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Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

A weekend nonfiction audio book review…because Pastors also need a break from reading and also for you staying at home in light of the Corona Virus…

 

William H. McRaven. Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations.  New York, NY: Hachette Book Group, June 21st 2019. 10 hours 18 minutes 39 seconds.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

What is it like being the longest serving Navy SEAL commando and an Admiral of the Navy Seals and other Special Operations Forces?  This book is a memoir of Admiral McRaven whom most people probably know for his leadership of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) that pulled off the mission that target Bin Laden.  There’s not a lot of SEALs that picked up the rank of admiral and I believe he’s the second SEAL that achieved that rank.  This audio book is read by the author himself and looks back not only with his Navy career but also his childhood and a look at the men and women who have served and risked their life and at times died in serving in the military.

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Can one be a God honoring Christian and also a good soldier?

I was blessed to learn about a Christian name Henry Havelock in Church History.  I never heard of him before until Mike shared this with me.

This isn’t just a story of being a good Christian in the military but a lesson of being a good Christian in whatever calling and vocation God has for you.

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A weekend reading review!  Because Pastors also need a break from heavily theological reading! Actually this weekend I’m preaching at a retreat!

 

John L. Plaster. SOG: The Secret Wars of America’s Commandos in Vietnam.  New York, NY: Simon Schuster, January 1st 2019. 368 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Have you ever heard of a Special Operations group called MACV SOG?  If not, it might be because this is one of the most secretive group during the Vietname War since it operatives had to agree not to talk about their experience for twenty years.  Yet much of today’s Special operations group and capabilities in the modern US military owe its tactics and capabilities to this covert group.  If you are interested in US special operations forces, military history and also the military side to the Vietnam War this book is a must-read.

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A weekend reading review, because Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading.

Simon Anglim, Phyllis G. Jestice, Rob S. Rice, Scott M. Rusch, John Serrati.  Fighting Techniques of the Ancient World.  New York, NY: Saint Martin’s Press, January 1st 2003. 256 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Are you looking for a book on military history and military techniques during ancient times?  This book might be for you!  Written by a team of experts on military matters with academic and published credentials this book is quite informative and engaging concerning military matters of equipping, tactics and combat skills for warfare.  The work covers largely Europe and the Middle East before the advent of gunpowder.  While the subtitle of the book states it looks at 3000 BC-500 AD most of the book concentrates on the Greek and Roman classical period.
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A weekend reading review…because sometimes Pastors need a break from heavy reading also.

Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully. Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway.  Washington D.C.: Potomac Books, November 1st 2005. 612 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Want to read one of the best book on the Battle of Midway?  I remember as a young kid reading about this battle and how it turned the tide of the war in Pacific in favor of the United States in which Japan suffered serious loss in this battle.  This work simply exceeded my expectation and I was thoroughly hooked from page to page, which might sound almost unbelievable concerning a military operational book but the two authors did a good job telling us the story of the Battle of Midway and throughout the book they also critically interact with previous presentation of the battle by historians and popular misconception and argue for their account of what happened in a way that is informative while displaying an attitude of being concern for truth of what really happened.

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A weekend non-fiction reading review!  Something timely in light of V-J (Victory over Japan) day yesterday!

Jack “Dusty” Kleiss.  Never Call Me a Hero: A Legendary American Dive-Bomber Pilot Remembers the Battle of Midway. New York, NY: William Morrow, May 23rd 2017. 312 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

What is it like to hear the account of a pilot who made history in World War Two?  This book gives us a taste.  The author N. Jack “Dusty” Kleiss was a naval pilot who fought in the battle of Midway.  Midway was the naval battle that changed the direction of the war and the tide was turned against Japan.    Kleiss didn’t just take part of the battle; he was one of those pilots who actually successfully bombed Japanese ships and carrier and directly contributed to the strategic defeat of Japan.  This is his story and the story of the men he served with.

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In light of Memorial Day.

Jocko Willink.  Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win.  New York, NY: Saint Martin’s Press, October 20th 2015. 320 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

How well do you own up to your own fault and flaws?  Do you often blame other people and your circumstance when you should be admitting your own fault?  This was a good book on leadership by a combat leader in the Navy SEALS.  It wasn’t only just a good book on leadership; it was also a good book of how to be under leaders as well.  The title of the book captures the subject of the material well; it is a book on taking personal responsibility of what you do.  Taking responsibility is a big important mark of a good leader versus a bad leader.

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A weekend leisure reading review…because sometimes Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading!  I also recommend Eisenhower’s Armies: The American-British Alliance during World War II.

Winston Groom. The Generals: Patton, MacArthur, Marshall, and the Winning of World War II.  Washington D.C.: National Geographic, November 10th 2015. 512 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This was an enjoyable book on three important US Army Generals during World War Two.  The three men are General George S. Patton, Douglas MacArthur, and George Marshall.  Together these men played an important role for the victory of World War Two both in the Pacific and in Europe.  If you want to learn about all three men in one volume this would be it and though it is over five hundred pages I still think it is reasonable if one consider how long three separate volumes on each of these men would be, given how much they have accomplished and how important they were in the war.

