What It Means to Lead The Way
Keni Thomas is first and foremost a great story-teller.
Keni Thomas was a Sergeant/E-5 and a fire team leader/Squad Leader in the Battle for Mogadishu. Raised in Florida and now making Nashville, TN his home, he was a Singer in the Rangers and he's a Country Star now. He isn't the first to write a book on the events made known to the world in the book and movie "Black Hawk Down," but like CW3 Michael Durant, this story is his piece of the puzzle. And he weaves into his story of the battle, lessons of faith, and lessons of leadership in seamless manner that will keep you from putting the book down to refill your cup of coffee.
If you've ever wondered if your role in life is important, Keni answers that for you: You are the one piece of the puzzle that makes it all work! He points out how important it is for leaders of all levels to lead, even if they are the lowest Private, still learning how to use the weapons right. And he tells the story of how he learned that leadership doesn't mean being the fastest, but in making sure the whole team finishes. It took him 24 miles with a 50 lb rucksack to learn that lesson.
How is it that Task Force Ranger could flawlessly execute multiple missions given only a 10 minute notification? They had practiced every part of the mission multiple times, until it was routine. No, they didn't know that morning they were going to the Olympia Motel, but they knew how to Fast Rope, they knew how to set up external security, and they knew what to do if a Blackhawk went down.
This isn't just a book for Infantrymen, just for Historians, or for Soldiers, not even just a book for Leaders. It is a book for everyone, though there are lessons for Warriors, for Leaders of Warriors, for Politicians, and for Historians. This is a book for Teachers, and Aircraft Mechanics, and Doctors, and the person doing the paperwork to make it all happen.
But one of the most important stories he tells in his book of how he struggled with the notoriety of telling these stories. It took an almost missed encounter with a WWII Veteran to bring him to terms with why it was important for him to tell the Stories of Valor on the day he lost friends.
This is the first I've learned of SSG Eversmann's book, but each of these accounts sheds light on a different part of the Battle of Mogadishu.