Situation Reports (SITREP) are sent to commanders by request, scheduled, or situational necessity. Proper SITREP’s provide decision makers and readers a quick and clear understanding of the current situation.
With a proper SITREP, commanders of ground forces maintain critical situational awareness.
A SITREP with decorated veteran, two-time Bronze Star Medal & Purple Heart recipient, Sean Parnell. The author of Eric Steele thrillers, Man of War (2018), All Out War (2019) and One True Patriot (2020). Also by Sean, Outlaw Platoon (2012).
- Sean, thank you for taking the time to speak to me. I know your schedule is extremely strict these days. A new book, a very important election to win. I can imagine you’re very busy these days?
(laughing) Yes, yes, yes, I’m not sure if you know the story of how I got here, the president (President Donald Trump) called me out randomly, he came to the district and gave a big speech. He called me out, I wasn’t even there, I was at a charity event in South Carolina, giving a service dog to a veteran. I got a call from my mother and she asked me if I’m running for Congress and I said no, what are you talking about? Well the President just called you out to run for congress. I said come on, mom. I don’t believe that for a second. Then she sent me a video and sure enough he called me out. Since then, I have been moving and grooving ever since, you know I don’t have any political experience, but that’s okay. I know this job is about leadership and that’s something I know a little bit about. I’ve led troops in Afghanistan, and its about representing people first and that’s what I’m doing. It’s definitely an honor for sure.
- We’ve spoken before, and I’ve said it before. But I can’t stress enough. Thank you for your service to our country.
You’re welcome man, you’re welcome. I appreciate your service as well; it was an honor to serve.
- For new fans tuning in, June 10, 2006 is a day I can imagine you’ll never forget?
Correct, that was the day my platoon was in an observation post overlooking Pakistan. We got attacked by a force that outnumbered us ten to one. In the first minute of the engagement, I was wounded. I think 85 % of my platoon was wounded and we fought the enemy for something like six hours. It was the biggest fight that we experienced up to that point, 85% of my platoon was wounded, I was wounded as well, fractured my skull by a round fired from an RPG, but we made it through because we stuck together. You know the love and brotherhood that we shared on the battlefield that day was also our most formidable weapon and it paid off dividends. That day changed me for real. But that day wasn’t even the halfway point of our deployment, we had eight months to go, but we made it through because we stuck together and here I am.
- I’m very happy to hear you made it home, for your fans that may not be aware. Your memoir OUTLAW PLATOON describes that in a lot more details, right?
YES! Outlaw Platoon is my first book. I joined the military intending to make it a career, joined the Special Forces tried out for Delta. I didn’t get a chance to do that, because I was medically retired. I left the military broken. I sort of threw myself into writing the story of my troops. I didn’t expect Outlaw Platoon to do anything, but it took off. Nobody was more surprised about that than me and it was an incredible honor to be able to tell the story of my troops. But, yes you can read all about that fight and many others and all about what it’s like to lead an infantry platoon on the ground in Afghanistan.
- Now onto the order of business, your books. If we happen to come across a new reader that hasn’t heard of Sean Parnell or your military thriller series featuring protagonist Eric Steele. How would you describe the series?
Yes, Eric Steele is a young operative, part of the Alpha Program. The Alpha Program is a super-secret government sort of spy agency. There is nine Alphas in the world, each responsible for a different geographic area, and Eric Steele is the youngest Alpha. The story follows him. The first book, Man of war, he’s a sort of young idealistic operative that does everything that he can to save and preserve innocent life. Even if it means deviating from the mission, he’s intensely focused on accomplishing the mission and doing a little good in the world.
As the story moves on, he’s put through the ringer and in the second book All Out War, he loses A LOT. He leaves that book a different person; he’s changed just slightly.
In the third book, One True Patriot. Eric Steele faces off against a villain that he’s never experienced before. It’s a female assassin and she’s devastating, and really good at what she does. The Program, the Alpha Program and his friends, people that he’s known his entire adult life take a heavy heavy heavy toll. At the end of the book, Eric Steele is a completely different person than who he was when he first came on to the scene in Man of War.
