If you've spent much time online checking out videos or posts on veteran-themed social media pages and websites, there's a pretty good chance you're familiar with Mat Best. Over the past several years, the former Army Ranger and defense contractor has leveraged his military experiences into a wildly successful career as an online entertainer, co-creator of the veteran-made zombie flick Range 15, and the co-founder of three popular military-themed companies (Black Rifle Coffee, Leadslingers Whiskey, and Article 15 Clothing), to boot.
Now, Best is adding "author" to a list of titles that include: operator, entrepreneur, coffee aficionado, apparel designer, actor, comedian, whiskey distiller, and master of parody rap battles.
Editor's note: "Formation: A Woman's Memoir of Stepping Out of Line" is a fierce and jarring telling of one woman's experience of war, military sexual trauma and her ensuing PTSD, and working to prove herself in the male-dominated world of the U.S. Army.
That thought occurred to me as I was looking, for a possible review, at a book coming out later this year. The first sign that something was wrong was when I was 15 pages into it and I still really had no idea of what it was about. (I knew it was about some aspect of modern warfare, but no indication of what this book was bringing to the party.)
1. For the ceremony to honor the Unknown Soldier, General John Pershing selected eight American heroes from World War I to server as Body Bearers. They included some of the most decorated enlisted men in the U.S. military and represented the major service branches and specialties: the Army, Navy, Marines, Infantry, Cavalry, Field Artillery, Coast Artillery (Heavy Artillery) and Combat Engineers. Their individual stories — so gripping that each could be its own feature film — tell the larger story of America's involvement in the Great War.
Editor's note: Carmen Gentile has covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and been featured in the New York Times, Time, Newsweek, USA Today, Esquire, and many others. This is an excerpt from his first book, Blindsided by the Taliban, released March 6, that chronicles his time downrange as an embedded war reporter.