Once An Eagle
Once An Eagle is the story of one special man, a soldier named Sam Damon, and his adversary over a lifetime, fellow officer Courtney Massengale. Damon is a professional who puts duty, honor, and the men he commands above self interest. Massengale, however, brilliantly advances by making the right connections behind the lines and in Washington's corridors of power.
Usually, when I go to airports, I am well prepared. I have my main book; my backup book; my backup to the backup; and my ultimate backup, if I meet with a series of delays or the other backups are terrible or I somehow find time to read all the others. On my way back from Florida, though, I suddenly found myself in Tampa's airport with nothing to read, so I purchased this 1,200 page doorstop with the knowledge that it'd last.
Once An Eagle traces the arc of a so ...more
I think we all have a little of both c ...more
1. The two contrasting main characters are overblown exaggerations of real human characteristics. Sam Damon is unfailingly brave, concerned only about others, and though he has moments of tactical doubt he never doubts his convictions (even ...more
What I do know is that I read this book before the Army put me through college, before I ever jumped out of an airplane, and before any of my military training or service (active or reserve).
How memorable, inspirational, and formative was the book? After this many years, I can't say with any exactitude. But, to my young, impressionable mind, ...more
Myrer's hammers home two distinct leadership styles:
Damon who started off as an enlisted man (EM), cares for the troops, is empathic, trains his units h ...more
The character of the protagonist, Sam Damon, is also the best character I have ever had in a book. He is a great leader and a real hero, but he also ...more
As a veteran I find the way his career track and that of his nemesis, Courtney Massengele, cross paths over the yea ...more
I love this book. I read it for the first time probably 10-20 years ago, and find that I can easily open it at any point and get engrossed again in Sam Damon's journey. It's just this incredibly broad and rich tapestry.
What I think I love most about this book is Sam' ...more
I give this book 5 stars because it is extremely well written and engaging. However, I hated almost every minute of it. I read it in the first years of my husband's Army career and found it extremely depressing. The hero of the story is never fully appreciated by his military leadership, constantly being overlooked and overshadowed by a more charismatic officer, who probably could have coined the acronym 'CYA'. I see that many reviewers admired the character of Sam and wanted to be an Officer ...more
This book has taken me through a roller coaster of thoughts and reflections. I admire Sam so much, as anyone should, and wish his life had been easier. Sam is a man of legend from the beginning of the book. He a ...more
What I discovered was probably one of the most succinct theses on leade ...more
A quick look and it is obvious it is about war and soldiering, however, it is so well crafted that it would leave any reader uplifted and touched. Yes, war is ugly, yet the virtues that the hero, Sam Damon, possesses are what we should hope that all of our soldiers ascribe to model their own values upon. Although the story is a work of fiction, throughout the boo ...more
I didn't read it until much later (1993), but Sam Damon is the Army officer I dreamed of becoming: decisive, clear-sighted, morally upright, compassionate about his soldiers, and even well-read. He is clearly contrasted with Courtney Massengale, the shiny careerist staff officer that is so easy to despise (and ...more
The story arc takes place from pre-WWI to early US involvement in Vietnam. The book is a fictional story that is really a treatise on military leadership and character. This epic is worth the time to read despite dragging in certain parts.
The story is engaging and often a page turner. On the downside it is a bit unnecessarily long and the characters are exaggerations of reality.