The third installment from author Wong (Yellow Green Beret Vol. II, 2012, etc.) about the nitty-gritty realities of life as a U.S. Special Forces officer.
With more fascinating details about life at the U.S. Military Academy and the day-to-day operations of the U.S. Army Special Forces, the Yellow Green Beret series continues with its unique mix of personal revelation, warrior-minded seriousness and average-guy sense of humor. From his days as a struggling plebe at West Point (compared to “a minimum-security prison”) to his rise to commander in one of the most highly trained military organizations in the world, Wong takes the reader on a path seen by few. Whether it’s suffering through hazing or watching Filipino beauty queens eat endless amounts of spaghetti and meatballs, the collection of nonfiction essays provides a scattershot view of one man’s military experience. Paying little heed to chronology or structure, the author presents his unembellished experiences without political or philosophical agenda: “all I ever wanted [was] a chance to explain myself.” The conversational style, with its use of words like “seriously” (“It was seriously the most unattractive thing you could imagine”) may lack literary gravitas, but few can accuse the author of not writing authentically or well. Wong takes frequent opportunities to discuss his own thoughts on topics such as hazing traditions and the socialist-like structure of the U.S. Army. His authority on the subject and his honest, casual style render this sketch of the U.S. military an informational boon to all interested.
While not as action-packed as the first two Yellow Green Beret books, this third certainly holds its own for readers interested in the U.S. military and life at West Point.