s wedding is all wrong. You will discover how Nikita Khruschchev changed his life.
His stories are more than seagoing adventures. You will enjoy his warm tales of family and friends as they adjust to the diversity of career changes that take them from coast to coast. His stories are told with wonderful detail, pathos, and humor.
He served on an ocean station vessel and was the commanding officer of a 95-foot patrol boat in Norfolk, Va. He was executive officer of the medium endurance cutter Resolute in San Francisco and commanding officer of the Chilula out of Morehead City, N.C. Marcott directed the West Coast boot camp, taught at officer candidate school, and was the founding director of the first Coast Guard Leadership and Management Development School, which led to his assignment teaching at the National Defense University, the first Coast Guard officer to be so assigned. He had two tours at Coast Guard headquarters, his last as chief of the Training and Education Division. He retired as commanding officer of the Training Center, Petaluma, Calif.
Intervention! The Americans in Haiti, 1915-1934. By Cmdr. Richard L. Schreadley, USN (Ret), Charleston (S.C.) Chapter. Evening Post Books. ISBN 978-1-92964-731-6.
July 28, 1915, U.S. Marines and bluejackets from the armored cruiser Washington landed in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, for the purpose of “preventing further rioting and for the protection of foreigners’ lives and property.”
Thus began a military occupation of nearly 20 years. Intervention! begins with a broad overview of Haitian history leading to President Woodrow Wilson’s order to land U.S. forces and occupy the Western Hemisphere’s second-oldest republic. It tells the fascinating story of a long, frustrating, and politically divisive exercise in nation building (one of many yet to come) that ended in President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first term.
Palo Duro. By Lt. Col. Max L. Knight, USA, (Ret). Page Publishing Inc. ISBN 978-1-68409-101-0.
Palo Duro looks at the Indian Wars in the Southwestern U.S. at the end of the 19th century. With westward expansion following the end of the Civil War, confrontations with the Comanche, Kiowa, Southern Cheyenne, Arapaho, and the Apache over hunting grounds and sacred lands were inevitable. Treaties offered temporary respite, but abrogation of these agreements and the inability by both sides to understand the others culture guaranteed ongoing conflict and an end to the Plains Indians way of life.
Battle for Dak-To, Steadfast and Loyal, 1967-2017. By Lt. Col. Robert L. Quinn, USA (Ret), Southeastern N.C. Chapter. SlapDash Publishing. $35. ISBN 978-0-99841-150-7.
Battle for Dak-To takes the reader to the front line of one of the most pivotal battles of the Vietnam War. Told from the author’s perspective, Battle for Dak-To pulls no punches in conveying the story of the battle fought not only in the jungles of Vietnam but also in the hearts and minds of American civilians at home. The author’s firsthand accounts of the bravery, skill, and resilience of his fellow soldiers in the 4th Infantry Division are colorfully and honestly woven into the books gripping narrative.