I wasn’t going to write up a book review on this one but by the time i finished it i just bad to.
The book is Without Hesitation by General (Ret) Hugh Shelton. Your probably thinking right now “another boring military biography” and that is kind of what I thought originally. This book was a gift from my parents so I never chose it, but I am glad they did.
Although probably not written in a fashion I like (where it jumps around a bit) it was a fascinating and inspirational read nonetheless. Probably need to give you some background first though. General Shelton was in the US Army leading Infantry, paratroopers & special forces as fsr back as Vietnam. When he left the service in 2001 (just after September 11) he finished up his time as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). What is the “Joint Cheifs of Staff?” Well they are the leaders and top advisors for each of the US Military Services. You have the Cheif of Staff for the Air Force, Cheif of Staff for the Army, Marine Corp Commandant and the Chief of Naval Operations. Along with other staff members and the Chairman and his Vice, these Generals and Admirals become the sounding board for the US President on military matters. Though the Chairman doesn’t necissarily run the day to day operations of the Military forces he is like the President’s right hand man.
I hadn’t really read anything on the JCS so this portion of the book was great, but the biggest thing I got from the book was the part I didn’t really like the most. Like I mentioned before the book jumped around a lot. At the end of each chapter it flashes back to the “present” so you may have been reading a chapter about Vietnam then the last few pages of the chapter your reading about the present. But that is the part that really suckered me in. These “Flash Forwards” are about how the General had fallen off a tree and suffered a spinal injury, an injury that he was told he would never recover from. Well that’s where the inspiration comes in. He DID recover and in fact is still alive today and walking (though from what I read he didn’t get full 100% mobility back, but he may have by now). Reading about his recovery, his determination to prove that point that no matter what you set your mind to, it can be done.
It set me back to the way that I had been with my weight loss. Reading about his recovery, his determination to just prove them wrong to do it for no one but himself, that hit home. I highly recommend this book to anyone, not only for the military and leadership side of things, but for that read to get inspired to do the things that you don’t think you can, that others tell you that you can’t. To defy what others will think.