By Order of the President
List Price: $7.99

Our Price: $6.39

You Save: $1.60 (20%)


Product Description

When a leased Boeing 727 is violently hijacked from Angola and flown to parts unknown, the President turns to an outsider--Major Carlos Guillermo Castillo--for answers. A pilot, West Point graduate, and veteran of Desert Storm, Castillo has a sharp eye for the facts--and the truth behind them. In Africa, he is helped and hindered by unexpected allies and ruthless enemies, and begins to untangle a plot of horrific dimensions--a plot that, unless Castillo acts quickly, will end very, very badly.

Customer Reviews:

  • If you've read one...
    The frustrating thing about WEB's writing is the fast food production-like qualities. There's a predictable quality to his writing - formulaic, if you will - that makes you keep looking back to the front cover just to be certain that you haven't already read this one...

    This book is no different. For example, if I told you that the main character was a wealthy-beyond-his-position good looking playboy-type I could be talking about someone in any number of the books that he's written over the years. Nevermind the high ranking father-figure type or his West Point classmate, the "flies-by-the-seat-of-his-pants-and-doesn't-play-well-with-others" friend.

    The only thing unique about his characters are the means by which they all invariably come by the exact same attributes! WEB's plots are invariably interesting - which just adds to my frustration with his characters.

    The plot is actually pretty good. It's mostly believable, very timely, and highlights one of the challenges within our intelligence community. Only on a few occasions does he misstep when it comes to the deployment of SpecOps soldiers or the use of military technology.

    Two glaring errors (and I might be a bit picky here) is the inclusion of a two star general on a clandestine Delta mission - something that would simply never happen - and the attempt to portray Gray Fox as a even more elite unit within Delta. While Gray Fox is an elite unit, it is an Air Force concern and not part of the Delta ToE. Still, WEB can be counted on to provide a solid plot and even if his characters seem canned at times, the writing works.

    Upon finishing the book, I didn't feel as though I wasted my time. To the contrary, I enjoyed most of what I read. I just felt like I'd read it or something like it before.

    I guess I don't get why an author with such a great imagination can't come up with more unique characters... ...more info
  • Slower Than Molasses
    Too long, too slow and too boring. There is also way too much military minutia which barely relates to the plot which itself is barely decernable. I'd pass on this one unless you're having trouble sleeping and wish to avoid sleeping medication....more info
  • If this is the future, God help us!
    WEB has described very accurately the attitude and the behavior of some of the people I worked with over the years as an intelligence officer. He effectively describes the problem existing between agencies involved in the collection of information for the President. Has this problem been solved? Of course not!
    I jeopardized my own military career by remaining in the field of Intelligence. Unlike many of my contemporaries as Aaron Bank and John K. Singlaub who went to other branches, reaching higher positions I decided to remain in the collection level because I loved the challenge. Unfortunately, in doing so, I remained on the bottom of the totem pole and was able to personally observe situations similar to those W.E.B. vividly describes in his book, and write about it.

    ...more info
  • Not as compelling as other series
    I have been a WEB Griffin fan for 25+ years and feel that he is the best military author of our time. His other series, Men at War, The Corps and Brotherhood of War have all been a pleasure to read and re-read. The main characters, Craig "Duke" Lowell, Dick Canniday and Kenneth "Killer" McCoy have all become "friends" over years and I eagerly await any new books that deal with them. The "By Order of the President" has been a big disappointment. The main character, Charley Castillo, just does not have the spark, nor is he as compelling as the others. In fact, it seems as if Griffin is going through the motions. Not only does it seem he is not really writing this one, but not even giving his input. While I have only read the first book, I am not looking as forward as normal to the second one. Maybe it will be better. It would be great if Griffin would bring out another novel of the Corp or the OSS.