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A weekend leisure reading review…because sometimes Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading!

James G. Stavridis.  Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World’s Oceans. New York, NY: The Penguin Press, June 5th 2018. 384 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is a wonderful and highly informative book on geopolitics.  The author James G. Stavridis is an accomplished US Naval Admiral and among his many accomplishment was being the Supreme Allied Commander for NATO towards the end of his career.  His perspective is quite insightful and I would say unique!  He’s not only looking at this in light of analysis and history but also shares his personal “sea stories” that makes this book all the more interesting.

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A belated weekend leisure reading review since I taught a lot more extra this weekend and didn’t get around to writing and posting this. Why a leisure reading review on a blog on the Bible, theology and apologetics?  Because Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading…

Vincent Brugeass.  The Regiment: The True Story of the SAS Volume 1. Paris, France: Europe Comics, November 21st 2018. 67 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is a comic that tells the story of the early days in the most famous Special Forces unit in the world: The British Special Air Services.  I have been fascinated with the Special Air Services (SAS) ever since I was a kid reading military history and seeing pictures of the famous counter-terrorism mission of storming the Iranian embassy in London when it was taken over by terrorists.  This comic book is about the SAS origin’s in the North African desert during World War Two.  The work was originally in French but was translated into English by the publisher.

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This is a review of an Audio CD set on military history.  Why would our blog on the Bible, Theology, Apologetics and Christian worldview review such a resource?  I believe the more Christians know from auxiliary disciplines outside of theology and apologetics helps us better understand the Bible better (with discernment of course).  So here’s my review…

Garrett G. Fagan. Great Battles of the Ancient World. Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company, 2005. 12 hours, 18 minutes.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is an audio history lecture produced by The Teaching Company.  It is the first one I listened to from them and because of the positive experience with this product I plan to listen to more lectures that The Teaching Company have made available.  This particular product feature lectures on history by Garrett G. Fagan a historian and professor that is well known for his research in Roman history.  Fagan here gives us twenty four lectures concerning great battles in the ancient world and largely focuses on the classical period and the ancient near east.

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A weekend non-fiction book review!  Because sometimes even Pastors need a break from heavy theological reading!

Jim Proser. No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy.  New York, NY: HarperLuxe, August 7th 2018. 416 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is the first book on James Mattis.  Mattis is probably our generation’s best combat general.  A career Marine who served in uniform for forty four years he also went on to become the Secretary of Defense and one who received nearly unanimous bipartisan support for his nomination which is quite impressive in a day and age of much political division and partisanship in the United States.  For years I have been amazed at how low profile General Mattis have been compared to how much public attention the US media has given other Army generals.  It seem overnight a few years ago Mattis started to finally receive a lot of attention and praise and usually through the medium of social media making jokes about his exploits and strength. Yet people’s hunger to know more about this tough talking and private general has only increased when news broke that Trump wanted him to be Secretary of Defense.  Personally as a Marine who served under General Mattis’ 1st Marine Division in Iraq I am glad that the author wrote this book.  I actually think it has been long overdue.

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Wow I slept in for 12 hours.  I guess I finally got over my jet lag a week later.  Here’s a review of one of the books I read during my trip.  I post this general history reading book review a little early than my usual Friday night and Saturday book reviews since I realize some might be looking for a good read for their travels for Thanksgiving whether on the road or air travels.

Doug Stanton. 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers.  New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, December 1st 2017. 432 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This book has been turned into a major motion picture.  Both the movie and the book tells us the story of a Special Forces A-Team entering into Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attack and their mission fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda.  It is an incredible story and definitely an interesting book.

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I know for many summer vacation is around the corner so here’s my review of two military books for your summer travel…and also because Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading!

For other suggestions check out also our previous post “2017 Memorial Day Weekend Lists of Recommended Readings.”

Robert O’Neill.  The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior. New York, NY: Scribner, April 3rd 2018. 368 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is a book by the Navy SEAL who shot Osama Bin Laden.  This book not only tell the story of the mission to go after Bin Laden but also Robert O’Neill’s upbringing in Montana, how he joined the Navy and made it into the SEALs.  A fascinating book of a fascinating individual.

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I’m going to post this ahead of the Memorial Day weekend as a book I immensely enjoyed that is very appropriate for the weekend as part of my nonfiction leisure reading review…why?  Because Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading…and also to appreciate the generations of people who have served in the past in the military and have given so much.

Chester Nez.  Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII. New York, NY: Berkley Caliber, September 6th 2011. 310 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is an incredible book on the legendary Navajo Native American who served in the United States Marines during World War Two.  Apparently this is the only memoir of the original first group of Navajo “Code talkers.”  The book is about the life and service of “Code Talker” Chester Nez who co-authored it along with Judith Avila, a historian of these incredible Marines.  In the beginning of the book Avila noted that at first Chester Nez was reluctant to write this book since he felt that others also have done their duty and also because he feared people would not find his life interesting.  Avila disagreed and encouraged him to tell his story.  I’m in agreement with Avila; Chester Nez and other “Code Talkers” lived an interesting life both in the Marine Corps and outside the Marine Corps.  I’m really glad this book was written.

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