“A deeply personal, powerfully insightful, and sometimes disturbingly candid account of command in combat by one of his generation’s most thoughtful warrior-leaders. Jeff Schloesser captures the frustrating complexity of Afghanistan and the challenge of fighting America’s longest war brilliantly. A must read for those who want to understand leadership in the toughest of environments.”
– Stanley A. McChrystal, U.S. Army, GEN (Ret.), Commander of US and ISAF forces in Afghanistan
"Major General Jeff Schloesser has written a gripping account of his fifteen months commanding the 101st Airborne Division during the toughest days of America's long war in Afghanistan. Schloesser eloquently and candidly writes about being a senior commander at war, making decisions that likely will result in soldiers wounded and killed while simultaneously dealing with the political challenges of dealing with higher headquarters and senior echelons of the American, Afghan and Pakistani governments. Marathon War is compelling and honest, telling the story of men and leaders in battle, the 'filth and gore,' the camaraderie, and the impact of soldiers' absence on the families left behind—including his own. Jeff Schloesser was a great commander. This book makes clear why."
– Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense 2006-2011
"Marathon War transported me straight back to the year I spent learning to be a general officer from Major General Jeff Schloesser and his 101st Airborne team in Afghanistan. Jeff artfully recounts the story of people, places, and events to explore the challenges, complications, and responsibilities of leading counter insurgency operations on the other side of the world. You'll leave with a better understanding of both the choices and decisions that shaped our longest war and the human toll it took on the extraordinary men and women who fought it...and are still processing it."
– General Mike Holmes, USAF (ret.)
"If you truly want to understand the nature of wartime leadership; the heartache, the elation, the fear, the sense of frustration and the great pride of leading America's men and women in combat, then you must read Jeff Schloesser's Marathon War. No one tells the story better."
– Admiral Bill McRaven, Former Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command
“A lot has been written about Afghanistan, but Jeff Schloesser’s Marathon War offers something different. The very personal reflections of a most thoughtful senior commander help us better understand the strategic context and consequences of America’s longest war, but also offers insights into the incredible stories, tragic and heroic, of those involved. Jeff reminds us that, while politicians make the big decisions about war, it is soldiers and their families who bear the brunt of those decisions.”
– General Carter F. Ham, U.S. Army retired President and CEO of the Association of the United States Army Former Commanding General, United States Africa Command
“Marathon War is a dramatic account by a unique leader. General Jeff Schloesser led our effort to develop the nation’s first war plan for the global war on terror (GWOT). Incorporating all elements of national power, it was debated by the cabinet and approved personally by President George W. Bush. He then put on his cleats, jumped on the field, and executed it for fifteen hard and bloody months in Afghanistan. This book focuses on leadership at the tip of the spear. It is a fascinating and moving account of implementing grand strategy at the tactical level on the ground, where death and destruction are constant companions. It is a must read for those who labor in either vineyard, as well as a solid reminder for all that character is the sine qua non of effective leadership.”
– Hon. John Scott Redd, VADM U.S. Navy (Ret). Former Director, National Counterterrorism Center
“There have been several books written about leadership, and specifically leadership in combat, but Jeff Schloesser’s Marathon War is an absolute must read to understand senior level command in war. It tells the riveting story of commanding for fifteen months in Regional Command-East, the most lethal region of Afghanistan. It masterfully provides the rich detail and insight into the trials and tribulations of how a senior leader must assimilate volumes of information, calculate risk to mission and risk to force, and ultimately make decisions that put men and women into harm’s way. Despite having a dedicated staff and other subordinate commanders to provide their insight, their assessment of the intelligence, and despite innovations in technology and superior equipment, the ultimate decision rests with the commander. Jeff provides an intimate account of ‘the interpersonal struggles’ that senior leaders are challenged with in the most complex situations. Leaders in any profession who choose to be relevant need to read this account.”
– John F. Campbell, General, US Army, (Retired), Former Army Vice Chief of Staff and Former Commander US and NATO Forces in Afghanistan