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Book Review: "Bad Infidel"

Gear + Kits
Gear + Kits
July 26, 2019
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This will be the first time I give a book I've read a review on here, so bear with me. My initial thoughts are pretty simple. This is a book written by a grunt for the grunts. It will certainly inform and educate anyone outside of the career choice, military and civilian, but as a grunt, it was an easy read.The author, Natividad Ruiz wrote with such candor and openness that I could really feel myself in the shoes of not only him, but the other warriors in his platoon. As much as things are different, they seem to stay the same. While I was lucky enough to have a pretty decent command structure, we've all had the "joy" of experiencing the type of leaders that Natividad comes into contact with, men who are loyal only to themselves and their desires. The book was a reminder and a somber one at that, not everyone who puts on the uniform and says "I've got your back," really means it.Is that to say that the military that Natividad Ruiz found himself in was bad? Not necessarily. Rather, the way it comes across is good leaders, especially in combat units, are few and far between. They are a treasure to truly cherish during your time in service. And bad leaders...well as big of a pain in the ass as they are, there is always a workaround with them. It won't always turn out the way you want, but if you're clever enough and don't give a fuck enough, you can find a way to outmaneuver bad leadership to a certain degree.It's unfiltered, it's raw, it's honest and it's pacing is exactly like you'll find in the military. Go here do this, wait, no go do this, oh well we changed that last minute, now you gotta do this. Why do you get to do this, who made you boss...all of that shit. While some readers may get tripped up in the pacing, this was the reality, even in good command climates, there always seemed to be a fresh new clusterfuck for each day, despite commands best attempts to remedy those situations. Hurry up and wait.Throughout the book, you see the measure of a true leader and men who truly trusted him with their lives. A man who knew his place was with the grunts in the shit. Fighting. My favorite string of moments was during the chapter titled "Do Not Go Gentle" where 2nd platoon, as usual, is getting straight-up fucked over, and Natividad after protesting, decided to hell with it all, grabs his metaphorical nuts and says that despite being undermanned and unprepared and uninformed of the change, he and his platoon will kick dick.The unabashed honesty of Bad Infidel will illuminate many realities that are conveniently left out of the normal war stories consisting of bravery, heroism, and valor.The honesty of the book may be painful if you're convinced of some Hollywood ideal of the United States military, but to truly correct any shortcomings we have within our own ranks, we must be open to blunt criticism of how things are. We cannot be combat effective for long if we ignore the lessons, both good and bad, from Bad Infidel.If you're interested in getting your hands on the book, you can buy it at or on Elm Grove Publishing. If you want to wait, you can get it at other major retailers starting July 31st.

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