    Despite not caring for this book I have the upmost respect for Griffins books.
    ...more info
  • The formula still works!
    Mr. Butterworth has writing the military novel equivalent to a bag of Doritos down to a science...each one tastes pretty much the same, but I still can't stop devouring 'em! Here you have the rich, multi-lingual, and supremely-talented officer (can you say Craig Lowell or Pick Pickering?), whose best buddy is an also highly-talented black officer, with a father that just happens to be a highly-regarded retired senior, legendary Army commander. And there is apparently only one city in Germany where heroes come from or go to university...the ubiquitous Marburg an der Lahn. But those traits aside, the story is a fun read, the plot has some interesting twists, and the Good Guys once again triumph over Evil, in between casual trysts with blonde supermodel career women. (Mr. Butterworth and his characters are all still living in a pre-AIDS/STD world, despite the updated technology and terrorist threats.) It doesn't matter, 'cause as long as he continues to write them, I'll still buy 'em!...more info
  • It is always easier to apoligize than get permission
    I loved this book,as I have all his military books.He knows his business and suffers fools badly.He accurately depicts the by-the-book small minds that are as big a menace to national security as a boat load of terrorists.The book gives great insight into the challenges we,as a country,face in the new world order....more info
  • Finally a really bad one
    Being a WEB fan is hard to write such a review. I'm starting to be afraid of WEB being caught by the same disease that seems to be eating Tom Clancy (another big favourite of mine): forcing themselves to be contemporary. It didn't work for Mr Clancy with The Teeth of The Tiger. And it doesn't work for WEB with this one, and I'm really sorry about that. It would have been much better for his loyal readers if he had written another Corps or Badge of Honor novel. (Although the lates BoH is also somewhat problematic...) As they say here in Hungary: shoemakers shall make shoes.

    Not being an expert in military lore I can accept what others wrote about these types of mistakes. My biggest problem however is with starting a new series (I presume) this way.

    All the other big ones (BoH, Corps, BoW) had the same dramaturgy (if you like) which I didn't mind: Lowell, McCoy and Payne all started at the bottom and worked their way up the ladder. This is what I really miss with Castillo: he is dropped right into the middle. As if the author didn't trust himself to create a new world all over again. Unfortunately, this is what I expected when I learnt a new WEB series would be coming......more info
  • Great Military Adventure
    By Order of the President is a great start to another military adventure series by WEB Griffin. Already the master of military fiction, Griffin continues to add to his credentials as a great storyteller.

    Unlike his other military tales, this one is set in current times, in fact just slightly (a few months) into the future. It has some great new characters taking on terrorists who have stolen a 727 with intent to cause mayhem. The lead player is Maj. Charley Castillo, who is as unconventional as other Griffin creations such as Killer McCoy.

    For anyone who has read Griffin before and likes him, this is one that you won't want to miss. If you haven't read him before, you don't know what you're missing and should definitely start. You will find the journey a great pleasure.
    ...more info
  • Why I Did Not Have to Write a Scating Review
    I was all ready to write a really nasty review of W.E.B. Griffin's latest offering, By Order of the President, but Major Kevin Rice (see below) saved me the trouble.

    Griffin is, sadly, an over-the-hill flack who must have blackmailed his publishers into paying him by the word. Case in point the entire page taken up with meaningless dialog between the Lear's pilot and FAA ground controllers.

    And as far as the use of wierd phonetic alphabets go how about "Papa-Zero-One-Zero-Three-Four" for PZ-1034.

    My pet peeve with Griffin has always been that, as Major Kev mentioned, his lead characters all seem to be wealthy - some born to it (BOW's Craig Lowell) or others marry into it (The Corps Ken "Killer" McCoy).

    Just my additional two-cents....more info
  • He's Back!!
    If you're a Griffin fan and were disappointed with his last book (as I was) you will be happy to know Mr. Butterworth is back. His previous book (Final Justice, I think) seemed to have been written by hired hacks who did not even know where they were supposed to be in time as all the characters were moved forward by about thirty or forty years without aging. This book is pure Griffin. The plot does not really matter - it's the author's style that does. Easy and engrossing reading. Good character identification. Put me on the list for Griffin's next book.
    ...more info
  • Far from his best. Not worth the purchase price
    I've enjoyed most of Griffin's books, especially his novels of the Phila police force. His Corps and Brotherhood of War series were good also....but this one falls far short.

    The prologue is fine -- exciting and leading -- but after plowing laboriously through two more chapters, I skipped to page 300 and went from there. Reading from that point on, and skipping much of the personal thoughts and the details about who does what and where in the pentagon and the chain of command, I finished up the story and found that I hadn't missed a thing. So about 270 pages were essentially drivel.

    Griffin has a penchant for several things that eventually get boring. One is that his heroes must always speak several languages, be extremely good looking, be officers (enlisted personnel apparently aren't worthy of his attention) or climbing rapidly to high rank, and be very rich. While all these characteristics are unquestionably important, the latter is apparently critical - a sine qua non...

    And will some please tell him that ''ergo sum'' means ''therefore I am''....he seems to slap it in where ''ergo'' is appropriate ...''ergo sum'' is not.

    This book was really bad. I'm not sure I'll read any more of his. ...more info
  • Ridiculous Plot, Shallow Characters
    Having never read Griffin before, I was looking forward to a thrilling story. Unfortunately, this book is plagued with a ridiculous plot (acknowledged throughout the book by several characters), shallow characters, and an ending that we all expected.

