- Paperback: 484 pages
- Publisher: Birch Grove Publishing; 1st edition (2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 097440716X
- ISBN-13: 978-0974407166
- Package Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,528,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Adjust Fire: Transforming to Win in Iraq Paperback – 2008
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Adjust Fire is a remarkable account of adaptation to the brutality and complexity of warfare in the 21st century. The exhilarating, exhausting realities of counterinsurgency warfare come to life in Lt. Col. Michael Baumann's brilliant account of Task Force 1-21. --LT. COL. PAUL YINGLING, author of A Failure of Generalship and current Commander of 1-21 Field Artillery
Adjust Fire is a tremendously valuable book. While all the pundits were home playing strategist and the journalists were judging warfare from the stratosphere, Lt. Col. Mike Baumann and his soldiers were fighting in the streets of Baghdad. This is the best book yet on the grit-and-gut-level challenges our troops have faced in Iraq. Magnificently honest, Adjust Fire is a work of great integrity. --RALPH PETERS, author of Wars of Blood and Faith
Lt. Col. Michael Baumann writes about hard work, sacrifice and understanding of the global enemy we face at a time where the fog of national pessimism and gloom block our path toward victory. Baumann was up to his eyeballs fighting a counter insurgency before anyone at the DOD would admit there was an insurgency to fight, yet his take is anything but negative. Baumann is a commander any father would want their son to serve under. There is no substitute for Baumann s leadership style: from the front, honest and always with heart. --DAVID BELLAVIA, author of House to House: An Epic Memoir of War, and Medal of Honor nominee
About the Author
Michael A. Baumann is a 1985 Distinguished Military Graduate of the University of Minnesota Army ROTC program. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota and a M.S. in Education Administration from Texas A&M University. He served twenty years on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Army holding numerous command and staff positions in field artillery and infantry units. In Iraq he commanded 1-21 Field Artillery, 5th Brigade Combat Team, First Cavalry Division, in combat operating in the Al Rashid district of Baghdad. Today he works as the Financial Controller for Saint Paul Public Schools and resides in Lakeville, Minnesota.
Top customer reviews
In his new book "Adjust Fire: Transforming to Win in Iraq" retired Lt. Col. Michael A. Baumann gives readers more than just a glimpse of the real Iraq. He chronicles his tour in a Baghdad neighborhood commanding an Army field artillery battalion from March 2004 to March 2005 in great detail and with great insight and analysis.
This isn't just another grunt's take on the brutality of war, and it's not a general's view from the cheap seats. Baumann is a midlevel officer with the kind of command experience that gives him perspective on the big picture and the day-to-day challenges of our uniformed men and women.
Baumann takes readers through daily life in Iraq, operational planning and the emotional hardships of his command with literary skill, honesty, insight and a critical mind. Perhaps the most appealing thing about this military man's account is his transparency, a rare look at the thought process behind his daily decisions and feelings while serving as a commander.
"Adjust Fire" appeals to those familiar to military literature as well as civilians with little interest in a rigid military memoir. It offers the average reader a front-row seat to both the day-to-day action and the command center policy implementation process through a compelling narrative that evokes emotion.
Baumann's rank, education and career experience enable him to tell a story of Army operations and American involvement in Iraq that is especially relevant as we enter 2008 and one that has yet to be revealed in the military memoirs and books already on the bestseller lists.
Baumann outlines how his conventional rocket artillery battalion, like many Army units deploying to Iraq, faced a difficult transformation into a counter-insurgent infantry unit, but doesn't stop there.
Laying out what he calls the "Mahalla plan for victory," Baumann shares how democracy should be fostered at the neighborhood level in Iraq. Mahalla is the smallest area of a district neighborhood in an Iraqi city. Baumann argues that, by shifting political governance into localized councils while also establishing local policing and strengthening the Iraqi army, Iraq could begin to stand on its own.
This book will help readers understand the complexity of the war in Iraq with greater clarity and accuracy. From the politics of military command, to women in combat, to helping build Iraq's local security forces and governing bodies, Baumann provides a quality of detail, analysis and commentary that is truly unique, enlightening and compelling. He shares his insights on the U.S. military's mission, soldier training, Iraq cultural understanding and political and military leadership bringing new ideas to the table and suggesting practical changes to the present course of action that resonate with promise.
by Jeff Achen
As a military history buff, the facts and figures of ROE and policy decisions interested me greatly, but it was the poignant human interest stories revealed by the colonel that gripped me the most. The body blow Baumann took when his Number Two has a nervous break down their first day in-country and refused to fight. The defeat and guilt he felt with every soldier's death. The heartwarming bond he formed with his Iraqi "terp", Freddie, and the uphill battle he had trying to bring him back to America with him. Not to be compared to the gut-wrenching diary entry left by PFC Brandon Cantwell in Chapter 1.
This mix of policy and humanity make Adjust Fire a keeper. While you might not agree with everything Baumann says (e.g. his chapter on women in combat), you can't argue with the grit and sweat he and his men endured and the sacrifices they made for one simple principle: love of country.
Baumann provides very detailed insight into his units experience with women in direct combat roles, and frankly has changed many of the preconceived notions that I held on this subject. The females under his command did themselves proud in their service, and this is a largely untold success story in the American press.
The pride in his soldiers is evident, and while he undoubtedly had some superb junior Officers and Non Commissioned Officers in his command, they were truly fortunate to have a leader like LTC Baumann who developed and enforced standards that I'm convinced did much to ensure that the vast majority returned safely. He led from the front, and that has always been my idea of how a leader should operate.
Finally, I recommend this book to anyone that wants to learn the behind the scenes details of what preparing for, and fighting the insurgency in Iraq was like.