The Battles of Peace

Michael Lee Lanning, Author Ballantine Books $4.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-8041-0609-2
Billed as ``one company commander's battle against drugs and racial conflict in the war to rebuild the post-Vietnam army,'' this is less an adventure tale than a story of organizational behavior. A veteran of more than 20 years' service, Lanning ( Inside the LRRPs ) describes his 18 months of company command (1974-1976) in Germany in a pk longwinded narrative crammed with forgettable sketches of his platoon leaders and details only buffs might enjoy (the appendixes include lists of the company's equipment inventory and personnel). The army was in trouble: drug abuse and racial incidents were increasing, and the end of the draft meant that volunteers came from the ``bottom of society.'' Lanning describes how he administered punishments to restore discipline, provided an ``open door'' to hear grievances and prepared troops for maneuvers. Eventually his company won battalion honor awards. Lanning notes that none of his actions were innovative; success requires only that one ``follow the basics . . . well and with enthusiasm, fairness and good intentions.'' Moreover, he notes, ``the real key to any long-term success is peer pressure.'' (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 280 pages - 978-0-345-48304-1
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