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Uncommon Soldier: Brave, Compassionate and Tough, the Making of Australia's Modern Diggers
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Uncommon Soldier: Brave, Compassionate and Tough, the Making of Australia's Modern Diggers

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  111 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Chris Masters, the country's foremost investigative journalist, turns his penetrating gaze on the modern Australian soldier. Moving away from our ongoing fascination with the Anzac story, he looks at the rich and illuminating present to write a character study of the modern Australian soldier - war fighter, peacekeeper, street-level diplomat and aid worker.

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Hardcover, 374 pages
Published November 1st 2012 by Allen & Unwin (first published October 31st 2012)
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'Aussie Rick'
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Having just put down Chris Masters latest book; Uncommon Soldier I must confess to have really enjoyed reading about the modern day ‘Digger’. Most of my reading to date on the current conflict in Afghanistan has been on British and US forces, very little available on the Australian commitment. This could make you think that maybe our forces aren’t really involved in the fighting there, well how wrong could you be!

I think Chris Masters has been very fair and non-biased in his appraisal and accou
Here in Australia we don't hear or see much of what our troops are doing in Afghanistan. We don't have embedded reporters, and our Defence Department is not good at the media stuff. These are but two reasons why this book is a valuable addition to the military literature of Australia. Unlike other countries such as the USA, there has never been a broad tradition in Australia of the military life being an honourable pursuit: while the public as a whole generally respect members of our armed force ...more
Andrew McMillen
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
An illuminating portrait of modern warfare and those who engage in the task, 'Uncommon Soldier' is a compelling book of narrative journalism based on the author's unparalleled access to the Australian Defence Force, particularly the army. Chris Masters first visited Afghanistan while reporting a story for the television program Four Corners, and ultimately visited three times while compiling material for Uncommon Soldier. His insights into military culture and the tough, thankless work that sold ...more
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Chris Masters is Australia's best-known investigative journalist. Uncommon Soldier is an study of the modern Australian soldier. The book is as thoroughly researched as one would expect from a journalist of Masters' calibre, and reflects the fact that Masters spent various periods embedded with Australian forces on overseas deployment. There are chapters on the issues facing women in the military, the stages of army training, the often difficult juggling of family life and army life, and a signi ...more
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Chris Masters' book 'Uncommon soldier' is timely and well researched albeit with a few flaws. Before reading this book I would have described myself as a pacifist and aggrieved at Australia's ongoing involvement in Afghanistan. This book, however, manages to convey the soldiers point of view without sentimentality or glorification. Our soldiers (note I specifically used a propietary term)are highly trained, well regarded and tough. Their ongoing mission is Afghanistan is clearly making some impa ...more
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fantastic insight into the modern day soldier. Focuses mostly on the commandos and SASR but is amazing. I definitely shed a few tears throughout the book as it told the story of those lost and the families they left behind.

My only issue was all the acronyms but that's to be expected in a military themed book. The author explains the acronyms multiple times throughout the book so it's more my inability to pick them up more than anything.

Overall, a superb look into what our soldiers go through b
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: character, story, setting
This is a powerful read. I am a fan of the investigative work of Chris Masters, and this book, looking at Australian soldiers in Afghanistan shows the importance of long term research. This builds on several documentaries by Masters, and brings together a very interesting account. It is balanced as the the bad and the good are discussed. There are also interesting comments about the roles of journalists in war.

While I enjoy the work of Christ Masters, I do not read many books about military his
A rare empathetic insight into the modern Army and their activities in Afghanistan. A book that does not debate the merits of Australia's presence in Afghanistan as it focuses on the Army's training, operations in the field, the impact on the families, what drives men and women to want to be in Afghanistan and what awaits them when the days in the field are finished. Masters is clearly impressed by our soldiers and their abilities to obtain results through adaption, flexibility, and their abilit ...more
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is probably the best australian army account of the war in Afghanistan as well as the problems faced by australian soldiers as a whole whilst on deployment there and during training. It follows soldiers old and new as they begin their journey from kapooka and duntroon to the battlefield and more.
Paul Michalak
Oct 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Awesome book, very informative tale of the modern digger with a few good stories about Afghanistan thrown in to expand upon the account.
Kimberley Smith
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Utterly fascinating. One of the best and most interesting reads of my life!
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