"Colonel Gole is the real article . . . A dedicated, accomplished officer . . . A born storyteller. He writes with verve and clarity." --
Soldiering: Observations from Korea, Vietnam, and Safe Placesby Henry G. Gole
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A career in the U. S. Army in the second half of the twentieth century was a passageway to every conceivable locale, hospitable and decidedly otherwise. Henry Gole's experiences lead the reader through the geography of one such career. The recollections of a professional soldier, Henry Gole's account is a humorous and interesting tale of a man who loved soldiering but not necessarily the organization in which he soldiered. He feels the gratification of having served in the U. S. Army during an era when, personal doubts and political controversy notwithstanding, the world depended on America and its armed forces to preserve freedom. He offers the unique perspective of a member of the "silent generation," those who immediately followed the World War II generation but find themselves often overlooked by historians and the media. From 1952 through 1988, covering the ordinary rifleman's view in Korea to the Green Beret's war in Vietnam, Gole also provides fascinating insight into the professional military at war and how these professionals relate to each other, both under great stress and during periods of decompression. Containing a wealth of leadership lessons that will serve as an invaluable guide for junior NCOs and officers alike, this thoughtful and introspective warrior has also written a moving tribute to the brave soldiers with whom he served.
"An honest, forthright, even curmudgeonly soldier's memories across a turbulent, stirring half century."—Russell Weigley, author of The American Way of War
"Colonel Gole is the real article . . . A dedicated, accomplished officer . . . A born storyteller. He writes with verve and clarity."—Allan R. Millett, Coauthor of A War to be Won: Fighting the Second World War
"[Gole] chronicles his life and times with modesty and self-deprecating humor but also with a clear compassion for his fellow soldiers. He displays a keen insight into the organizational dynamics of the Army, an institution in which he takes a great deal of pride. . . . Gole has written an account of his service that will particularly resonate with those who soldiered in the period from the Korean War through Vietnam and its aftermath. Soldiering is accurately titled; it is about the essence of the profession of arms, at its core a profession of ordinary people performing heroically in extraordinary circumstances. The literature of the profession is enriched by the observations of this old soldier, observations that also have relevance for today's warrior."—On Point: The Journal of Army History
"Gole . . . is a story-teller of note, an officer with extensive combat service and equipped with superb credentials as a writer and historian. . . . A modest man, he chronicles his life and times with modesty and self-deprecating humor, but also with a clear compassion for his fellow soldiers. He displays a keen insight into the organizational dynamics of the Army, an institution in which he takes a great deal of pride. . . . The literature of the profession is enriched by the observations of this old soldier, observations that have relevance for today's warrior."—Military Collector & Historian
"The author provides a vivid portrayal of soldiering, honors a parade of deserving individuals, and adds more understanding of our Army operations during the third quarter of the last century. . . . A worthy addition to the Army library."—Parameters
"Gole's strength lies in his portrayal of the soldier's view of events and the feel of matters at that point, which other writers might describe as where the rubber meets the road."—Army
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Meet the Author
Henry G. Gole, Col., USA (Ret.), Ph.D., fought in Korea as an enlisted rifleman and served two tours in Vietnam as a Special Forces officer. He has taught at West Point, the U.S. Army War College, the University of Maryland, and Dickinson College. He is the author of The Road to Rainbow: Army Planning for Global War, 1934–1940. He lives in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
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