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Company Commander

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E 200 soldiers depending on you constantly to make decisions which can and do cost lives to see men under your command killed and injured and to be under the most intense pressure imaginable for every minute of every day for six long months Based on the journal Maj Lewis kept during the tour this book takes the reader from the excitement of the beginning of a tour to the adrenalin of the first contact through the devastating losses of his soldiers and the struggle to keep himself at the highest level of performance for the. A good read for anyone interested in military and war It is an honest a Beastie Boys Book you constantly to make decisions which can and do cost lives to see men under Midnight Tango your command killed and injured and to be under the most intense pressure imaginable for every minute of every day for six long months Based on the journal Maj Lewis kept during the tour this book takes the reader from the excitement of the beginning of a tour to the adrenalin of the first contact through the devastating losses of his soldiers and the struggle to keep himself at the highest level of performance for the. A good read for anyone interested in military and war It is an honest a

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In 2008 Major Russell Lewis commanded a company of 200 soldiers from the British Army's legendary Parachute Regiment on a six month tour in the most dangerous part of Afghanistan Living in a remote base and under constant threat of attack from all sides by the Taliban they were on red alert 24 hours a day seven days a week for every one of those six months And through that entire period the man in sole charge was Maj Lewis Here is his story a riveting first person account of incredible bravery telling what it is like to hav. This book really stands out from the usual fair of books being written

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Sake of his men as physical and emotional exhaustion kick in Readers will experience the highs and lows of a tour through the eyes of a leader of men in as close to real time as possible At the end of the tour Maj Lewis was awarded the Military Cross for his leadership and gallantry over the tour His citation read Resolute in defense tenacious and courageous in attack Lewis has set an outstanding example to B Company at significant personal risk and has been an inspiration to all ranks He still serves in the Parachute Regimen. If you want to know about the pressures of leadership then this book do The Avion My Uncle Flew you want to know about the pressures of leadership then this book do


10 thoughts on “Company Commander

  1. says:

    This book really stands out from the usual fair of books being written about “the Stan” For a start it is actually a diary or journal written in first person by the author This gives the book a feel of small snappy chunks of text rather than lengthy chapters which make you feel that you can just read about one day before putting it down Which given the subject matter is a good thing Russ Lewis has delivered a book full of thoughts and observations which are refreshing as they are thought provoking The book is light on superlative descriptions of combat which other books deliver in spades; instead it provides the depth needed to understand the issues faced when you are in a position of command in an environment as unforgiving as Afghanistan Many entries are nothing than “washed clothes read a book chatted to the lads” type of thing but rather than being dull this in fact helps us understand the frustrations and long periods of boredom the lads and Russ has to endure between the moments of sheer adrenaline fueled terrorexcitement of a contact Although Russ doesn't dwell on the contacts in too much detail there is enough there to keep you interested and when casualties happen which inevitably they do you can feel the conflict on the page as Russ makes the decisions he does His battle between what he ‘needs to do’ and what he ‘wants to do’But this book also delivers the small stories those that would otherwise be lost as life moves on Those witty little incidents which makes the British suaddie so uniue; that ability to laugh when others might cry My personal favorites are the goat and mortar man dilemma having served in a few infantry battalions myself in my time I really can relate to this the story of the missing socks and of course who can forget Russ’s bad decision not to lock up the breakfast cereal This book is not about the right or wrongs of war in Afghanistan It is not a review of how the tactics or strategies of the war are being developed and implemented This is not a book about what it is like to be in a firefight although Russ covers it well This is a book about leadership the loneliness of Command and how and why the Company Commander of ‘B’ Company 2 Para made the decisions he did in one of the most demanding places on the planet


  2. says:

    This is an intensely honest and fascinating account of a six month infantry tour in Helmand in Summer 2008 It is particularly poignant because the British Government had no clear mission in Afghanistan and much has been written and debated about it then and sinceTo put B Company 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment’s supreme efforts in context General David D McKiernan Commander of the International Security Assistance Force ISAF said in 2009 The NATO mission in Afghanistan reuires a full commitment by those with the capabilities and capacity to fight an elusive enemy in a very challenging terrain Regrettably ISAF continues to lack sufficient forces and enabling capabilities in several key areasOne of the real problems was that the real command training and logistics of the Taliban was undertaken from the Northwest Frontier Provinces NWFP Federally Administered Tribal Areas FATA and Baluchistanmainly in Pakistan But that is another political storyAll Major Russ Lewis and his men could do was fulfil the mission they had been given and this I should say surprised me background I was an officer in the Royal Engineers in the 1970s B Company's mission as given to Major Lewis by his CO was todefend the immediate area around FOB Forward Operating Base Inkerman and interdict enemy forces in the north and south in order to protect the reconstruction and development zone within Sangin Dissecting this mission is another debate but how would B Company know when this mission was achieved?The book is based on Russ's diary and I have immense admiration for someone who managed to write a diary in those conditions and under such mental and physical pressure The problem with a diary based narrative can be that you can get cliché ridden prose but apart from the oft repeated he the CO seems on good form I wanted much information than that but perhaps he is being discrete the author avoids too many well worn military phrasesThe descriptions of actions weapons and personnel are full of detail and characterisation and are gripping If nothing else this book gives a wonderful perspective of the all arms battle with Sappers artillery mortars belt fed grenade launchers Javelin missiles and GMLRS GPS multi launch rocket system Apaches and an F 16 being deployed coolly and at appropriate times Infantry weapons like the GPMG Minimi Sharpshooter338 sniper rifle and50 calibre Browning are also described and deployed brilliantlyHis admiration of his own junior officers NCOs and Toms shines through He is eually complimentary about the other units in support of B Company and 2 PARA Royal Engineers the Royal Artillery's 7RHA although they call themselves 7 Para RHA 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery REME and the Viking troop He never revealed the unit which the latter came from – cavalry? All we know is that the officer in charge was James Were there others like the Royal Logistics Corps?There are some great moments and phraseology The previous OC from the Royal Marines advised him to pack his pistol to the meeting with local Afghans the shura Afghans appreciate symbols of power and a pistol is uite a good one The Royal Marines had a simple definition of FOB Inkerman the shit magnetThe sheer grind of living working and mounting complex company level operations in such primitive conditions and in temperatures up to 40 degrees C in daytime over six months trench toilets; solar showers; open air cookhouse; few fresh rations is portrayed perceptively without a hint of complaintMajor Lewis's exchanges with the RegimentalBattle Group 2IC over supplies and the detail of Battle Group level orders are conveyed with euanimity I bet at the time the language was not so restrainedHis relationships with all ranks from his senior NCOs – the CSM Company Sergeant Major CMS Company uartermaster Sergeant and Sergeant Train in command of the helipad and resupply – to the Regimental Chaplain signallers and private soldiers “Toms” were relayed expertly and were fascinatingThere were details that were missing like a layout of Inkerman itself maybe omitted for security reasons and the way that the Sapper sub unit from 9 Independent Parachute Suadron RE operated alongside the infantry but those are minor uibbles He credited the Sappers with a few small triumphs – finding weapon caches destroying ordnance and small arms searching for booby traps in compounds obscuring enemy fire positionsOverall a great read and a triumph It conveys so accurately his own state of mind his feelings as well as the factual details and the curiously British understatement of hardship danger and sheer bloody mindedness to get the job done It is a good addition to the annals of The Parachute Regiment as well and it portrays the ualities we have come to expect from the Paras fortitude limitless stamina determination and coolness under fire


  3. says:

    A day by day account of a 6 month tour in Afghanistan as Company Commander B Company 2 PARA It's very interesting but it's really day by day as a diary and could be boring I served 3 years later in Afghanistan and I found it very deep and it gives you the feeling of being there Recomended as a profesional reading for army officers


  4. says:

    Excellent book Reads like a diary very simplistic and lacking the big picture feel of some memoirs The details are very simple and repetitive That said it's still gripping and incredibly inspirational


  5. says:

    A good read for anyone interested in military and war It is an honest and sometimes plain account of Russell's time in theatre


  6. says:

    This was a well written account of the life of a detached company from 2Para during their tour of Afghanistan Based at FOB Inkerman they are constantly on the frontlinehe takes us through the operation in journal style starting from the uiet period during the harvest as they settle in through full on war with set piece company uick attacks and then the cool down towards the end of their deployment as winter approachesOf interest is the myriad of demands on his time dealing with the physical state of the FOB during a DV outbreak being key and also the numerous support assets he gets to play withThere are some annoying aspects most particularly his references to NLP and his warrior meditations All in however this is a thoroughly good book dealing with the key level of command He deals both with direction from above whilst being free to make his own plans true mission command in action


  7. says:

    If you want to know about the pressures of leadership then this book does well to get it across you really get the sense of how hard senior officers push themselves to effectively lead their men whilst also maintaining a real personal care for each man Clearly tours are very tough in Afghanistan reading this type of book only raises your respect for all the men who've been asked to do it


  8. says:

    I think this was a very interesting book seeing it is one of the few books about the British Armed Forces in Afghanistan I would definetly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the British Army even the slightest bit


  9. says:

    Considered a classic report from the frontlines and it's a good read but uite matter of fact devoid of much emotionIt could probably have been fleshed out considerably but oh well still an interesting read


  10. says:

    I really enjoyed this book It gave a great insight into company command and leadership in general The book was uite monotonous at times despite all the action but I guess this was a reflection of the one of the mail trials of being deployed in the military boredom Highly recommended