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Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062066390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062066398
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,030 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Best-Selling Author Brad Thor Reviews Outlaw Platoon

How close can we get to really knowing what it's like to succeed in combat? To fight, to survive—even thrive—while facing enemy fire every other day? To get on-the-job training in what it takes to be a strong, decisive commander? These are a few of the things that make Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell and John Bruning such a kick-ass read.

Two of the grittiest, most intense tales of courage and camaraderie under fire that I own are Black Hawk Down and Lone Survivor. Now I have a third: Outlaw Platoon. It’s the Black Hawk Down for the 21st Century. It is an absolutely gripping, edge-of-your-seat ride that follows these men when the fates foolishly attempt to stack the deck against them. This book has Hollywood blockbuster written all over it. But there’s much more than just the guns-blazing action. It is an epic tale of leadership, heroism, and the bond among warriors who ply their deadly trade with a deceivingly simple mandate—to kill the enemy and return home together alive. It’s an absolute must read!

Brad Thor Interviews Sean Parnell

Brad Thor: What was your first day like on the ground in Afghanistan’s eastern frontier?

Sean Parnell: The moment I arrived at Forward Operating Base Bermel, the insurgents attacked the base with rocket fire. They missed the FOB, but hit a local village, killing and wounding a number of children. The villagers rushed their injured to our front gate, and I ran to help. Our troops wanted to help all of the children, but the Afghan fathers insisted the boys be treated first. I grabbed a little girl anyways and sprinted for the aid station. She bled out in my arms as I ran.

That was my introduction to combat. All I was, all I had been, changed in that instant.

Thor: What surprised you about the enemy in Afghanistan?

Parnell: We found an enemy that wasn’t a bunch of farmers with leftover weapons, but one of the finest light infantry forces in the world. These fighters were brilliantly led, seasoned warriors. Some had spent their entire lives in combat—stretching back to the Soviet War in the 1980’s. They were elusive, heavily armed and extremely well equipped with the latest armor-piercing bullets, anti-tank weapons, body armor, and other gear essential to ground operations.

They also had no mercy. None. Their objective was to overrun an American platoon, behead everyone and stick our heads on stakes. In battle, we heard them on the radio ordering their teams to do this, and we saw the huge knives they carried for the task.

They did their best to overrun us three times. But we were better. Just barely.

Thor: Describe the bond forged in battle—the loyalty and bravery you saw and why you think that’s vital to success.

Parnell: During my 16 months in combat I saw the noblest aspects of the human spirit, thanks to the bond that developed among the men. We realized that the only way we could survive this crucible was to remain committed to each other. Not for ourselves, but to ensure that we would survive to see our loved ones back home again.

Thor: How would you describe the men in your platoon?

Parnell: In a word: unique. Our army mirrors the country it’s sworn to protect, and I think the Outlaws reflected America’s greatest strength: diversity. My men came from all walks of life. They believed in American exceptionalism with every fiber of their being. And if they were similar in any way, it was in this ideal.

Review

“The range of emotions that Sean Parnell summons in Outlaw Platoon [is] stunning. A nuanced, compelling memoir . . . Parnell shows he’s a gifted, brave storyteller.” (Pittsburgh Tribune)

Outlaw Platoon put me back on the battlefield again. It’s a heartfelt story that shows how very different people can be thrown together in combat and find a way to make it work. Parnell and the soldiers who fought beside him are all courageous heroes—real bad asses.” (Chris Kyle, author of American Sniper)

“Two of the most intense tales of courage under fire I own are Black Hawk Down and Lone Survivor. I now have a third, Outlaw Platoon. It’s an absolutely gripping, edge-of-your-seat ride.” (Brad Thor, author of Full Black)

Outlaw Platoon is an utterly gripping account of what our soldiers endure on the front lines—the frustrations, the fear, the loneliness. . . Here, in these pages, are the on-the-ground realities of a war we so rarely witness on news broadcasts” (Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried)

Outlaw Platoon is an exceptional look into the mind of a platoon leader in Afghanistan; Captain Parnell shares his experiences of leadership, loss, and aggressive military tactics. You can really feel the bonds forged between these brothers in arms as the battle plays out” (Marcus Luttrell, author of Lone Survivor)

“At times, I forgot I was reading about a war as I was drawn up in the drama the same way you [are] when reading Krakauer’s Into Thin Air . . . This is a book of probing honesty, wrenching drama and courage.” (Doug Stanton, author of Horse Soldiers)

“[A] soulful story of men at war . . . Outlaw Platoon shows us that the love and brotherhood forged in the fires of combat are the most formidable quaities a unit can possess.” (Steven Pressfield, author of Gates of Fire)

Outlaw Platoon is expertly told by a man who braved the heat of battle time and time again. An epic story as exacting as it is suspenseful, it reveals the bravery and dedication of our armed service men and women around the world.” (Clive Cussler)

“This book is more than just a rip-roaring combat narrative: it is a profoundly moving exploration into the nature and evolution of the warrior bond forged in desperate, against-all-odds battles. A significant book, not to be missed.” (Jack Coughlin, author of Shooter: The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper)

Outlaw Platoon is the real deal. It’s a terrific tale of combat leadership that deserves to be studied by all small-unit leaders. The narrative goes beyond the battlefield to depict the maddening nature of the war and the grit of those who selflessly protect us.” (Bing West, author of No True Glory)

