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More Praise for Adjust Fire

Michael Mannske, Author of "Foreign and Domestic”

You've got to hand it LtC Baumann. Retired or not, it takes a lot of brass for an Army officer to lay bare the ludicrous leadership missteps that have adversely impacted our attempts at tackling the Iraqi insurgency for the past several years. From his crack artillery battalion being ordered to park their MLRS rocket batteries and instead patrol the mahallas (neighborhoods) of Baghdad as untrained infantry to the forced "environmental" leaves that left his force rudderless in times of crisis, Baumann chronicles the tragicomedy his unit had to live through as they tried to forge a coherent victory plan for their little corner of Iraq. Despite Washington. Despite the Pentagon.

As a military history buff, the facts and figures of ROE and policy decisions interested me greatly, but it was the poignant human interest stories revealed by the colonel that gripped me the most. The body blow Baumann took when his Number Two has a nervous break down their first day in-country and refused to fight. The defeat and guilt he felt with every soldier's death. The heartwarming bond he formed with his Iraqi "terp", Freddie, and the uphill battle he had trying to bring him back to America with him. Not to be compared to the gut-wrenching diary entry left by PFC Brandon Cantwell in Chapter 1.

Chevelle P. Malone “The Real Deal”

This mix of policy and humanity make Adjust Fire a keeper. While you might not agree with everything Baumann says (e.g. his chapter on women in combat), you can't argue with the grit and sweat he and his men endured and the sacrifices they made for one simple principle: love of country.

Operation Iraqi Freedom is a fluid war that most of the public has no real clue about- this book is a way for anyone to really see what is happening in Iraq. It's not like the movies- it's decades (or so it feels like) of boredom inter-dispersed with moments of pure terror. LTC (RET) Baumann does an amazing job of putting you right there- having to deal with the tediousness of day to day operations, doing things the right way, while at the same time fighting an enemy that doesn't follow any type of conventional rules or laws. The struggle in Iraq is difficult to fathom, but by reading this book anyone can get a solid foundation for the struggle for freedom in Iraq. To be honest... this was my experience. I have been to Iraq twice now (28 months total), I am a woman in the military- this is my story too. I read this book, and this is what I have experienced. I'm not Infantry, I'm just a Soldier who did her job and this is Operation Iraqi Freedom as I know it. I hope everyone gets a taste of the intricacies of this war, even if it's simply reading this book.

Eric Bunkers “Great Book!”

Retired Lt. Col. Baumann tells his story and experience in Iraq with raw descriptions and emotions. This book was an eye opener for me since my only source of the events in Iraq have been through the media, who are not involved as intimately as Lt. Col. Baumann. Retired Lt. Col. Baumann was there, he tells it like it is.

The solutions to problems in Iraq are in this book. The book is not politically charged, and there is not a disdain for our President that many media outlets carry, it's an open and refreshing way to look at the war in Iraq. Critical suggestions in this book of how the Army operates in Iraq to combat the insurgents are healthy and good if new problems want to be solved.

Brian Salie “Best book by a soldier on the Iraq War”

I recently read, ADJUST FIRE, by LTC (RET) Michael Baumann, and give it the highest rating and recommendation for its insight, relevance, scope, and accuracy. Everyone recognizes that truth is the first casualty in war; and that chaos, violence, weariness, and fog define the climate of any war. However, Mr. Baumann explains better than anyone can how a US Army rocket artillery battalion could end up patrolling the streets and farms of south Baghdad, Iraq with the expectations of winning a counterinsurgency for a nation that expects results yesterday in a culture that functions on its own timeline and agenda. Additionally, he is masterful in his approach to explaining all of the factors and conditions that led up to this situation, how he managed to lead this complex effort, and provides realistic conclusions and recommendations on how best to achieve results. I personally served with Mr. Baumann, so I can confirm the accuracy and precision of his statements, conclusions, and credence of the book. I highly suggest anyone purchase/read this book interested in seeking a clear picture left out of most media sources; and potential answers to questions on how best to leave Iraq on favorable terms while illustrating factors to consider prior to embarking on the next expedition.