I’m excited about this book, One True Patriot is by far the best story that I’ve ever written. It’s the biggest, most robust story that I’ve ever written. The first two books, lot of action. And action is great, but One True Patriot is all that action and more. Strong character development, a fast-moving plot, and I think it’s the best book I’ve ever written and I’m very excited to share it with people.
- Congratulations on your new novel, One True Patriot will be available September 1st. The third in your action-packed military thriller. How did you come up with the plot?
Well, the whole book was inspired from John McCain’s funeral. I remember watching his funeral and John McCain has always been someone that I admired from his military service to his service in Washington. I watched that sort of state funeral at the Washington National Cathedral with every one of our leaders in this country and even foreign leaders as well, all in that church and I thought, my god! Like, think about this, what a target. Every world leader including the President of the United States in one location all at the same time. I don’t want to give away anything in the book, but I wanted to tie that into a story in some way. If you think about it, State funerals are all public knowledge, you can have a pretty clear timeline, the guestlist, and I thought this has never been done before in a story and I want to be the first one to do it.
- You made it very personal for Eric, that rogue mission he went on was some good writing.
(Laughing) Thanks man, I’m so glad that you highlighted that. That was by far the most favorite part of the book. That was the part of the book that was most fun to write. Yes, Eric Steele, he is put through the ringer and so is the Alpha Program. By the end of this book, he learns something that just shakes the very foundation of who he is as a person. You’ll find out more about that in the following book, but One True Patriot is just.. I’m just proud of the story as a writer you always want to get better with every book. You know with every military operation you do an AAR (After Action Report) you just try to evaluate ways that you could have been better and done better. There are times when I go back to Man of War or All Out War and I read things and say man I could have done this a little better or maybe make this character make this decision, it would have elevated the story. And you try to take those lessons that you learned in the first two books and put them in the third.
- In our SITREP last year, we talked briefly about killing characters, the character I was referencing is Demo. Can we talk about that a bit now, it carried over into One True Patriot and affected Eric pretty hard?
The loss of Demo is something that was really hard, he was probably one of my favorite characters. One of my favorite scenes in this book is when Eric is at the Arlington National Cemetery talking to Demo at his grave site and that was taken out of my own personal life experience. In that moment, in that chapter you flash back to when Demo and Eric first meet, and you get a sense of how deep their relationship truly is.
- What is next for Eric? You left another huge cliffhanger at the end.
That, the cliffhanger. That will all be tied to book four. You’re going to get answers and more. That’s all I can say, there’s no way for me to say more without giving away something major.
- I know you’ve very busy, but here at Lima Charlie we focus on books and authors. Have you had a chance to read any new books? What is on your TBR stack?
Oh my gosh, man. I wish. I have been so busy. This run for political office is a twenty hour per day job. You spend most of your time on the phone, or out meeting people. Try to learn the issues that are important to them. I wish I had an answer for that, but right now most of what I read is The Maze Runner to my daughter at night. Reading Harry Potter to them as well. I have not had any time for recreational reading.
Lima Charlie Review for ONE TRUE PATRIOT
Combat veteran and genuine American hero Sean Parnell is back with his third Eric Steele novel, One True Patriot. Sean is well known for his memoir, Outlaw Platoon where he documents his time spent near the Pakistani border in the Barmal District of Paktika Province in Afghanistan. While there, his platoon was almost overrun with a force that outnumbered him and his men ten to one. Sean describes his time there as a “hellish deployment.” In my SITREP with him last year when All Out War (2019) his second novel was on the horizon, Sean goes to say, “it was just hell on earth for 485 days of combat, 85% casualties, some men were wounded two, three times.” In one attack, Sean was knocked unconscious and wounded, but he refused to give up or leave his men. For his strong leadership during this enduring war time experience, Sean was awarded two Bronze Star Medals and a Purple Heart. To see a detailed account of the constant 485 days of battle, check out OUTLAW PLATOON.
