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5.0 out of 5 stars I liked OAE so much I created a website!
I liked Once An Eagle so much I created a website! See [...] -- Tom Hebert
Published on Dec 13 2007 by Thomas Hebert

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's boring. The dialog is insipid.
If you are in a position in the military where you are forced to read this book and you wonder why you find it boring when so many others love it, you may rest assured that it truly is boring. I slugged it out to page 137 in the 938 page hardcover version and I give up. I cannot stand to hear another word from that corny character named Raebyrne. Here are the problems...
Published on March 20 2002 by From_Plano_TX


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's boring. The dialog is insipid., March 20 2002
If you are in a position in the military where you are forced to read this book and you wonder why you find it boring when so many others love it, you may rest assured that it truly is boring. I slugged it out to page 137 in the 938 page hardcover version and I give up. I cannot stand to hear another word from that corny character named Raebyrne. Here are the problems with this book. The dialog is insipid. The character development is shallow, much like the science fiction genre. There is not much action. It is a pokey, slow moving book that offers little else except perhaps a depiction of military life and action that is accurate enough to please those who have been there. I have not been in the military, but I have enjoyed many books on military history that are far more stimulating than this novel. If you love this book, fine. If you don't love this book, you are not alone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I liked OAE so much I created a website!, Dec 13 2007
I liked Once An Eagle so much I created a website! See [...] -- Tom Hebert
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5.0 out of 5 stars Leadership skills and a guide for everyday living..., June 23 2004
By 
G. Mulvey "gmulvey" (Seattle, WA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In a country where Goldie Hawn can share a stage with Zig Zigler and tell their stories of success; here is superior fictional story on how to live ones life. No exaggeration! You see, the two protagonists in "Once an Eagle" are very different. Yes, there is a bit of black and white imagery used by Mr. Mryer, but the story of the choices that Sam Damon and Courtney Massengale make, need to be told and re-told. We were young once and we read Remarque's "All Quiet On The Western Front", the quintessenial war novel. I'm sure not many of us identified with Paul's former teacher or Sergeant. Why? Yes, Paul's journey is more interesting. However, it's the choices of an idealist youth who grows into a man after seeing the horrors of war that calls to all of us. Anton Mryer has updated that story, made it more fuller, more complex and has extended it over two adults lives. And, yes there is a message here to be found here. As a young Boy Scout, I was taught that the choices we make determine the man we become. Well, what better life model than that of Sam Damon. As a father, I can only hope my own children make similiar ethical choices! Enjoy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Where is the Video or DVD?, June 20 2004
By 
Michael B. Berman "ltcdcret" (Harker Heights, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Once An Eagle (Hardcover)
The other 85 reviews tell it all. I read the book and loved it. I served in the Army for 22 yrs. and finally, fully understood and appreciated it. There ARE men like Damon. They are few but they are there and they deserve to be honored in fiction and film. I remember the TV series based on the novel and thought it was terrific. How is it possible that it is not available on DVD? Shogun is available on DVD, Thorn Birds is available on DVD, Winds Of War is availabel on DVD. For crying out loud Natural Born Killers is available on DVD! How is it possible that Once An Eagle is NOT available on DVD? As John Stossel would say: "Give me a break!"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Two roads to the top, April 15 2004
By 
Charles Miller (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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While Sam Damon is the putative hero of this book, it is really about two people--Sam Damon and Courtney Massengale. Damon enters the Army as a private and works his way up through the ranks. Massengale enters as an officer through West Point. Damon works at his job. Massengale works the system. Damon is loyal to his men. Massengale is loyal to himself. For those of us who have worked in organizations, these two characters are quite familiar. Anton Myrer separates them in a very black-and-white, yin-and-yang fashion, although most real people evince each behavior pattern at different times. This turns "Once an Eagle" into a morality play that puts our own foibles at the forefront. Who do you want to be, after all, Sam Damon or Courtney Massengale? Myrer does all this while maintaining a page-turning pace in a very readable story. I highly recommend this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Over-rated!, Jan. 15 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Once an Eagle (Hardcover)
This book is the most over-rated book on leadership I have ever read.
