Outlaw Platoon, Best Infantry in OEF Book Yet!

Posted on: October 19th, 2013 by Will Rodriguez 12 Comments

“OUTLAW PLATOON, Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan by Sean Parnell

HANDS DOWN, THE BEST BOOK I’VE EVER READ ABOUT AFGHANISTAN and I’ve read all the “bestsellers”.   I can’t think of a better book to recommend to anyone who wants to understand combat, the brotherhood of war and selflessness or be reminded of what it’s like to be on a combat outpost in Afghanistan with men you’ll never forget…

This is a classic up there with Black Hawk Down.

Written by Sean Parnell (w/John Bruning) about his Infantry platoon’s experiences in Afghanistan circa 2006 during a 15 month tour.  It is inspiring and relates the day to day experiences of the no glory conventional Infantry. His 43 man platoon’s actions garnished seven bronze stars (five for valor), 12 ARCOMs with “V” and 32 purple hearts.   There was no shortage of action.

The book relates the adrenaline rush of close combat, the personal pain of losing a friend and the unique camaraderie shared between Infantrymen all punctuated by the sounds of battle.   I loved that Parnell wrote about his troops nonstop and not about himself.  He pulls no punches and lays out the incredible examples of selflessness and heroism right next to the occasional “shammers” and cowards.

There is no shortage of action.  The description of what a 60mm round does to an enemy machine gun position or what happens when a .50 cal round strikes an insurgent ambushing your unit sounds like the MasterCard punch line, “Priceless”.

It is an intense, spellbinding and action packed story. It made me marvel, laugh and cry (“man tears”).

Read all 400 pages in less than 24 hours. Stayed up until 05:00 to finish it.

Simply put this book was written by a hero but wasn’t about him. He used 399 pages to extol his soldiers and the spirit of the American fighting man. I want to meet Sean Parnell and shake his hand.”

Be Respectful, Candid and Pertinent. No Posers, No Trolls…
  • clluelo

    I am now going to buy this book

  • LauraKinCA

    This was one of my favorite books… have read it once, and listened to the Audible version twice…. so far. I was constantly impressed with with Sean Parnell and what he was willing to share about his struggles as a young officer facing combat, his dedication to his men, and that he wrote the book to tell their story, not his.

  • LauraKinCA  I REALLY need to talk to the folks at the Maneuver Center and get that on the reading list.  EVERY junior officer should love his men and serve them like Parnell obviously did.  
    I think this is a classic up there with McDonough’s “Platoon Leader” which was about his experiences as a new platoon leader in Vietnam.  That was on the Infantry School’s reading list back in the mide 80’s when I started my career.

  • ArcticWarrior

    Its a great book. Accurate portrayals, warts and all.

  • steelhorse

    Sounds like a great book on my winter list

  • Ed Swaner

    Downloaded it on the Kindle last night and started reading it.  Even though I’m just one chapter in, it’s good reading so far.  Thanks for putting up the review, Will.

  • 5000area375

    Major I think I have to disagree with No glory infantry. I believe all glory to the infantry and infantryman. I will definitely add this to my packed reading list.

  • GodblessUSSF

    majrod LauraKinCA Damn. I have to go get this one after reading what you two had to say about it.

  • BSchroe

    Thanks for info I will find this book and read.

  • BSchroe Great read and some great deals now since it was released awhile ago and just wasn’t appreciated for the book it is.

  • BSchroe

    Reading the book . It is excellent. A well-trained ,well-led unit that is flexible.

  • BSchroe

    One hell of a book . I finished last night . A book that needs to be read by everyone to try to understand what has been going on in Afghanistan . I have read here and there about the 10th Mountain division and all of it good. This book explined how one of the battalions operated , illustrated with almost the log book of patrol action especially LT Parnell’s third platoon.
      Lt Parnell described the Taliban as very capable light infantry . And it seemed to me that they were also very well armed.Machine guns ,rpg, mortars, 107 mm rockets . The descriptions of the many firefights of the third platoon is fascinating reading .