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The Story of an American Fighting Man
Warfighter is the story of Col. Jesse L. Johnson, US Army (Ret.), one of the most decorated living Americans. His 40-year Army career spans the intense years of Vietnam, the 1980 Delta Force Eagle Claw mission in the Arabian desert, Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and beyond. Col. Johnson was Gen. Schwarzkopf's chief deputy during the Gulf War. Johnson is a true American hero. He is popular among service members and we can expect dynamic publicity from all military publications as well as traditional media (TV, print, online publications, and others). Col. Johnson will be attending (virtually or, post-Covid, in-person) reunions of Army personnel from Vietnam, Delta, and Desert Storm during the coming years. Warfighter: The Story of an American Fighting Man is for those readers who bought and enjoyed titles such as We Were Soldiers Once. . .and Young (Lt. Gen. Harold Moore), Band of Brothers (Ambrose), Hunting the Jackal (Billy Waugh), Jarhead (Swofford) and other successful books on military figures past and present.
Col. Jesse L. Johnson is one of the most highly decorated combat veterans living today-the man General H. Norman Schwarzkopf called "the unsung hero of the Gulf War." Colonel Jesse L. Johnson served a distinguished military career spanning thirty-four years on active duty. He spent the majority of that time in Special Forces, Delta Force, and the most legendary units of both the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. In 1965, Johnson deployed to Vietnam with the 1st Air Cavalry Division. As a Sergeant First Class, he received a direct commission to the rank of 1st Lieutenant for combat actions during his first tour in Vietnam. As a Captain, he served a second tour in Vietnam as a company commander and staff officer in the 9th Infantry Division. During this tour, he earned three Silver Stars and a Distinguished Service Cross in a single month of combat and became lifelong friends with Hollywood legend Jimmy Stewart. After a tour at NATO, and with an airborne combat team in Europe, Colonel Johnson returned to the United States to serve as Deputy Commander of the Army's elite Delta Force after it was formed by President Jimmy Carter. He was a lead operator on Operation Eagle Claw, the 1980 attempted rescue of U.S. hostages in Iran. When the Italian Red Brigades kidnapped General James Dozier in Rome, Colonel Johnson spearheaded the January 1982 mission that led to his safe return. He helped lead Operation Urgent Fury, the 1983 rescue of American medical students in Grenada. For his leadership at Delta, Colonel Johnson received the prestigious Legion of Merit. After earning a second Legion of Merit as commanding officer of the 10th Special Forces Group, he assumed command of SOCCENT (Special Operations Command of Central Command), arriving at MacDill Air Base, Florida, less than one month before Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in July 1990, finding himself smack dab in the middle of SOCCENT's area of responsibility. One month later, he deployed to Saudi Arabia to run all special ops for Operations Desert Shield and then Desert Storm, including command of Task Force Normandy, which fired the crucial opening shots of the war. Colonel Johnson holds more awards for valor than any other special operator or covert commander in the United States Armed Forces, with the exception of the few that hold the Medal of Honor. His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross; the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (normally reserved for three- and four-star generals); three Silver Stars; four Bronze Stars (two with "V" device); two awards of the Legion of Merit; the Soldier's Medal; the Army Commendation Medal (with "V" device); three Purple Hearts; the Master Parachutist Badge; the Free Fall Parachutist Badge; and parachutists badges from Germany, England, Belgium, Canada, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar; along with numerous other service medals. Civilian decorations include the Gold Medallion and Seal from the Central Intelligence Agency. Colonel Johnson has appeared in twenty-eight books, including Year of the Horse by Lieutenant-Colonel Kenneth D. Mertel; It Doesn't Take a Hero by General H. Norman Schwarzkopf; Every Man a Tiger by General Charles Horner and Tom Clancy; Shadow Warriors: Inside the Special Forces by General Carl Stiner and Tom Clancy; Guests of the Ayatollah by Mark Bowden; and most recently, Shadow on the Mountain by Katharine Holstein and Shaker Jeffrey. He is a frequent speaker for veterans and other military and civic organizations. * Author's Previous Titles: This is Col. Johnson's first book.
"Jesse Johnson was a hero to me when I worked for him as a young airborne Lieutenant, and he remains a hero to me and countless others some 45 years later. His incredible courage on multiple battlefields, his inspirational leadership, his sacrifice over many decades, and his genuine love for soldiers and soldiering make his story a timeless one, as relevant and inspiring today as it was at each juncture along the way - including when I was privileged to serve under him." --General David Petraeus, US Army (Ret.) Fmr. Commander, International Security Assistance Force Fmr. Commander, US Central Command Fmr. Director of the CIA "It is imperative that all Americans read Colonel Jesse Johnson's story. At a time when fiction, fantasy, and facade too often displace actual accomplishments, courage, and character, we should recognize the authentic heroes among us. I served with Colonel Johnson for more than four decades, in both peace and war, and there is no doubt that he is the real deal. Jesse Johnson's life's journey transcends decades of American conflict, our own national development, and societal transformation. His life is a history lesson in and of itself. I am proud to know Jesse Johnson as a brother in arms and as a friend." --General Peter J. Schoomaker US Army (Ret.) Fmr. Commander in Chief, US Special Operations Command Fmr. Chief of Staff, US Army "Colonel Jesse L. Johnson is a warrior's warrior. For over 40 years from Vietnam to Iraq, from the 1st Cavalry Division to the Delta Force, Johnson was there standing tall and doing his duty. WARFIGHTER recounts his stories from start to finish and is a real page turner. Compelling work." --Joseph L. Galloway, co-author of We Were Soldiers Once...and Young Endorsement TK from General Barry McCaffrey
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