Sam Damon is the knight in shining armor who can do no wrong. As a teenager, prior to even joining the Army, he spends his time writing analyses of Civil War battles that one would expect from a graduate of the Army War College. He decisively beats the lumberjack-size town drunk in a fist-fight hands down. He does everything right.
Oh, excuse me...he commits adultery by having an extra-marital affair. But hey, Sam Damon is such a stud, he deserves the right to blow off a little steam with some Army nurse.
What aspiring leaders need to understand is that it is possible to be an exceptional leader, maintain your integrity and dedication to your subordinates, and accomplish the mission despite human limitations. Aspiring leaders need to understand that while innate talent is important, dedication and perseverence and living by a set of firm moral values will enable you to succeed as a leader.
We don't need an "out of sight" Sam Damon to inspire our aspiring leaders. Instead, consider studying the paths to greatness of real human leaders who actually walked the face of the Earth, such as Abraham Lincoln.
My point is, how can you truly credit anyone, such as the hero, Sam Damon with such honor, courage, and commitment, when the author has already built-in so many talents that the humans among us can't even relate?
I admit, this is a pretty good book...it reads extremely well, and of course Sam Damon is a model of the very best motives and attibutes all combat leaders should aspire to. I guess it was the extra-marital affair that really put me off, as if that's no big deal. The way I see it (I've been married for eight years and an officer for ten), if a man or woman cannot or will not honor the vows they made on the altar, I have a hard time believing that they would honor the Code of Conduct under pressure. Like, 'I can't resist my urge to do the wild thing with some nurse behind my wife's back, but on the other hand, you can push needles under my fingernails or torture me with electric shock, but I will never betray my country.'
Yeah, right.
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5.0 out of 5 stars As professional reading for a soldier..., Nov. 13 2003
By 
A. Risio (Frederick, MD) - See all my reviews
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First off, let me say I loved this book. I thought that Meyers wove an intricate plot that fully engrossed me. I could not put the novel down and often stayed up late in the evening unable to pause until I finished just one more chapter. I picked up this book because I had seen it on the Chief of Staff of the Army's reading list for Army officers. I am a professional officer and wanted to read this book that was recommended by several senior, successful officers. They all spoke of how the main character was someone they wished all military officers would emulate and his arch nemesis someone to ostracize and avoid. So I came at this book with some preconceived notions.
My point of contention with many of the reviews both on the book cover and from my superiors and peers was the hero worship aimed at the character of Sam Damon. He is a wonderfully constructed hero and Myers has done a wonderful job but, as in all great literature, he is flawed, sometimes painfully so, and his flaws in the end are his undoing.
This concerns me because some of the traits I know senior officers in the military want us to emulate are those same tragic flaws. Sam Damon sees his service to country above all else. He sacrifices his family to his duty. This is what I see as a major element of his tragic flaw. At times he better serves the soldiers under to the detriment of his own family, in effect, subjugating the needs of his family to those of the Army. Too many senior officers in today's military expect this sacrifice from their subordinates and that is why this book is so popular amonst senior military officials. They all wish they had a flock of Sam Damons working under them for they do not see his tragic flaw as such. They do not want balanced well rounded officers with lives outside the military. Instead they want officers willing to sacrifice everything in their life for the Army.
As I see it, Sam lacked the ability to balance his life. He gave everything to the military and when it was done he had nothing and was easily pulled back in to his doom because he had not invested some of his time in his family, friends, community or religion.
