Many of my followers may wonder why I’m reviewing this book. It’s not a political or military thriller, it’s not a work of fiction it’s a memoir of some guy that served in the military. As a veteran myself, there is nothing more gratifying than seeing successful veterans leading good lives post service and doing good things. I’m sure there are many out there, but in this world, the ones that come to mind; Brad Taylor, Matthew Betley, Jack Carr, and soon to be published Marine Corps Officer, LtCol Rawlings in Red Metal to name a few. As Jack talks about in Murphy’s Law, many veterans get out and are lost and just can’t adapt to civilian life and succumb to alcohol, drugs, and suicide. Like him, I’ve served with people that choose to take their life and even took others with them. Mental health isn’t a great topic to discus, but it’s a major problem among veterans and if I can use this platform to give it a little more attention, even reach one person out there, than I consider myself successful.
Jack Murphy’s memoir Murphy’s Law is a brutally honest report on his young life so far. I joke saying young, because as he says a memoir is supposed to be for those retired aged folks who have several decades past adulthood. While Jack is in his 30’s, he has lived a type of life to where his soul, his heart, or whatever the fuck you want to call it is a few decades ahead of him. I say brutally honest because there were many instances of failure, misjudgment, and incidents where I questioned his sanity in putting them in this book. I do however respect him for doing so, it takes a lot for a man to tell the world all his accomplishments as well as failures.
Murphy’s Law starts with a young Jack in high school with a dream of becoming a Special Forces Soldier, he makes this known and isn’t shy about his intentions, so much that the faculty at his school doesn’t even bother with college application for him. Instead, he goes to the recruiting office and tries to join the Marine Corps. The dumbass Marine at that recruiting station could not get over the fact that Jack was ready to go and started to sell the Marine Corps to him, I can imagine with those dumb blocks. I literally had the same exact experience, my recruiter could not fathom me walking into his office and saying, “Okay, I’m ready to go, sign me up.” At one point they asked if I was running away from the law. Well, Jack didn’t have the patience for these games, said “fuck this” and went next door to the Army recruiter. Marine Corps loss, the Army’s gain, in my opinion. From there, Jack goes to describe in great details his entrance into the Special Forces Community, first as a young Ranger then a Special Forces Green Beret. During his time in the Army, both as a Ranger and then part of the Special Forces Community, Jack details many of his deployments and missions he was a part of on those deployments. Once again, I found his take on his surrounding environment to be honest and clear, since I was deployed in the same campaign. Please, don’t assume by me saying that I was some kind of a bad-ass, just part of the same war. His accounts of the war and the way leadership was handling things, such as not being able to leave the wire without local assistance is spot on towards the end of the war. The one thing that I picked up on was his disdain for anyone that isn’t infantry. His wording, describing them as conventional army units was used more than a few times. Here’s a quick story one of my Sergeant’s told me who I believe had a similar disdain for non-combatants. He was in Fallujah during the second push and said on the base there were roughly ten-thousand troops, only about two-thousand of those left the wire. So, by this logic, it takes eight-thousand troops to support those two-thousand that do “the real work.” By support, I mean logistics, communications, food, transport, administration, etc. Jack’s accounts of his deployments were detailed and definitely not meant to boost his persona, he gives credit where credit is due and does not make himself seem like some type of super hero warrior. In fact, he credits some good decision making and skills, but also luck as to how he survived some of the shit he found himself in. With that, I can also relate.
Then came a time for Jack to separate from the Military, his decision for this mirrors my own. Being a senior Staff NCO in the Military pretty much means you’ve become an admin bitch. Riding a desk and ensuring your NCO’s and everyone below them does what they’re suppose to. I wanted no part of that and neither did Jack. Utilizing his GI bill, he put himself through college. This part of his memoir he somehow made readable and not very boring, the transition to civilian life isn’t easy. He utilized the same determination he did through grueling training sessions, marches, and hazing incidents disguised as training and made it through college successfully. He had a few bumps in the road, taking on more than any average person could handle and picked himself up and kept on pushing.
The next chapter of his life covers his journalism career. With fake news main stream media reporting basically shit, he took it upon himself to get first-hand knowledge on whatever he is reporting at the time. From sexual scandals in the military, to groundbreaking firsthand exposure on the civil war in Syria, to successful missions conducted by US and Philippines special forces in Asia. All these and many more, he reported from seeing it in person, traveling through Syria and Iraq, having to be smuggled into the country and out. Being interrogated and detained at times and not knowing if he will be home next week or in a terrorist prison. Taking great risk to ensure authenticity in his reporting. For those interested in reading the stories he has written and will continue to write, check out his organization, formerly known as SOFREP and currently known as NEWSREP, they market themselves as fact based and no sides in regard to politics. Besides journalism, Jack Murphy is a very successful writer. He is a New York Times Bestselling author of Reflexive Fire – An assassin who is in over his head. A cabal that wants him to lead a secret army. A conspiracy decades in the making. Target Deck – The war against Mexico’s drug cartels just got outsourced. Direct Action – A military thriller about what happens when America’s best go bad. Jack also Co-wrote Benghazi, The Definitive Report – An account of what happened before, during, and after the deadly Benghazi attack.
My reviews usually receive a Blast Radius rating based on how good they are, how much action, developed plot, developed characters, etc. If that were the case here, Murphy’s Law would be a NUKE! This however is real life, real pain, real shit one man has gone through. Whether you want to know what the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were really like from the perspective of someone that left the wire every day, (meaning he left the base, he exited friendly lines, he was among the local populous in country) however the fuck you want to word it, he was in the shit. As well as his experience transitioning to civilian life, getting married, becoming a father, his experiences as an investigative journalist with no shit boots on the ground first-hand experience. If any of that interests you, then I highly recommend this book. Don’t forget, RLTW!
About the Author
Jack Murphy is an eight-year Army Special Operations veteran who served as a Sniper and Team Leader in 3rd Ranger Battalion and as a Senior Weapons Sergeant on a Military Freefall team in 5th Special Forces Group. After returning to civilian life in 2010, he graduated from Columbia University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. While in school, he cofounded the website SOFREP which is a news and information website run by Special Operations veterans.