“Lieutenant Colonel (United Federation Marine Corps, 6)” by Jonathan P. Brazee, Col., USMC (Ret.)

09/10/15

This was the book I was most looking to read. Having been a Lieutenant Colonel and a Battalion Commander, I was wondering what kind of experience our hero, LTC Ryk Lysander was going to have. So far, he has learned his lessons on leadership the hard way. He’s made his share of mistakes and has learned that at this point in his career, those mistakes can get people killed. Still, his focus remains on completing his mission.

I liked the action in this book. There weren’t many dull periods and the fighting seemed to go on for a long time, but in actual time they were not that long. LTC Lysander had to remind himself time and again not to get bogged down in the weeds of what was going on because he was there to manage the fight. Now I know most civilians probably don’t think battles are managed by anyone other than maybe Generals, but let me tell you. Battle management goes all the way down to the Team Leader, trying to keep himself and two other soldiers alive. Captains must manage what their Companies do and ensure they accomplish their part of the mission and then the Battalion Commander must manage sometimes up to 5 or more companies fighting in a single battle. Lysander has got a lot of technology working for him, but sometimes that can get overwhelming and confusing. The book does a good job of showing how Lysander keeps trying not to get bogged down with details while also trying to keep himself alive. He is in the battle after all, not way behind his lines somewhere.

I liked the story. While I was fortunate not to have to go into combat, I did love being a Battalion Commander. It was great to have a bunch of guys around you who were all professionals and when told to do something, they did it. The book doesn’t go into the day-to-day administrative stuff that a Commander can get bogged down in which can drive you crazy. Besides, most of that is boring anyway.

So, if you’ve enjoyed these books so far, I think you’re going to like this one too. Lots of fighting and good descriptions of the action. It seems like Lysander’s career is going by really fast. I can remember the first book, “Recurit”, pretty clearly and now he’s already a Lieutenant Colonel. I know the series will end sooner or later, but I will hate to see it do so.

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