No Warriors, No Glory
Forge, May 12 2009, $25.95
US Army Captain Nathan Dixon is still limping from his war injuries and suffering nightmares as he does a tour at the pentagon. Colonel Kaplan reminds him that the army runs on Vince Lombardi Standard time, which means “if you’re on time, you’re late” before Dixon meets with the Chief of Staff General Stevens, who adds him on to his staff at a time when the army struggles with two brutal wars and radical transformation.
Nathan is assigned to review a friendly fire incident. Having been in combat, he understands the harrowing chaotic fog of war leads to mistakes in spite of the military emphasis to eliminate these deadly errors; he also knows his probe is not to pin accountability in order to punish someone, but to determine the cause, ascertain if it is systemic, and come up with CALL lessons learned to remove any future errors. The incident was caused by an unmanned ground combat vehicle (UGV) during a test; a type of war machine he does not know anything about. He obtains an education on vested interests as the C.O. knows his career is teetering; the manufacturer contractor does not want production on hold as he will be unemployed; and the victim’s peers prefer to conceal the truth mostly Dixon assumes out of fear of retaliatory ends to their careers. Dixon understands his mission is to uncover the truth, but no one cooperates.
This is a terrific timely look at the modern army through the eyes of a career officer still suffering from PTSD whose current assignment is more difficult in many ways than combat because his brothers and sisters in arms do not want to talk. Fans will make comparisons to the Pat Tillman tragedy that raised awareness of friendly fire incidents, but Dixon’s case is different as this inquiry is into a training event involving drones. This super military investigative thriller provides a powerful glimpse at the modern military in which increasingly means NO WARRIORS, NO GLORY or salutes to Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.