The Iraq I Knew

From Saddam Hussein to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) to Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)

Non-Fiction - Military
318 Pages
Reviewed on 06/13/2024
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Author Biography

Dr. Burl Randolph, Jr., DM, has been described as an author, editor, speaker, scholar, practitioner, leader, soldier, warrior, and patriot. These all describe Dr. Randolph. However, as a Soldier, warrior, and patriot, Colonel Randolph, US Army, Retired, took his 32 years of military leadership, including three combat tours in Iraq, and applied that experience to his leadership and management consulting company.

The Iraq I Knew… From Saddam Hussein to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) to Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) chronicles my combat deployments to Iraq in a four-book series. In Book I: Into the Storm, I focus on my first deployment, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, where virtually the entire Army was deployed. I wrote this from the perspective of explaining to non-military personnel how our Army makes military operations look easy. Beginning with the deployment alert, the pre-deployment procedures, the departure, combat, and transitioning back to a peacetime status. Each episode provides riveting explanations with pictures that help the reader visualize the battlefield and how Soldiers might feel. Available in paperback and eBook, the Iraq I Knew… will add a connection between Soldiers and the American public unlike any other.

Dr. Randolph holds a Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership (DM), a Master of Strategic Studies (MSS), and a Master of Business Administration (MBA). He published in the Global Business and Organizational Excellence (GBOE) titled Mentoring Leaders Across Race and Gender Lines: Insight from US Army Officers.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Iraq I Knew: From Saddam Hussein to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) to Al Qaeda in Iraq is a work of non-fiction in the memoir, military writing, and slice-of-life genres. It is best suited to mature readers as it discusses real-life graphic violence. Colonel Burl Randolph Jr. (Retired) provides a personal chronicle of his experiences during multiple combat deployments to Iraq. Randolph recounts his journey as a Field Artillery Captain during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, detailing the harsh realities of living in the Saudi Arabian desert, the transition to combat operations, and the liberation of Kuwait. Through his firsthand account, Randolph offers insights into the challenges faced by soldiers, the impact of prolonged deployment on morale, and the lasting effects of war on military personnel.

Author Colonel Burl Randolph Jr. offers a compelling insight into the life of a US Army Field Artillery Captain and a truly engaging, raw portrayal of what it’s like to experience extreme hardships in the name of duty. His detailed descriptions of the challenges faced in the desert, from enduring SCUD alerts to dealing with the toxic dangers of ‘burn barrels,’ highlighted the harsh realities of military life in vivid detail. A visceral sense to the narrative makes you feel every sensation in deep detail. The transition from diplomatic efforts to Desert Storm combat operations and the liberation of Kuwait was portrayed with striking clarity, and many more clever juxtapositions help to highlight the complexities and unpredictability of war. Randolph's reflections on the impact of deployment on soldier morale and the long-term effects of the war were particularly poignant, and his narrative tone offers a wise but friendly approach as if we’re gaining sage wisdom from a dear friend or relative. The book not only deepened my understanding of contemporary military history but also fostered a greater appreciation for the personal sacrifices made by military personnel. Overall, The Iraq I Knew is a powerful, firsthand account that underscores the complexity and dedication involved in military service. I’d certainly recommend it for fans of wartime memoirs.