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

4.35 of 5 stars 4.35  ·  rating details  ·  3,122 ratings  ·  301 reviews
Former Army officer Parnell and collaborator Bruning (Shadow of the Sword) reprise Parnell’s 16 months as an infantry platoon leader in Afghanistan in this heartfelt memoir. In 2006, Parnell and his 10th Mountain Division platoon, the self-styled Outlaws, arrived in Afghanistan’s Bermel Valley, which borders Pakistan. Their mission was “to stanch the flow of enemy troops a ...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by William Morrow (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jill
Jan 05, 2013 Jill rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jill by: cEe beE

Sean Parnell at only twenty-four years of age was leader of Outlaw Platoon. The U.S. Army Airborne Ranger served for six years, retiring with two Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart. This is not just his story, but of the group of men who served with him in one of the most dangerous and inhospitable places on earth in the Bermel Valley, Afghanistan.

Written by Sean Parnell and co-authored by writer John Bruning, this is a riveting read. The descriptions of the country, the battles, the personalitie
...more
cEe beE
As a woman and a civilian, I am totally unfamiliar with the almost all masculine world of the military and the wars of their making. Outlaw Platoon gave me a peek into the mindset of a soldier, and the intense brotherhood that form among the men during war. It's both fascinating and incomprehensible to me, to live for your fellow soldiers, and be willing to die for them. Running on adrenalin, these young men go and kill, get shot at, and survive another day to fight again. And they do this for m ...more
Patrick
I am sure Outlaw Platoon will go down as one of the greatest books on Operation Enduring Freedom, among Black Hawk Down, Lone Survivor, and Robert's Ridge. Parnell is a truly gifted writer, this book shows it, and Bruning has done a stellar job as usual. You aren't so much reading the platoon's story as experiencing it.

As I've mentioned before, the writing is incredible and the battles are intense and gritty. Parnell handles the large cast very well, not once, a rare occasion for me, was I confu
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Justin Yan

Well I won't be giving many more books 5 stars from now on, but this book actually deserved a full rating. Everything else that I like will reach a maximum of 4 stars, and only those books that really please me will get 5 stars. This book is truly a special pick, even among the many military related personal narratives I have read. I have to say that this really urged me to keep reading farther and farther instead of trying to finish it so I can read the next book, write a review, and win more b

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Lisa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Theri Grevelis (actually Edwards these days)
I finished this book about 10 minutes ago; I had to take a few deep breaths and pull myself together. Sean Parnell writes a gripping and detailed account of his thoughts, his men, his sadness and his joy while on deployment in Afghanistan in the Hindu Kush. This book is extremely well written and flows smoothly. I started and ended this book in less than two days. I have recently read several really good books about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars from the writers first hand POV and this one thoug ...more
Brad H
I first became aware of this book through his interview on the Opie and Anthony show on XM radio. After listening to his candid interview and his self-deprecating attitude I was drawn to this book.

As a vetran of Desert Storm and desert Shield, I have a "slight" insight into how are men and women do their job. I can hold no candle to what I did versus what they have done and continue to do. I continus to support and cherish them in my heart and mind and hold them all with utmost respect and honor
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Aimee
Wow. This is one of those books that will stay with me for a long time. Sean Parnell takes you right into the heart of the battles he and his men fought and it makes for a riveting read. There were times I could not put the book down, I had to find out what happened to these brave men who went through hell for our country.


What impressed me the most about the book was Parnell's descriptions of all of the different men who made up his platoon. They are a fascinating group of personalities and I ca
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Carol Storm
This is one of the best memoirs of a combat veteran I have ever read.

Sean Parnell was a platoon leader in Afghanistan around 2006-2007. What makes this book so amazing is that it's far more candid, open, and honest than anything I have ever read before by an American officer in a modern war. You could compare it to BLOODS by Wallace Terry, but that book focused on African-American enlisted men in Vietnam, and the survivors had no reason to tone down the grim realities of war.

