If You Like “New Army Officer’s Survival Guide,” You’ll Love These!

Starting today, we’re in training. New Army Officer’s Survival Guide comes out February 12! It’s only 4 short weeks, but we can’t wait. These three military titles are our lifeline until then.

Over the Top by Arthur Guy Empey

Arthur Guy Empey served as an American in the British Army in the early days of World War I. After fighting in the trenches, Empey began writing short stories of his overseas military experience. Wounded in the line of duty and discharged soon after, Empey returned to America and compiled his stories into one volume entitled Over the Top. Published in 1917 only weeks after the United States declared war on Germany and the Central Powers, Over the Top quickly became a bestseller, bringing fame and notoriety to the previously unknown author. An estimated one million copies were printed from May 1917 through November 1918. To date, Empey’s American point of view of fighting as a British soldier makes Over the Top the most readable and engaging introduction to the experience of trench fighting in print.

Turn Back Before Baghdad by Laurence Jolidon

In the early morning hours of January 12, 1991, telephones rang in the rooms of a dozen or so newspaper and wire service reporters at the Dhahran International, the Meridian, and other hotels in Eastern Saudi Arabia. War with the regime of Saddam Hussein over the oil province of Kuwait had become inevitable. The calls, telling the reporters to grab their gear and meet military public affairs officers in hotel lobbies, triggered the first media pools dispatched to cover Operation Desert Storm.

Jolidon’s work captures an important moment that will be studied by historians who examine the role of the media in wartime, and relations between the military and civilian reporters. Whatever history’s final judgment on the utility of the pool system, it is undeniable that the relationship between the Pentagon and the press has not been the same since.

Fighting Talk: Forty Maxims on War, Peace, and Strategy by Colin Gray

Colin Gray presents an inventive treatise on the nature of strategy, war, and peace, organized around forty maxims. This collection of mini essays will forearm politicians, soldiers, and the attentive general public against many—probably most— fallacies that abound in contemporary debates about war, peace, and security. While one can never guarantee strategic success, a strategic education led by the judgments in these maxims increases the chances that one’s errors will be small rather than catastrophic.

The maxims are grouped according to five clusters. “War and Peace” tackles the larger issues of strategic history that drive the demand for the services of strategic thought and practice. “Strategy” presses further, into the realm of strategic behavior, and serves as a bridge between the political focus of part one and the military concerns that follow. “Military Power and Warfare” turns to the pragmatic business of military performance: operations, tactics, and logistics. Part four, “Security and Insecurity,” examines why strategy is important, including a discussion of the nature, dynamic character, and functioning of world politics. Finally, “History and the Future” is meant to help strategists better understand the processes of historical change.

What are you pre-reading for the release of New Army Officer’s Survival Guide? Leave a comment below or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share. And don’t miss out on our other exciting New Army Officer’s Survival Guide events:

Journalism and Jolidon by Ron Martz

Of all the many strange and fascinating characters I met during my 40-year career in the newspaper business, perhaps none was more focused on the business of journalism than the late Larry Jolidon, author, editor, and original publisher of Turn Back Before Baghdad.

            I first met Larry, then working for USA TODAY, in the fall of 1990, when Cox Newspapers dispatched me to Saudi Arabia to report on the buildup of coalition forces preparing to oust Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.

I was not quite sure what to make of Larry at first meeting. He had this head of wild, curly hair, a sly smile that made you wonder what he knew that you didn’t, and an easy way of conversing with anyone at any level of military or civilian life that I came to admire and tried to emulate.

Larry was 10 years my senior, but we bonded quickly because we were fellow travelers, both of us having served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and later working at The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, although at different times.

With Larry, the priority every day was the story, whatever that story might be, and the story was always about people, not processes or procedures.

Although he was incredibly competitive when he was reporting a story, Larry was always willing to lend a hand to fellow journalists. During the run-up to the first Gulf War, Larry took on the thankless task of print pool coordinator, working with the military and his often obstreperous colleagues in the print media to determine who would be assigned to what press pools when the war started. He handled it with patience and good humor, despite numerous complaints and a lot of whining from his fellow journalists.

He did what he could to mollify as many people as possible, but in the end, the pool experiment was a failure because of the military’s inability to get stories back to the numerous print publications in a timely fashion. Once the war ended, Larry boxed up hundreds of stories that never saw print, sent them home, and created his own publishing firm, Inkslinger Press, to preserve them for history. The result is Turn Back Before Baghdad.
Larry’s loyalty to his fellow war reporters was evident again in Somalia in 1992. Following one reporting trip to a refugee camp, Larry and several other journalists were hurrying to get back to the relative safety of the capital of Mogadishu before one of the armed militia groups that roamed the roads after dark waylaid them.

Spotting something amiss on one side of the road, Larry stopped and found a wrecked SUV and another crew of journalists, some badly injured. Ignoring the approaching darkness, Larry supervised getting the more seriously injured stabilized and loaded onto the back of his truck before speeding off to Mogadishu and medical care. Larry later learned that the most seriously injured of the bunch, a French photographer, lost an eye but likely would have died had treatment been delayed any longer.

Larry was an old-school journalist committed to his craft.

Said Larry’s good friend and frequent traveling companion Mike Hedges: “No one I know embodied the qualities it took to be an extraordinary war correspondent more than Larry Jolidon.”