Battleground Iraq – Journal Of A Company Commander, by Todd S. Brown

(Dept. of the Army, 2007; 296 pp., $34 – ISBN 9780160787065)

Here is a book that tells it like it was, written by a company commander in the 4th Infantry Division in Iraq in 2004-2005. Capt. Brown kept thorough notes and wrote frequently to his wife and parents. All of this is collected in this book and provides the reader with a viewpoint that is invaluable. Much has been said and written about the U.S. Army in Iraq.

Those who served in any of our wars will readily recognize the various situations that Capt. Brown experienced as a staff member and, later, as commander of his company. He is not bashful about pointing out errors and/or poor planning. He and his comrades received a lot of on-the-job training, and his account is of the good and the bad and is a rare critique of war by the men whose boots were there on the ground.

In general, what we see on TV or read about the war is written by journalists and is not the first-hand account of the soldiers who are over there. Capt. Brown has done a fine job of recounting his participation in Iraq.