This book is diffe
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Tasha
Non-fic military stories have a special place in my heart and this one fits right in. There are no words (or review) that can do it justice coming from a civilian like myself except to say a word of thanks to all the brave soldiers who sacrificed so much. So thanks, and thanks to the author for sharing his story.
Amber
Wow... just wow. I'm kind of at a loss for words, but I will do my best for this review. First, Outlaw Platoon is going into my "6 star reads" shelf; a shelf reserved for those rare books that deserve 6 stars (I think I have 4 others in there).

Outlaw Platoon is one of those books that will change your outlook and stay with you for awhile. Sean Parnell recounts his 16 months in Afghanistan while he was in charge of the Outlaw Platoons, a unit who was stationed on the border of Afghanistan and Pa
...more
Karen & Gerard
WOW! AWESOME! After you read Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell and John R. Bruning you will gain a ton of respect for our men and women fighting over in Afghanistan. Sean holds nothing back which makes this book so good. I could almost feel the bullets flying all around me! Then ending brought tears to my eyes and pride in the U.S.A. Thank you for your service, Mr. Parnell, and to the entire Outlaw Platoon. God's blessings to all of you!
(Gerard's review)

Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels,
...more
Keith Johnson
I'll start with the good, of which there is much to talk about. A few notes: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Parnell's recollection and story-telling is outstanding. I felt as though I was fighting alongside those brave men, immersed in Parnell's world. Letting us inside his head is a rare thing, and I appreciated that. This book is so much better written than the more widely known Seal Team Six and conveys more emotion and understanding.

Now, on to the negative. Certain metaphors were amateuris
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Nancy
A really well written book forces a paradigm shift within me. This is such a book.

In a literary sense, it is not the most soundly written. There are repetitive snippits which leads me to believe the book was written one chapter at a time and not wholistically. It seemed to somewhat resemble a very well written journal. This is the way another book I loved was constructed, Little Princes, so this clearly did not bother me. I'm just giving fair warning if a reader is looking for something other t
...more
Alex
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donna
Mar 10, 2012 Donna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Donna by: I saw it in an airport bookstore
How do you write a review for such a book, I struggle to find the words. As the mother of an infantryman who will be back in Afghanistan within a matter of days, the book frightened me, it broke my heart, and I wept a time or two in the reading of it. Yet it gave me a glimpse into the life of the Infantry, helped me to understand why it is difficult for these men we love to share their experiences. It made me proud and grateful that such men live, and it made me yearn for peace. The story of Out ...more
Jim
A decent account of one man's experience leading a platoon of soldiers in Afghanistan. Better written than some accounts, though there is a lot of personal reflection on his own life as opposed to a more straightforward story. I wonder sometimes what reactions some of these memorists receive, especially when they criticize or harshly assess the actions of others, or even when they reveal personal information about fellow soldiers. In his defense, he is critical of himself as well. I was just a t ...more
Stephen England
I've read a lot of military books in my life, many of them memoirs written by the men who were there. Books like Lone Survivor, Biggest Brother, and Black Hawk Down come to mind. I never fail to come away sobered by the costs of war and extremely humbled by the brave men who have answered their nation's call and risen up to defend the rest of us. Outlaw Platoon ranks among the best of them.