“Sean Parnell reaches past the band-of-brothers theme to a place of brutal self-awareness . . . [he] never flinches from a fight, nor the hard questions of a messy war.” (Kevin Sites, author of In the Hot Zone: One Man, One Year, Twenty Wars)

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Customer Reviews

Couldn't put the book down, read it for hours at a time and finished it in a few days.
Jocky W
To Sean Parnell and all the soldiers in Outlaw Platoon, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO THIS COUNTRY!
John M
Outlaw Platoon is an incredible book that is very well written and draws you in immediately.
Heather

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

271 of 279 people found the following review helpful By Robert Pinholt on March 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a member of Outlaw Platoon, I can not stress enough the importance of this book to our nation's forgotten infantry soldiers. Outlaw Platoon is an honest and compelling account of life and death in the trenches and does true justice to our combat experience.

As you read this post, there are thousands of men on battlefields around the world killing and suffering for the preservation of American ideals. As a civilized society and beneficiaries of our nation's might, we must meet their sacrifices with unwavering support. It is not enough for us to adhere a yellow ribbon to our cars, to shake a soldier's hand, or even to send care packages to the front. More than anything, these men need our understanding. They need to know that we are aware of their plight, that we are invested in their success, and that we are willing to help shoulder the burdens of combat, just by listening and caring.

Outlaw Platoon is a window into the world of America's infantry warriors. In the book, Sean puts you on the ground in Afghanistan, straps 100 pounds of gear on your back, and injects you into the fight. However, he also introduces you to the human side of the war, highlighting the exceptional diversity of the platoon and the strength that it generates, as well as the horrifying realities of life for Afghani civilians.

Not only is Outlaw Platoon a thrilling, emotionally-charged read, it is a tool for healing the wounded souls of our discarded patriots and reuniting the American people with the guardians of our way of life. It is our undeniable duty as Americans to share the load of our foreign wars, and by simply reading Outlaw Platoon with a compassionate heart, we are doing our part for the men we put in harm's way.
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Smc on February 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is fantastic. It is so well written you feel like you know the men in the story personally and you are right there experiencing what they go through. You don't need to be a huge military buff to read it either. The book exposes war and the bond it forges between the men who fight in it. It evokes so many emotions highs and lows---on top of that it is a real page turner. I finished the book in a few days, I couldn't put it down. It is a story of an amazing group of men and I'm so glad their story has been told! Read this book, I promise you won't regret it!
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53 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Kresta on February 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
You will feel like you are fighting along side the men of outlaw platoon in the this wonderfully written book about the war in Afghanistan. The author, Sean Parnell, takes you through his tour in country with wit, sadness, humor, and raw emotion. You will feel it all, as if it is happening to you. It is a great read about some great men. It is a book unlike any other of its kind. I have recommended this book to many and will continue to do so. Don't take my word for it though, buy the book and see for yourself. It is well worth it.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By d burns on March 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From the first sentence I was mesmerized by Outlaw Platoon's story. I'm a woman and I don't think I've ever read a military book, but I saw Sean Parnell on Fox and thought it looked like an interesting story. I couldn't put it down. I finished it days ago and I can't stop thinking about the men of Outlaw Platoon. There's a lot of action in the book, but the heart of the story is about the men and the relationships formed while at war. A beautiful telling of hope, integrity, courage, trust, selfless love, and total dedication.
I've always loved and appreciated our military, but Outlaw Platoon pushes my feelings of gratitude to a whole new level.
A must read!
Thank you Outlaw Platoon for your service and your sacrifice. And without giving the story away, may God bless the elderly gentleman that risked everything to protect our beloved military.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Will B on February 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Outlaw Platoon is a brutally honest read on what our infantry soldiers are experiencing on the front lines of the Afganistan war. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in what it would be like to be combat leader or anyone who likes a good read.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having experienced war, I can say that Outlaw Platoon is the closest to reality of all the war books I have read. It took guts to put down what actually happens and how it affects the mind and the body. I could almost feel and smell the fear, anxiety, love and hatred one experiences when their life is on the line. The bond these men formed in the midst of a deadly environment, so brutal, goes far beyond that of a mother and child. It is with us forever.

This book should be mandatory reading for every politician. Maybe, just maybe they will not be so quick to send our troops into "fog of war."
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A reader on March 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Like the author, I am an infantryman who served in Afghanistan, although under much calmer and safer circumstances. This book is the real deal. The author describes the nature of the country perfectly. This is a great description of how the world is at the platoon level in Afghanistan at that time in the war.
If you are thinking of purchasing a book like this, you are probably looking for an interesting story, full of blood, guts, and heroism. It is there, in spades. If you have served with soldiers, you know there are several types of this genre. There are the antiseptic stories that describe weapons and tactics in great detail. There are the ones where the author goes on about me, me, me, all the way through. The very best stories show the love and respect the author had for his comrades. He talks about them more than himself and obsesses on making sure you can see his fellow soldiers as real people. Those are the very best ones. This is one of those.

I should also mention that some credit goes to the coauthor, John Bruning. He was the coauthor for the superb "House to House", with David Bellavia, and wrote a great book on Iraq titled "The Devil's Sandbox." I had never paid much attention to who the coauthor was before; this is the exception to that rule. Five stars.
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