Category Archives: Books

Red Metal by Mark Greaney: 30MC Book review

I just finished Red Metal by Mark Greaney and LtCol. H Ripley Rawlings IV (USMC). Originally published in 2019 I am a little surprised that I had not heard of this novel before. Mark Greaney was recently featured on an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience where he (almost in passing) talked about this ~”large scale warfare story”~ that he had always wanted to write. I guess, Red Metal is what it became. Now, my favorite book of all time is Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy which is a fictional story about World War 3 being fought sometime in the 80’s to early 90’s. To me, Red Storm is the single greatest piece of modern war fiction ever written and when I heard there was a strategic conflict book out there by Mr. Greaney I had some mixed feelings.

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Sure I would love to dive into another story regarding a genre that I love. But I was also aware that Mark Greaney had ghost written several Clancy novels both before and after Clancy’s death and if I am completely honest.. I didn’t care for any of them. I read the Clancy novels up until Teeth of the Tiger and I was out. But in the end I gave Greaney a chance and I AM SO GLAD I DID.

Now, let’s talk about something you are probably already thinking. These two books are similarly titled (Red Metal vs Red Storm Rising). One was written by Tom Clancy while the other was written by a guy who ghost wrote for Clancy. They both tell a story about a strategic conflict of misdirection between NATO and Russian forces (USSR in Red Storm). The similarities don’t stop there. Greaney was definitely channeling Clancy during most of this novel. At times Red Metal felt almost like an updated version of Red Storm. But here is the interesting part that even surprised me. I was ok with it. I was more than ok with it.

Red Metal is one of the best novels I have read in this genre. It isn’t going to dislodge my signed copy of Red Storm Rising on the shelf above me but I would recommend Red Metal to anyone. It checks all the boxes for me. A global strategic conflict with dire consequences. On the ground conflict and drama as well as higher level interactions. And the most important (to me); a large cast of characters who you actually care about. I really can’t stand it when a novel or TV show has one or two main characters. Its just dull and unbelievable that an entire story intersects this one person at so many points. Red Metal has a large and great cast. Most of which never meet each other. They are all involved in this massive global conflict but from completely different ends and viewpoints. This along lets you start from a way more believable position.

It even touches on a few situations that are currently in the news today (2023). This made the story hit even harder.

If it wasn’t obvious. I would highly recommend this novel. It is available in all your favorite formats including audio. Amazon link.

Books about US Army Special Forces

There are a lot of books about Special Forces. Some written by former SF individuals and some not. To be clear this post is regarding books about the specific unit in the United States Army known as Special Forces or otherwise as the Green Berets. Other “special” units are often confused with the term “Special Forces” by our media and those not in the know. In most foreign militaries the term “Special Forces” does encompass all “special” units within. But this is not the case for the United States. When referring to US Military units there is only one Special Forces. Navy Seals, Airforce TACPs, MARSOC and so on are NOT Special Forces. They instead ALL fit under the larger category of Special Operations Forces (SOF) along with SF.

These are the most memorable and informative books specifically regarding Army Special Forces that I have read. I would recommend every one of them to anyone wanting to learn more about Green Berets.

The Only Thing Worth Dying For

by Eric Blehm

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Book: Killer Elite by Michael Smith

Everyone has head of Delta and DEVGRU . But how many know of the Intelligence Support Activity (ISA)? Often referred to as simply The Activity. The SOF unit that rarely gets film representation. Utilizing both male and female operators the Activity develops intelligence directly for other SOF units and “prepares the battlefield”, often being the first boots on the ground. From hunting drug lord’s to war criminals to Saddam and even present during the Bin Laden raid the Activity is essential to the effectiveness of our SOF units. Lots of additional info about Delta, DEVGRU, SpecialForces, SAS too.  Killer Elite is a must-read for anyone who desires to know more of how our elite forces get the job done.

This is not a new book release. I originally read this title years ago, but recently, an updated version was released.  Also available on Audible.

Note; Do not confuse this book with the film (Robert De Niro, Jason Statham, Clive Owen) and book (book also goes by the name, The Feather Men).  They are not related in any way to the Michael Smith writing that is reviewed here.