In Harm's Way (Book Review)
The Army Lawyer, June 2005, No. 6, DA PAM 27-50-385
8 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2013
Date Written: July 1, 2005
This book review examines how "In Harm’s Way" offers contemporary lessons to military officers and judge advocates. Doug Stanton’s account captures the irregular, sometimes startling, and sometimes reaffirming ways that people respond when they reach the edge of life. Small-unit leaders who pick up "In Harm’s Way" will learn how people behave while they are under enormous stress. "In Harm’s Way" also contains important lessons on risk management, showing what can happen when senior leaders personally manage the risks attached to potentially catastrophic missions, and how to assign responsibility and blame when risk becomes reality. Finally, "In Harm’s Way" contains a simple lesson for judge advocates: a legally defensible position is not always a just position. While Stanton does not explicitly make all of these points (indeed, the reader will learn some of these lessons by spotting the shortfalls in some of Stanton’s arguments), military officers and judge advocates will profit from them, while being rewarded with a riveting account of survival.
Keywords: Risk management, military, USS Indianapolis
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