    Griffin is clearly familiar with his material, but he seems entranced by the idea of constructing a terrorist plot that is so outlandish that no one will believe it--and therefore maybe it will be carried out? The plot is dragged reluctantly along by characters who would rather gesture than speak. Griffin's military characters are constantly being described as making this gesture or that gesture. The reader comes away wishing someone would speak up and tell them to keep their hands to themselves.

    He also spends a surprising number of pages giving us a laborious introduction to the story's hero, Charley Castillo. Given the depth of the background, you would expect the reader to be intrigued by Charley. But Charley is so shallow--and his actions so unbelieveable--that I found myself looking for someone more interesting in the story. Alas, no one is to be found. All the characters are given lengthy introductions that are only an inch deep. At times I found myself wishing the terror plot might succeed in order to spare others from having to ever read of them again.

    Equally as disappointing is the ending. By this time in the novel, the reader can predict exactly what is going to happen. There are no surprises; indeed, there is nothing at all exciting about the ending of this novel. The good guys win; the bad guys lose. What Griffin obviously plans to be clever twists even end up being predictable.

    If you're looking for good bedtime reading, however, this may be your book. It's got all the makings for a good night's sleep....more info
  • BY order of the President
    I have all of W.E.B. Griffens books.This one was as excellent as all his others....more info
  • Another success in reading enjoyment
    I've read a number of Griffin's books and this one was absolutely no let down; quite the contrary! Lots of action, intrigue and character development. Anyone who likes his books or his type of book should not be disappointed at all. Great book!...more info
  • Compelling Story
    This is the first WEB Griffin novel I have ever read. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it is. There is an indepth plot, great characters, lots of character background, and obviously a lot of research into the current military and war on terrorism. I enjoyed every page of this book...more info
  • WOW
    This book is a hilarious view of the MI Community that had me rolling! From start to finish, the tale will enthrall is that wonderful manner that Mr. Griffin has. The diffiring views and scenarios are utterly believeable by anyone that has ever had to deal in any of the departments mentioned....more info
  • not real good as it used to be.
    I have read every book that Mr. Griffin has wrote. Never have I disappointed until these last two. Save Your money. ...more info
  • A shift?
    I love WEB Griffin's books, as a reader and as a combat veteran. But this book seems to represent a shift more towards the politics of war and away from the military. Don't get me wrong, there is still plenty of action and suspense, but it seems we also have to deal with a lot of suits in this one.

    Also, with the "Little Bird" aircraft on the cover, I thought this would have a whole lot more of SF insertions and covert ops than it did.

    Still, a great story. I also recommend Night Stalkers by Michael Hawke, the first in a new series about the 160th SOAR.

    ...more info
  • Absolutely Horrible
    That's coming from a huge WEB fan. I've read every single one of his books and this is the only one I would rate as BAD. It is totally implossible and the dialogue is sappy. Borrow a copy, don't buy it....more info
  • A different read, but still great
    "By Order of The President" is an excellent read, but before I get into that, I have a complaint. With this latest book, WEB has now moved into the new turf of the War on Terror, in the present time. But he has made this move at the expense of leaving the WWII Corps and OSS series unfinished and his fans hanging, waiting to find out what happens next.

    That off my chest, "By Order of The President" is a different read, but still great. A leased Boeing 737 takes off from Angola in Africa, and shortly afterward, two of its passengers slit the pilot's throat and take over the plane, which then mysteriously disappears. Sounds like something BL and his cutthroats, or an splinter terrorist organization, could get up too all right. Big question: where is that plane? Could those thugs be part of a plan to use it against America? Another 9/11? Another city this time? Like Philadelphia, as it turns out. The President is worried. He gets even more worried when bungling intelligence organizations, the CIA, FBI, etc., can find no trace of it, and seem to spend most of their time infighting instead.

    So the President calls in Delta Force Major Charley Castillo, a Desert Storm veteran. The major, in vintage Griffin style, is an unconventional character who has attracted the attention of the President though both military achievements and family connections. He accepts the assignment, and heads for Africa, to start tracking down the terrorists and smash whatever fiendish plot they are involved in. He has the authority, and the means, to go just about anywhere and do just about anything, and does too. A suspense filled, action-packed adventure follows, as only a great storyteller like WEB can write it. It takes you all over the world, and will keep you riveted.

