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on July 31, 2012
Painstakingly researched and elegantly written account of the events that reshaped our nation. I have been waiting for a book like "In The Shadow Of Greatness" to be crafted for years. A perspective that combines several facets of firsthand experience, strength and hope. It is magical when you are able to be transported to these events through the descriptive narratives of the writers. "In The Shadow Of Greatness" delivers.
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on March 16, 2013
In the Shadow of Greatness is an excellent collection of first-hand narratives about their time as junior officers in the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. Society's portrayal of modern veterans of the War on Terror seems to fall into two categories: soporific hero worship and victimization. Neither of these two stereotypes are accurate in telling the civilian public what it was really like.

There are a wide variety of perspectives from men and women in all the major warfare communities in this book: the dull reality of war punctuated by moments of sheer terror, the frustration that serving as a Marine Corps or Naval officer is not as "great" as the recruiting videos made it out to be, and the stinging feeling of self-doubt. While it is difficult as a junior officer to recognize your sacrifice and contributions as you are getting yelled at by your executive officer on day 112 of an underway, the reflection provided in these stories tells a great and compelling series of tales in hindsight.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in becoming a military officer or Americans who are interested in learning more about what a day in the life of the military is like. While I was an Officer Candidate School guy, I too received a commission as a Naval Officer in 2002 and was very proud to have served with this men and women and done my part. 5 stars!
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on July 29, 2013
My son is a new plebe at the Naval Academy so I was very interested to read the personal stories of mids who have gone on from the Academy. Several things I noticed in reading this book- all of the personal stories were so well written, very articulate and passionate about their experiences. I also learned that the academy is the ground layer of preparation for these future soldiers and their personal experiences after academy life really drew on that foundation. It was apparent in every story. The most heart breaking were the stories written by mothers because their sons had been kiiled-again, very intense but in both cases, the mothers saw both the amazing committment of their individual son to the service of the country and the recognition of that service by others. Its' something that not all of us possess. The other thing I learned was how unprepared linguistically our mids were -several stories talked about using intepreters in the mid East and often the anxiery that went with this reliance-not always sure trust was well placed. This is a really well written book and i think should be read by those who are considering service academy education and career but also for their family members. For non service members, this is an amazing glimpse into what motivates our young men and women to pursue service to country.
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on November 8, 2017
Written for military and civilian alike, their stories from the Navy and Marine Corps are moving, inspiring, and at times heartbreaking. The only part I didn't like is that the contributors continued to bring up how "great" USNA is/was and at some point I was like "Okay, I get it."
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on October 12, 2013
I bought the book because I'd received a Superintendent's Appointment to the US Naval Academy Class of 2002 after completing a course of study with the Naval Academy Foundation. Although I didn't go to Navy, I wanted to see if I knew any of the contributors, which I did. In the Shadow of Greatness recounts tales of Academy life and stories from the field by the first officers minted after the 9/11 attacks. The stories are as diverse as America itself. There is no "Chesty" Puller, no Admiral Nimitz, nor John Paul Jones tale of monumental triumph. Just college students thrust into command, holding human lives and their own destinies in their hands amid battle, natural disaster, and the perils of daily military activity, accentuated by the ever-present reality of asymmetric warfare. Stories that inspire both in triumph and in tragedy await the reader in In the Shadow of Greatness.
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on July 29, 2012
Tom Brokaw is correct. All Americans should read this book.
This book is about leadership. The book is the story of a generation

This generation was the first to graduate after September 11th. The entire generation has a cultural value of courage. Case in point - At the movie shootings in Aurora Colorado, three of the deceased instinctively shielded young women from the bullets. Alex Teves, 24, and Matt McQuinn, 27, were civilians. Jonathan Blunk, 26, was a Navy veteran, with plans to re-enlist.

Whether you served in the military or not, this book will resonate because it is the story of the next greatest generation.

 In the Shadow of Greatness: Voices of Leadership, Sacrifice, and Service from America's Longest War
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on November 23, 2012
This book provides a glimpse of life at USNA, but focuses on the challenges and experiences graduates face as young officers in the Navy and Marine Corps in a time of war. The Class of 2002 was the first class to graduate after 9/11 and has faced since that time a nonstop cycle of training, deployment, and fighting for over ten years. This book compiles a series of short stories from those who graduated, or a survivor of a graduate, that describes their experiences.

As an '87 grad, the book gave me insight into a young officer's perspective on warfare that differed greatly from my own experiences in fighting a more conventional style war in Desert Shield/Desert Storm and having prepared throughout my time at USNA to fight the Soviets. Today's Midshipmen train for a completely different kind of war within an Academy filled with technology that our class only dreamed of back in the '80s.

Well done, '02. Carry on!
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on October 16, 2012
I never set out to write a review for this book, I just wanted to thank a childhood classmate for giving me a peek into the life of the true leaders of this wonderful country we call home. How I felt when I read this book is simple... I enjoyed every heartbreaking, inspiring, and humbling moment. The stories of the mothers that spoke for their sons hit home most and it gives a gut wrenching reality check of what this war has put every American through. All I can do is thank you (John Ennis) and everyone who put this book together for letting us live in your world even for a brief moment and give us the education we need to really appreciate the courage and bravery of every person serving in this war. This book moved me to tears, so thank you for sharing.
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on September 21, 2012
I learned much about the young people that go to our military academies - specifically Annapolis. Amazing group share their school and post graduate experiences in the very patriotic book. Reading their very personal stories made me very proud of each and every one and for all of our young people. Their dedication to their country and to each other is very praise worthy.

The book is well written and very informative.
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on September 8, 2012
My oldest son graduated from USNA in 2003 and many of these men were in school with him. It just came out and I was told of it by a member of this class. I can't wait for my son to see it and see if he knows anyone. This group of midshipmen was impacted by 9-11 and so was the entire Academy as we went there prior to 9-11 and since. I think this book will serve as a reminder of the event that changed America and the students entering the military.
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