Darack incorporates many interviews with Marines in the unit to present a vivid picture of the daily stress of being under nearly constant fire while having to make life or death decisions ... Unit memoirs such as this are a staple of military history, conveying the immediacy of small unit action within the larger picture of an overall military campaign. Reading about the incredible bravery of American Marines, many not even 21 years old, shows that the long line of brave servicemen that answered their country’s call to service remains unbroken.
One of the U.S. Marine Corps’ finest—yet largely untold—stories ... The only real weakness of the text is Darack’s excessive use of Marine acronyms (TTP, AO, COC, BATS, SVBIED, etc.), which will become tiresome for civilian readers without a military background ... A very human story of 'bravery, sacrifice, incredible hardship, horror, and ultimate victory.'
Darack succeeds in putting together a coherent military history of a crucial conflict with al-Qaeda, passing along important lessons learned by commanders on the ground and describing the horrors faced by the individual soldiers. Students of military history and military servicemembers looking for lessons in asymmetrical warfare will find this account illuminating and informative, but general readers may be less enthralled.