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“Outlaw Platoon” by Sean Parnell Analytical Essay


The book “Outlaw Platoon” by Sean Parnell is story on heroism. The author begins by explaining how he became the commander of the infantry platoon at the age of twenty-four. This paper explores how Sean Parnell lived and displayed three army values as he describes in the book. The three values identified from the book include “duty, respect, and personal courage”.

From the book, it is notable that the author displayed and lived most of the army values. The first value that comes out clearly from the book is that of “duty”. After the platoon arrived at their base in Afghanistan, “the insurgents attacked them with rocket fire” (Sean 12). The fire killed and even wounded several children. As a soldier, Parnell ran into the village to help one of the little girls. He grabbed the girl and sprinted towards the First Aid Station.

The girl was bleeding in his arms. Afterwards, “the image of the bleeding girl came back to him when he was in bed” (Sean 15). Parnell had to accept the situation and move on with his life. As well, he believed that the other soldiers in the platoon must have had experienced a similar scene. This shows clearly how the soldier lived the value of duty. It is also a sign of commitment towards helping civilians and children. The value of “duty” requires that the soldiers do more than what is required of them.

The other value that is evident from the book is that of “respect”. According to this army value, soldiers are supposed to treat other people well and with respect. Through respect, soldiers are able to appreciate the best in all the other people. During the 16 months in Afghanistan, the author explains how he encountered the noblest attributes of human spirit. Through respect, the soldiers were able to develop the best bonds amongst themselves.

Although this was the only way for the men to survive, Parnell upheld the value of “respect” thus developing the best relationships with the soldiers. The author goes further to explain how they worked as a team. Parnell clearly understood that every individual had something to contribute towards the success of the operation (Sean 104).

The book goes further to present the value of “personal courage”. Personal courage is one of the oldest values associated with the American army. During the 16 months, Parnell was always ready to face adversity and danger. The team endured physical challenges and risked their safety in order to help others.

The approach made it easier for them to attack the insurgents. According to the author, the platoon was fighting a strong infantry. The insurgents were seasoned and properly armed. It was only through courage that they would survive and win the fight. For instance, Parnell describes how he courageously helped one of the solders by the name Garvin after an attack (Sean 182).

The insurgents had no mercy because their objective was to “behead the American soldiers” (Sean 128). Although the insurgents did their very best to overrun the American soldiers, Parnell explains how their team remained strong in order to survive and go back home alive.

This is a sign of personal courage. With courage, faith, and love for each other, most of the soldiers were able to return home alive. Together with the soldiers, Parnell displayed and lived most of the army values thus making the infantry platoon successful despite the challenges and obstacles encountered (Sean 126). In conclusion, Parnell’s book is a story of courage and selfless commitment.

Works Cited

Parnell, Sean. Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan. New York: William Morrow Paperbacks, 2013. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2019, May 25). “Outlaw Platoon” by Sean Parnell. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/outlaw-platoon/

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"“Outlaw Platoon” by Sean Parnell." IvyPanda, 25 May 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/outlaw-platoon/.

1. IvyPanda. "“Outlaw Platoon” by Sean Parnell." May 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/outlaw-platoon/.


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IvyPanda. "“Outlaw Platoon” by Sean Parnell." May 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/outlaw-platoon/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "“Outlaw Platoon” by Sean Parnell." May 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/outlaw-platoon/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) '“Outlaw Platoon” by Sean Parnell'. 25 May.

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