By J. Dodge “The Real Deal”

If you want a reality check on Iraq, turn off the news and read this book. Having worked for LTC Baumann (Ret) in the past I can assure anyone that he is the real deal when it comes to straight talk on what needs to be done to be successful in Iraq. The book cuts to the chase and gives an honest perspective on the process on transforming an Artillery Battalion to essentially an Infantry Battalion and how to get the ball moving in the right direction in Iraq. Many books written by Iraq Vets are more war story based...this book lays out LTC Baumann's (Ret) thought process and the many challenges he and his BN overcame. It is a must read if you want a clear honest view on one Battalion Commander's successful tour in Iraq.

Anthony L. Jackson “Rocket 6G”

I had the privilege to be LTC (RET) Baumann's Gunner while in Iraq. However this book opened my eyes to far more than what I had experienced personally. Reading this book I now have a better understanding as to why I am again in Iraq, and still we have not yet won the "war." LTC (RET) Baumann really shows that he is a truer man than most. He admits to his short-comings, and tells the truth to the bests of his ability. If you want the true inside story of how this war is run, and what can be done to improve our battles. This is the book you should read. Bravo Mr. Baumann, Bravo.

T. Hammer “The Heart of the Matter”

Curious about the nitty-gritty of the fight in Iraq? Adjust Fire is your book. Read it, and you huddle with a bona fide military leader, a careful war scholar, and a “mind-blowingly” committed, hard-working, innovative human being. LTC (R) Baumann's devotion to defeating Iraqi insurgents and launching elections both inspires and does you in. But his retelling of commanding in Baghdad is a roller coaster you want to ride because you get to be there. Watching him polish his victory plan: to respectfully deal with local society and attempt to change mindsets while simultaneously re-tooling his unit, struggling against military inadequacies, and squaring off with all things sinister.

I swore Baumann would lose me through the technical segments (I'm a military dimwit), but he systematically tutors you on the contest, the players and the background (weaving in his personal story) and you're engaged and on your way. You're sobered by the fact that winning requires radical change and profound sacrifice, but buoyed by the prospect that democracy can take hold.

L. Cardona “To understand the challenges of Iraq, you must read this book”

This is an extremely insightful book by an author who, while serving in Iraq, recognized the indicators for the insurgency occurring around him. This book also provides a glimpse into the composition of the United States Army and how ill-prepared and configured they were to fight an insurgency.

What I found particularly remarkable about this book was the author's ability to recognize the different phases of the insurgency and a strategy for each while dealing with the day to day security operations and traumatic events of commanding a unit in Iraq.

This book was well written and clearly presented the challenges faced by a Rocket Artillery Battalion Commander charged with establishing a safe and secure environment for the Shia and Sunni Muslims in Baghdad, Iraq. This book describes the different challenges of today's war, as compared to the Gulf War of the 90's, and it does it well. I highly recommend this book to anyone wishing to understand the complexities of performing combat operations, diplomacy, and counter-insurgency
operations simultaneously

Charles Flint “Adjust Fire: Not Just Transforming to Win in Iraq, but for the Future”

LTC (R) Mike Baumann tells an incredibly compelling story of the challenges of preparing his Field Artillery battalion and ancillary supporting units for true Cavalry/Infantry operations in Iraq. His ideas for the transformation of the Army and its Leadership Development programs is about 10 years ahead of the Department of the Army, and should be considered for implementation by the highest military leaders. He "gets" what it will take to make the progress we desperately need to achieve in order to give the Iraqis even a chance to succeed at governing themselves.

Baumann provides very detailed insight into his units experience with women in direct combat roles, and frankly has changed many of the preconceived notions that I held on this subject. The females under his command did themselves proud in their service, and this is a largely untold success story in the American press.

The pride in his soldiers is evident, and while he undoubtedly had some superb junior Officers and Non Commissioned Officers in his command, they were truly fortunate to have a leader like LTC Baumann who developed and enforced standards that I'm convinced did much to ensure that the vast majority returned safely. He led from the front, and that has always been my idea of how a leader should operate.

Finally, I recommend this book to anyone that wants to learn the behind the scenes details of what preparing for, and fighting the insurgency in Iraq was like.

 

  
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