At any given time, there are nine Alpha’s assigned their own geographical territory on the globe. Among them, Eric Steele is the best. An Alpha is “a Clandestine operative assigned to a unit known simply as ‘The Program’.” Its purpose is to give the United States President another option to use when conventional methods are not an option.
These Alpha’s are the best of the best, the most intuitive, best trained, most capable operatives in the world. Yet, in One True Patriot, they start getting picked off. The first Alpha to bite the dust, Stalker Six, Jonathan Raines the former Air Force Pararescue man or PJ. His brutal murder comes at you quickly, he doesn’t see it coming and neither do you, the reader. And then his assassin announces herself to The Program by answering his phone and drops some hints that she knows all about the Alpha’s and that their days are numbered.
Eric Steele is tasked with finding out who is targeting them, but Steele is also on a personal mission and goes rogue when he discovers some intel from a personal source. This mission sees Eric single handedly attack a sizable force and dish some ass kicking that shows his level of skill and determination to learn the truth about something that means a lot to him. Steele also gets a new Keeper assigned to him, Dalton Goodhill since we saw the death of Bobby “Demo” Cortez in last years All Out War. This new addition doesn’t make Steele happy initially, but as I’m sure Sean Parnell has experienced in combat, brotherhood is born on the field of battle, and Steele’s new Keeper proves himself as a formidable ally. His past history is also briefly mentioned, and Dalton has some history with Eric’s father.
One True Patriot delivers a heart thumping, edge of your seat military thriller that will keep you reading way past your bedtime. Earning itself a Blast Radius of a Nuclear Bomb, a second for Sean Parnell on our review scale. This series from a combat veteran, a true patriot himself is an absolute must read for those Brad Taylor and Jack Carr fans, the authors that have been there, done that, and earned the t-shirt with their service to our wonderful country. One True Patriot is available September 1, 2020. Pre-Order now.
Author: Sean Parnell
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Follow Sean on Twitter: @SeanParnellUSA
Lima Charlie Rating: A BLAST RADIUS OF: A NUCLEAR BOMB (10/10) – The potential here is death on a global scale, nothing is scarier than a nuke. This is the best rating a book can get.
About the Author:
Army Ranger, combat infantryman with the elite 10th Mountain Division, and veteran of 485 days of fierce fighting along the Afghan-Pakistan border, Captain Sean Parnell’s unique leadership skills welded his platoon into one of the most fierce and effective American fighting units in modern military history. Repeatedly outnumbered and outgunned by a foe whose avowed purpose was to overrun his platoon and behead his Soldiers so that their torturous deaths could be filmed and posted on Al Qaida propaganda websites, Sean’s “Outlaws” battled furiously in the most rugged terrain on the planet—the towering Hindu Kush Mountains. Eighty-five percent of his platoon received Purple Hearts for wounds incurred in battle, but his men gave far more than they received. Outlaw Platoon killed over 350 enemy fighters in some of the biggest firefights of the Afghan War.
Not only did he lead his men against Taliban, Haqqani and Al Qaida fighters, but his platoon was repeatedly attacked by uniformed members of the Pakistani military on the Afghanistan side of the border. In January 2007, a Pakistani frontier corps force joined an Al Qaida-led mass assault on Sean’s platoon, then stationed in a remote and half-completed combat outpost scores of miles from the nearest friendly base. The ensuing battle created an international incident and led directly to a confrontation between U.S. State Department officials and the Pakistan government. Sean was wounded in action on June 10, 2006 when his platoon was nearly overrun for the first time by a force that outnumbered them almost ten to one. Refusing to leave his men as they battled the enemy at point-blank range, Sean was knocked unconscious and wounded two more times during the firefight. Each time, he returned to his feet to lead his men again. His selfless example prompted one of his Soldiers to remark later, “Sean Parnell saved us all.”
After the June 10, 2006 battle, Sean continued to suffer from untreated head and neurological wounds. For weeks after, cerebral-spinal fluid leaked from his ears and nose while he continued to patrol with his men. His dedication to his men came at great personal cost: when he returned home following the 06 deployment, his wounds forced him from the Army, and he was medically discharged. His platoon remains one of the most decorated Army units since 9-11.