A wonderful story and cautionary tale and I would recommend it to anyone. To military personnel who are reading it based on advice from others, come to the table with an open mind and understand that Sam has many wonderful traits to emulate. It is up to you to intelligently decide which traits are noble and which are flaws.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Old books never die..., Oct. 2 2003
This review is from: Once An Eagle (Hardcover)
This was the first book I had "read for fun" ever, being that I just got out of college. But the subject matter (History) and length (1,000 pages) told me otherwise. But I insisted, since it was on every reading list I saw for Junior Officers, including the USMA and Army Chief of Staff lists.
You follow Sam Damon through his entire life, from the Mexican Punitive Expedition in 1915 up to the beginnings of the Vietnam "War." From the lowest Private to the General Officer who people worshipped. The story is amazing and unbelievable. I was so attached to the book. I found myself highlighting passages and quotes of the "real" moments that I have either seen or assume I will see. Sam is everyone's hero. And this hero has his sworn enemy in Courtney Massengale. I hated Massengale. Just like the book wanted me too. But Myrer makes you understand everbody's view in this work by shifting the perspective from Sam to Massengale to Sam's Wife on occasions. But still, I hated Massengale.
The book trashed two of my immediate expectations. First it was an Army book written by a Marine. I thought, "what could a Marine know about the Army?" Second, I never expected much regarding Sam's relationship with his wife/family and the toll that the Army life took on them. This was not distracting to the book, but rather intensified the relationship between Sam and his family, and the "relationship" with myself.
Highly recomended to anyone with an interest in the history of the battles of the early part of last century, the military minded, or even those who hate the military, but need a bit more knowledge. Yes, this book can be read as an "Anti-War" book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The moral compass of the American fighting man, Sept. 22 2003
By 
Jon Wong (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
My review of Once an Eagle is from the point of view of a Marine rifleman who participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I would like to note that Anton Myrer was also a Marine rifleman at one point of his life. . .
Once an Eagle's characters are inhuman. No man can match the dignity and sense of duty of Sam Damon. Few men can match the evil of Courtney Massengale, and none of those have worn the uniform of our country. The situations in Once an Eagle are preposterous; each one is form-fitted to provide the reader with the most insight into the characters.
All these alledged flaws (which other reviwers have used to justify their low marks given) are the very things that make Once an Eagle such an outstanding book. By making the world of Once an Eagle such a high-contrast and black-and-white place, Anton Myrer gives military leaders the perfect yardstick to measure their actions. Each new lieutenant aspires to be a Sam Damon, and wishes to God that he does not become a Courtney Masengale. The qualities of Sam Damon- integrity, a sense of duty, the deep parental feelings towards his men- are the qualities that make armies strong. These qualities, above technology or resources, are the qualities we hope that our military possesses. To paraphrase a former Marine Corps Commandant: while the circumstances of war change, the essence remains timeless: war is a struggle of will. Once an Eagle is the perfection that our military leadership aspires to, because the qualities of Sam Damon ensure victory in that "struggle of will."
Other reviewers have disparaged Mr. Myrer's military experience; how can a mere corporal speak of leadership? I believe that a corporal in charge of three other men in a fire team has the most tangible grasp on leadership- the results are always in front of him. As a corollary, it can also be said that as one rises in rank, the more difficult is becomes to grasp the principles of leadership that a corporal plainly sees. The qualities of leadership necessary to be a corporal are magnified proportionally as one commands more men, but the requirements are the same: integrity, a sense of duty, and a parental attitude towards the men he commands. Perhaps that is why Mr. Myrer has written such a magnificent work.
During the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I was told to take nothing but the most essential items. I skimped on the extra underwear and put my copy of Once an Eagle in my pack instead. I wasn't afraid of running out of clean underwear- I was afraid that I would not live up to the example of Sam Damon if and when the moment of truth came. I think Once an Eagle is THE moral compass of fighting men.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Book!!, July 6 2003
By A Customer
I purchased this book based upon the rave reviews below and was definitely not disappointed. A superb story from beginning to end with lessons in leadership, humanity, war and politics. A book you will think about long after you have finished it. Read this book.
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Once an Eagle
Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer (Paperback - July 1977)
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