A very good military memoir written by Nathaniel Fick, former Captain, First Recon. USMC. Also it is a good companion piece to Generation Kill as Fick is the platoon leader of the US Marines that Evan Wright rode with during the Invasion of Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
However Fick’s time in Iraq only makes up the second half of the book first comes the story of how he became a Marine officer and the account of his first battlefield command in Afghanistan.
In addition we get at the end after First Recon.’s mission is done little moments that Evan Wright didn’t get to witness such as when Fick takes the platoon to the ancient city of Babylon for a bit of historical sightseeing. They meet a distinguished older gentleman who had been an archaeologist who gives them a guided tour of the site. The man’s first words to Fick which make him laugh are “Call me Ishmael”.
Colbert remarks that in only two years they’ve followed two of the campaigns of Alexander the Great – across Afghanistan and Iraq – but that he doubts they themselves will be remembered in the same way. Ishmael gets tipped probably what is to him a years wages by the platoon for his excellent tour.