The book's been on my radar ever since it came out, but it advanced to the top of my reading list after I c
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Blue
This book kept me on edge, an awesome read
Sweetwilliam
I just finished reading Sean Parnell’s Outlaw Platoon. What an education this book is. Sean Parnell is a young platoon leader who is assigned to a 10th Mountain division infantry platoon deployed in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. Prior to his deployment, Lieutenant Parnell thinks he will be facing a rag-tag group of Taliban. Instead he is facing an experienced, elite group of insurgents whose leaders were fighting the Soviets when Parnell was in diapers. The Taliban are given sanctuary an ...more
Kate August
Outlaw Platoon is the touching, and very personal journey of a soldier through war. This soldier just happens to be U.S. Army Ranger, and hero, Sean Parnell. I'm not sure he'll appreciate the analogy, but this book is a guy's version of a love letter to all the men that stood beside him, took point, and watched his back. It's written in memory of the men who came home, and those that didn't, and it's a joy to read. I loved this book, because it was so intensely personal. You feel Sean's heartfel ...more
Alison
What a moving first hand account of what it's really like to be fighting the war in Afghanistan. This true life story hooked me from page one. It was difficult reading what our young soldiers are going through in Afghanistan. The heat, the cold, the lack of supplies (how dare we send troops to foreign soil without proper equipment, armament, housing etc), the living conditions, the faceless enemy. It was truly amazing, in spite of the lack of support our troops receive from our own government, h ...more
Jeff
Sean Parnell's account of his platoon's deployment to Afghanistan is one of the best (if not the best) of all of the modern war memoir's I've read (and there have been many). Parnell successfully takes you inside the mind of the U.S. Infantry solider while also providing a nail-biting account of the many incredibly violent firefights their platoon went through. There are some pretty grisly situations that come up that aren't for the faint of heart, but after finishing the book I think it should ...more
Clint
Lieutenant Sean Parnell's account of his platoon's deployment on the Afghan-Pakistan border is one of the best accounts I have read about the war in Afghanistan. It is a story of heroism, but Parnell is very humble in the book and always gives credit to his men rather than himself. This book really gives a lot of insight into the every day life of a soldier fighting insurgents. It describes the bonds within the platoon, the rivalry with other platoons, and the mind numbing rules of engagement th ...more
Jean-Paul Adriaansen
For those who don't understand the meaning of a "Call of Duty" nor the feeling of a "Band of Brothers", this is the book to read.
For those who don't understand why the war in Afghanistan keeps on going, this is the book to read.
For 16 months, Lt. Parnell and his "Outlaw Platoon" roamed one of the most dangerous parts in this country, trying to stop the flow of provisioning and support of Taliban fighters through the Pakistani borders. Sean Parnell gives a really vivid and gripping description of
...more
Laura
This book was so well written that I truly felt like I was right there with there with the men. This book doesn't "tell" a story as much as it "shows" you one. By the end I felt as if I were friends with the author and his men. I could see the terrain in Afghanistan and I cheered for them in victory, cried when they lost men, and laughed when they had some downtime that allowed them to verbally spar with one another. The pace of the story matches the high speed tempo of the platoon as they conti ...more
Elena
This autobiography by Sean Parnell will make one angry, will make one laugh, will make one wonder where we get men and women such as those in the "Outlaw Platoon".

This book should be required reading by any ROTC student. This book should be required reading for anyone entering the military. This book should be required reading for anyone who sends our young men and women into harms way and ties their hands with "political correctness".

Sean's story about the "Outlaw Platoon" will stay with one lo
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Joe Creason
I listened to the 10 hours and 17 min Audible version of this account read by Ray Porter. The final paragraph of my review pertains to that production specifically whereas the rest of this review focuses on the book content.

4 stars. A highly recommended though flawed account from a junior officer protecting his men in modern warfare.

Sean Parnell was an Lt serving with the 10th Mtn Div in Afghanistan in 2006/07. Parnell documents his time dealing with platoon camaraderie, keeping them safe in a h
...more
Chris Hansen
A "must read". Within are vivid lessons on the irrefutable minimums of leadership I'm any discipline.

But this is not the look-at-me glory story all too common today in books from formerly "Silent Professionals" in super-elite SpecOps units. It's a story that the kid you went to high school with could tell you - a regular guy in extraordinary circumstances with archetypal characters present and influential.

Unfortunately, I don't think many civilians will actually "get it" much beyond the story
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Dkovlak
Sacrifice describes the people who serve our Country. They sacrifice their bodies, minds, personal lives, and sometimes, their lives, for freedom. This true story clearly conveys that message. The author is a born leader putting his people before himself. The book is realistic and action packed. It really makes you appreciate how difficult it is to serve in another country where the language and culture present barriers and dangers to the people serving.
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