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Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan Paperback – February 26, 2013
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A riveting story of American fighting men, Outlaw Platoon is Lieutenant Sean Parnell's stunning personal account of the legendary U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division's heroic stand in the mountains of Afghanistan. Acclaimed for its vivid, poignant, and honest recreation of sixteen brutal months of nearly continuous battle in the deadly Hindu Kush, Outlaw Platoon is a Band of Brothers or We Were Soldiers Once and Young for the early 21st century--an action-packed, highly emotional true story of enormous sacrifice and bravery.
A magnificent account of heroes, renegades, infidels, and brothers, it stands with Sebastian Junger's War as one of the most important books to yet emerge from the heat, smoke, and fire of America's War in Afghanistan.
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“Outlaw Platoon put me back on the battlefield again. It’s a heartfelt story that shows how very different people can be thrown together in combat and find a way to make it work. Parnell and the soldiers who fought beside him are all courageous heroes―real bad asses.” -- Chris Kyle, author of American Sniper
“Two of the most intense tales of courage under fire I own are Black Hawk Down and Lone Survivor. I now have a third, Outlaw Platoon. It’s an absolutely gripping, edge-of-your-seat ride.” -- Brad Thor, author of Full Black
“Outlaw Platoon is an utterly gripping account of what our soldiers endure on the front lines―the frustrations, the fear, the loneliness. . . Here, in these pages, are the on-the-ground realities of a war we so rarely witness on news broadcasts” -- Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried
“Outlaw Platoon is an exceptional look into the mind of a platoon leader in Afghanistan; Captain Parnell shares his experiences of leadership, loss, and aggressive military tactics. You can really feel the bonds forged between these brothers in arms as the battle plays out” -- Marcus Luttrell, author of Lone Survivor
“At times, I forgot I was reading about a war as I was drawn up in the drama the same way you [are] when reading Krakauer’s Into Thin Air . . . This is a book of probing honesty, wrenching drama and courage.” -- Doug Stanton, author of Horse Soldiers
“[A] soulful story of men at war . . . Outlaw Platoon shows us that the love and brotherhood forged in the fires of combat are the most formidable quaities a unit can possess.” -- Steven Pressfield, author of Gates of Fire
“Outlaw Platoon is expertly told by a man who braved the heat of battle time and time again. An epic story as exacting as it is suspenseful, it reveals the bravery and dedication of our armed service men and women around the world.” -- Clive Cussler
“This book is more than just a rip-roaring combat narrative: it is a profoundly moving exploration into the nature and evolution of the warrior bond forged in desperate, against-all-odds battles. A significant book, not to be missed.” -- Jack Coughlin, author of Shooter: The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper
“Outlaw Platoon is the real deal. It’s a terrific tale of combat leadership that deserves to be studied by all small-unit leaders. The narrative goes beyond the battlefield to depict the maddening nature of the war and the grit of those who selflessly protect us.” -- Bing West, author of No True Glory
From the Back Cover
At twenty-four years of age, U.S. Army Ranger Sean Parnell was named commander of a forty-man elite infantry platoon, the 10th Mountain Division—a unit that came to be known as the Outlaws. Tasked with rooting out Pakistan-based insurgents from a valley in the Hindu Kush, Parnell assumed they would be facing a ragtag bunch of civilians until, in May 2006, a routine patrol turned into a brutal ambush. Through sixteen months of combat, the platoon became Parnell's family. The cost of battle was high for these men. Not all of them made it home, but for those who did, it was the love and faith they found in one another that ultimately kept them alive.
- Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (February 26, 2013)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062066404
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062066404
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.94 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #34,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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We had a small black mutt, Sam, who walked point with our company. He found many caches of weapons and supplies. He also once triggered an ambush early saving many lives. He was one of two casualties. The other was a platoon leader with a wound to the shoulder. Sent them both back on a medical chopper. Sam was later poisoned.
PS hope someone shot mail bitch.
This is more than a story of physical courage. It is a story of the kind of spiritual courage it takes for men to love one another without stinting, to give everything they have for one another and then dig down and find some more to give. The courage it takes to allow yourself to get close to people you might lose at any moment. No experience except perhaps parenthood can even compare to the risks to the heart that these men faced, the wrenching losses the experienced and the courage it took not to face the next battle, but to know that people who mattered so much to you were facing it too.
This story of a grueling deployment in the under-supplied, under-manned and unforgiving Afghanistan theater is told with amazing compassion and vivid language that is powerful without ever becoming overblown.
For every American who did NOT serve, I think we almost owe it to those who did to read this story and appreciate what true valor looks like. The men of Outlaw Platoon meet the most exacting definition of "heroes."
Thank you, Captain Parnell, for sharing this very personal journey with us.
Mr. Parnell appears to make some attempt to spread the praise and complements around to some other members of the platoon but these are just glancing blows and function only to enhance the author's own status. Any time an Army officer tells me how respected and admired he was by the enlisted men under him, my BS meter does a hard slam to the right.
As stated earlier, Mr. Parnell does have a good story to tell. Have a shovel in hand and you too can enjoy it. The book is not all bad. First off the author is unusually perceptive for a military man. He recognizes the futility of the war and just how worthless our supposed allies are. Mr. Parnell also gives several examples of how our political leaders have no concept of what it takes to win a war. The same political strategies that doomed our efforts in Vietnam are dooming us in the Middle East.
I also enjoyed the way the author laid out the action/battle scenes with one proviso. I understand that most accounts of combat benefit from a dose of literary license, and this does not offend me but I do expect it to be confined to the realm of possibilities. Mr. Parnell has one battle that seems to go on forever. It is one of the most horrendous and violent confrontations one can imagine and you'll start to wonder how anyone in the allied force could survive a fight like this. As it turns out it was quite survivable. Only one man was killed.
I wanted to give this book a 3 star rating but after sitting down and recalling all the bluster and BS within, it was a real struggle to give it a 2.
Top reviews from other countries
Here's the thing. Never forget the sacrifice of our soldiers sent into harms way, even though the Taliban will infiltrate right behind our exfil from Afghan. We will always respect and admire the personal sacrifice our soldiers have made and hopefully continue to make going forward as our existence in this world gets murkier and murkier going forward. God bless them all.