    The novel has the usual minor goofs (like Medina is in Saudi A., not Morocco, and the Vietnam War ended in 1974, not earlier). But don't read it looking for author slips, continually checking the author's facts; you'll just spoil it for yourself. Read the book for the sheer joy of the plot, characters, action, and technology instead. Anyway, it's a work of fiction.

    Sadly, it will be a long wait for the next WEB. ...more info
  • Very disappointing
    Other reviewers have, correctly in my view, pointed out the many weaknesses of this book's plot, characterization, and story line. I would like to add just a couple of observations.

    One - The hero, Castillo, is an utter failure as a strong character who carries the story forward. Aside from the fact that he fulfills every schoolboy's fantasy of the rich playboy, but presents a very uninspiring figure for the adults in the audience, he is simply not capable of getting anything done on his own (perhaps I'm thinking of the old stand-by action hero, James Bond). Now maybe this is Griffin's idea of realism, but for a story that has this single character in nearly every scene I think it's only fair to ask the author to make our hero's intelligence and energy the decisive factor in the story's outcome. But no such luck. One example: a key plot point involves the gathering of information about a missing aircraft. Although Castillo is involved, he is completely at the mercy of his sources. The truly interesting question, not even briefly explored by Griffin, is how these folks seem to be ahead of the US intelligence apparatus at every turn. And when Castillo needs vitally important information from within the US intelligence community, he is reduced to a tirade on the phone and only gets the information he needs when others higher up the pecking order come to bat. It may be realistic to portray US military/intelligence figures as wrapped up in a labyrinth of overlapping jurisdictions and turf wars, but it doesn't make for a very interesting story.

    Two - If there is a moral to this story, it would be Griffin's grappling with the ancient question of means and ends. Castillo (and Griffin?) clearly operate on the principle that the end justifies the means - meaning, in the context of this story, that the command structure of the US armed services and intelligence communities is wholly dispensible when
    it comes to saving America from a disaster on a par with the World Trade Center attacks of 2001 - not only dispensible, but in fact a positive hindrance to getting anything really useful accomplished. Of course, this is a favorite theme of countless movies (Dirty Harry), TV dramas, books, etc., and I have no problem with employing that plot device here. I have no military background and I won't comment on how members of the armed forces might react to Castillo's (and others) end runs around the official hierarchy, but I just wonder if there's something here we should all be paying attention to. Is our national security ultimately going to depend on the ability of key individuals to bypass the established channels and become rogue agents? I don't have the answer, just the question....more info
  • By Order of this Reader, take a pass on this book.
    I find it hard to believe that the same author of The Hostage, which I thoroughly enjoyed, wrote this book. It goes on and on and on yet you don't get anywhere. Reading this book is like being stuck in quicksand. You plod and struggle to get through it but you just sink deeper into the abyss.

    After reading the first chapter I was really excited about this read and then Mr Griffin bogged the story down with incredibly over detailed flashbacks of Major Castillo's childhood.

    The story is very slow moving. The plot rather ridiculous and confusing. I mean we're only supposed to be investigating a stolen 727, yet you feel you're a part of the presidents cabinet and the military hierarchy plotting for a huge war.

    Just go get the damn plane, we don't need to be reminded of Castillo's sexual conquests risking the investigation along the way. How can a man who is made out to be incredibly brilliant with speaking 7 languages and flying helicopters and military aircraft and that has the presidents ear be the hostage of his member?

    Ridiculous, long winded read. If this had been the first book of Mr. Griffin's that I had read, it also would've been the last.

    This book is B-A-D!...more info
  • Griffin Books keep getting stranger
    Let me first say that I love WEB Griffin's Novels. I have read them all, some numerous times. This is the second one that I am unsure of.

    The book is a fun, fast read like all of his novels, and has the pace and attention to detail that has endeared him to readers world wide.

    My problem with this book and a few oif his other recent efforts is that they seem to be either repetitions or annoyingly non sensical.

    The last Badge of Honor novel jumped from the Early 1970's to today, and the characters did not age.

    Griffin skipped the end of WWII in the Corps series without resolving half the subplots, and I doubt we will ever hear from the Argentina series again.

    This latest book while featuring a "ripped from the headlines" plot seems to simply contain a series of Characters that are simply combinations of previous Griffin efforts. Castillo is just Cletus Frade crossed with a character from the OSS series. The station chief in Africa has a lineage that is suspiciously similar to Phillip Sheridan Parker from the brotherhood of war.

    Additionally the editing and fact checking is atrocious a 1981 US Army Commander who fears the advance of T34's across the Fulda gap shure would be surprised to learn that the T34 went out of front line service in the 1950's. It's not major, and it dosent ruin the book, but Griffin knows better.

