Summary of My Share of the Task

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My Share of the Task book summary
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  • Controversial
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


Retired US Army four-star general McChrystal led the commando operatives who captured Saddam Hussein and killed terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq. McChrystal was an Army Ranger and a Green Beret – often described as a “hard man.” His autobiography provides a rare, educational insider’s view of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. The Army gave him maddeningly difficult goals, and he argues that he discharged them with honor, professionalism and effectiveness. This big book covers his military and personal history, but the personal is less known and perhaps more illuminating. The Army threw McChrystal all over the world, from tough assignment to tougher assignment. And if he gives readers more detail where he shines (in command) than where he doesn’t (in the Rolling Stone interview that preceded his retirement), perhaps that’s the human side of a hard man. While politically neutral, getAbstract recommends McChrystal’s insightful take on his lifetime of service.

About the Author

Stanley McChrystal retired in 2010 as a US Army four-star general. His last assignment was commander of the International Security Assistance Force and US forces in Afghanistan.



The Ultimate “Hard Man”

US Army four-star General Stanley McChrystal helped lead the war against al-Qaeda in Iraq, commanded the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and directed all military forces in Afghanistan. After 38 years of well-recognized service, he retired from the Army in 2010.

West Point

McChrystal entered the US Military Academy at West Point in 1972. His father, US Army Major General Herbert J. McChrystal Jr., graduated from West Point in 1945. At first, McChrystal was a poor student and a disciplinary problem, amassing demerits, room confinements and hours of walking punishments – but he ranked high in leadership. Over time, he became an exemplary cadet. At West Point, he met Annie Corcoran, daughter of a career US Army officer. McChrystal graduated in 1976 and married Corcoran in 1977.

A Ranger and a Green Beret

McChrystal’s early training as an officer included the US Army Ranger School at Fort Benning in Georgia. Ranger training is exceptionally tough, involving “sleep deprivation, hunger, physical exhaustion and instructors who [do] their best to make the course hell.” McChrystal received a coveted Ranger tab in...

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