The Company they Keep : Life Inside the U.S. Army Special Forces

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9780380731275: The Company they Keep : Life Inside the U.S. Army Special Forces

A portrait of the U.S. Special Forces, popularly known as the Green Berets, explains how its soldiers think, function, and work as a close-knit team despite the pressures of military bureaucracy. Reprint.

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Review:

By design, the U.S. Army's Special Forces--we call them Green Berets, but they tend to avoid that term--are very secretive. As a result, there isn't much to counterbalance their popular Ramboesque image. This book does a lot to set the record straight. Simons, a Harvard Ph.D. in anthropology, befriended some SFers while she was doing fieldwork in Somalia. Later, back in the States, she married one of them. The Company They Keep was written once she had the unrivaled access of a Special Forces team-member's wife; it covers more than a year in the life of some SF soldiers, covering every phase of their initiation and training. The reader will feel reassured as the narrative makes it clear that these forces America increasingly relies on in low-intensity scenarios such as Somalia and Haiti emphasize not individual bravado, but smooth functioning as a members of a team; so much so that loyalty to the team tends to take precedence over personal concerns and family. The divorce rate is high.

About the Author:

A. J. Simons earned her Ph.D. in anthropology at Harvard University and has conducted field research in Somalia and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and elsewhere. Currently an assistant professor of anthropology at UCLA, she is the author of Networks of Dissolution: Somalia Undone. Simons and her husband, a retired Special Forces soldier, live in Los Angeles, California.

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