February 27, 2012
Book Review: Outlaw Platoon
Sean Parnell’s book Outlaw Platoon arrived in the mail last week, and it was quite an eye opening tome.
Outlaw Platoon follows the deployment of Lt Parnell and his platoon to Afghanistan. Written in conjunction with John Bruning, Outlaw Platoon is based completely upon Parnell’s harrowing time patrolling and fighting on the Pakistan border, the events all took place, however sometimes the order is moved around, and some names have been changed to protect the egos of those involved.
Parnell introduces us to the seriousness of the war when he describes his first encounter with the enemy. These are not the uneducated farmers with an AK that everyone thinks they are - the enemy Parnell and his men face are battle tested and hardened. During their first engagement Parnell and his men learn that they must either stick together or they won’t survive the grinding schedule of patrols or the politics that plague the bases.
Outlaw Platoon also explores the process of how it is that men from all walks of life can come together and gel into a “band of brothers” under the leadership of their Non-commissioned officers as well as their platoon leader. As Parnell notes: “In combat, men measure up. Or don't. There are no second chances.” And the men of Outlaw Platoon are given plenty of chances to measure up; including one harrowing moment when it looked as if all would be lost.
Outlaw Platoon is an engrossing account of the daily struggles that face our combat troops on the front lines. Bruning and Parnell make every effort to tell it exactly as it is, there is no glossing over the inter-unit rivalries and the sometimes deadly consequences these rivalries manifest as well as the tenuous relationship between those who eat and sleep combat and those who never leave the wire.
Parnell pulls you in and overwhelms you with the reality that is the Afghanistan – Pakistan border. The pace of his story matches the high speed tempo of the platoon as they patrol continuously for weeks at a time, constantly engaging with and destroying the enemy. You won’t want to put this book down!
Outlaw Platoon is scheduled for release on February 28, 2012.