Platoon Leader: A Memoir of Command in Combat

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Random House Publishing Group, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
A remarkable memoir of small-unit leadership and the coming of age of a young soldier in combat in Vietnam.'

"Using a lean style and a sense of pacing drawn from the tautest of novels, McDonough has produced a gripping account of his first command, a U.S. platoon taking part in the 'strategic hamlet' program. . . . Rather than present a potpourri of combat yarns. . . McDonough has focused a seasoned storyteller's eye on the details, people, and incidents that best communicate a visceral feel of command under fire. . . . For the author's honesty and literary craftsmanship, Platoon Leader seems destined to be read for a long time by second lieutenants trying to prepare for the future, veterans trying to remember the past, and civilians trying to understand what the profession of arms is all about.”–Army Times
 

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Contents

Prologue
1
LZ English
2
The Road to
7
Welcome to Vietnam
15
2d Platoon
28
Taking Charge
37
The Wounding
51
Brief Interlude
61
The Lowly Infantryman
126
The Rains Come
140
American Ingenuity
161
The Enemy Builds Strength
167
A Day at the Beach
179
Thanksgiving
189
Just Like You and Me
194
The Order
202

If at First You Dont Succeed
70
A Cast of Characters
79
Prelude to a Fight
90
Battle
98
Aftermath
113
The Patrol Back
207
Night Movement
216
End of a Mission
229
Epilogue
241
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Col. James McDonough, USA (Ret.), graduated from West Point and served in Vietnam as an infantry platoon leader in the legendary 173d Airborne Brigade. A military theorist who has helped shape the post-Cold War army's thinking, he is also the author of The Defense of Hill 781 and The Limits of Glory. Now retired from active duty, McDonough lives with his family in Tallahassee, Florida.

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