Thursday, August 02, 2007
Book review -Squaddie, A Soldier's Story by Steven McLaughlin
Read this Excellent book,one of the best about the British Army in Iraq I've read-And written by a Rifleman in my old Battalion!-In a nutshell it's the true story of Steve McLaughlin,who at the age of 31 became the oldest recruit to ever pass the grueling Combat Infantryman's Course and joined the elite Royal Green Jackets ( My old Regiment! ) It follows his basic training and then into to sharp end of soldiering,first onto the war ravaged streets of Iraq and then into the Bandit country of South Armagh,Northern Ireland.What is unique about this book is it is written through the eyes of a normal,down to earth Rifleman,no frills,just the honest truth about what it is like to serve as a Rifleman in the British Army in the Twenty first century.After countless books written by ex members of the special forces,and officers and NCOs of the Paras and Royal Marines it is a breadth of fresh air to finally read a book telling the "Toms" story.If you want to know the REAL truth about what it's like down on your belt buckle in the mud and bullets then you must read this book!
Got a feeling I might know of the author - is he from Blackpool area ?
So there... I thought I'd give my two penn'orth before anyone wasted their baggage allowance by taking it on holiday with them as a 'poolside book'.... like wot I did!
I think the book has been out for a while, but I picked it up as an easy read before going on holiday..... Mistake! Supposedly 'an account of army life by someone who has been there and done it' ffs... Covering his 3 years service in RGJs from joining as an old knacker at 31 years, I'll have to take his word for it that he 'went there and did it' coz I got half way through the book and binned it...
Spotty 14 year olds might like it .... but anyone who has put any time in would be just glad they didn't end up serving with him. A backsquadded muppet in training, who gradually comes across as a work-shy, whingeing cluster-fcuk. Military skills!! Certainly not a 'Chosen Man' rifleman, as he's forever complaining about how complex and fiddly the SA80 is and he couldn't hit a barn door from 2ft with his riflebutt by the sound of it.
But when he ends up crying off the Assault Engineer Course and begs his Sgt not to send him on it because he doesn't like big bangs and explosives...give me strength...
(I can't for the life of me work out why it's getting some good reviews.... Are you all brain dead??
I am especially amazed to learn the author finds work as an external speaker and spokesperson!!!! I just heard him on Radio 2 (30/11/12) saying that he would be willing to take jewellery from the dead as a war trophy - this is against the law and breaks the Geneva convention...he obviously wasn't listening during his basic training and this highlights his inexperience so bluntly. This man has no credibility within the military circles and he opinion is nothing more than child like.
Regards, an infantryman with a few more stories and rather more than 3 years under his belt.
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