    I don't want to discourage people, especially fans from the purchase of this book, its a fun read, but I just wish that griffin would return to some of the characters and polts that are still unresolved, rather than create new ones that are very similar. ...more info
  • News with a plot
    In this new series Griffin does for contemporary events what he did for military history; gives it a human face. Griffin enters the era of the international terrorist and those men who contestthis new enemy. Now we must grant that his humanity lives at a rather more rarified level, or floor of the hotel, than most of us mere mortals: kind of directors' circle rather than third floor near the elevator. With such wealth also comes skill in language, arts and technical areas. That's ok! Since Homer, heroes have epitomized the apex of their society. Odyssus , Aeneas, Arthur were not common men. There's been a lot of debate about this and while there are moral consequences in an age of democracy, it may be a literary truth that it is hard to plot around the ordinary.

    Griffin clearly belongs to the 'great man' school of historical fiction. In his WWII series he accomplished the noble task of "Teaching with delight." And with all respect to the Dogfaces and the "Joes" who actually won the war, he made some great stories about high level goings-on and grand strategy. In some ways this poses a problem, for the nature of terrorism is that it can happen so quickly at such a micro scale that such macro responses are helpless to combat its effect.

    In this new series he promises to do the same. Be forewarned. This is the same Griffin. He repeats his jokes - we might miss them. He waxes eloquent over technical aspects and devices. He treats authority with an easy familiarity mixed with awe which reminds one of the one liner :"Class warefare is impossible here. Americans do not hate the rich, they want to be the rich." Still, just as the Corps Series helped us brush up on historical events, this new series promises to bring us a clearer vision of our world....more info
  • This is a book only for millitary junkies
    I have not previously tried reading Griffin. 'Order of the President' was my first try at his work. And I have to say that I was very underwhelmed. It's not that I don't like millitary genre books if they are well written. I am not embarassed to say that some of Clancey's books are first rate and deserve to be read to the extent that they are. On the other hand, in comparison, Griffin's story here is very choppy and 2 dimensional.

    I think from reading the cover, that this is the first in a new series of books. I might be wrong. The reason I have doubts over whether or not this is the first book is because you will find 0% character development. You are thrown into a world filled with at least half a dozen characters taking alternating chapters in the first person and are never given a reason to care an iota about them. This book starts off like you should be old friends with the characters and are taking up with long familiar story threads. Part of the reason I am comparing Griffins work to Clancey is because Griffin fails so broadly in this respect. Clancey (early on at least) took the time to build up engaging protagonists and evil do'ers that you could give a damn about.

    Secondly, I was less than enthused over the plot. From the get go, a plane is hijacked in Africa. And this leads to the entire US government taking a tailspin free fall. What the heck? It might not be that bad, but no plane in Africa being stolen would ever lead to such major US officials worrying over the event like it was armageddon.

    This book has a lot of flaws. They are apparant from the start and snowball from there. I can't think of a single reason why I would ever say this was a worthwhile read. But then again I am not into the millitary arsinal fetish scene like some reviewers on this page are. ...more info
  • What Happened?
    Where is the Griffin of old? I'm a great fan of his exciting, well written, concise Philadelphia police novels and some others, but this one is a real clunker. It is verbose to the point where 200 pages could be eliminated and still preserve the plot, such as it is.

    The story line is very confusing, and I don't see what Castillo's background adds to the story. Couldn't he just be an American and leave it at that?

    Also, Griffin's German is atrocious! Can't spell simple words and apparently is not aware that German nouns are capitalized.

    ...more info
  • Nearly Got Bogged Down in Details
    This is my first Griffin novel and I nearly didn't finish it. It was a slow read with a lot of useless detail and meandering. Griffin should stick to the story line and keep it moving. Pretty much forced myself to finish the book....more info
  • Couldn't Finish It
    I enjoyed the author's "The Corps" series and thought I would give this one a try. I was very disappointed. One of the things that make a book like this work, at least for me, is confidence that the author has done his homework. In this case that means he has done some research on the military, intelligence community and foreign policy organizations. I was shocked right off the bat when Griffin got almost all the military organization facts wrong. First Angola isn't in CENTCOM's territory it's in EUCOM's. There is no Far East Command (at least since circa 1955) it's Pacific Command, Alaska Command is a subcommand of Pacific Command not a regional command. All this and more on page 26. The CIA sub regional chief (what's that?) for Southwest Africa works for Forbes. OK lets say your an expat or local government official in Angola, Namibia or Zambia and someone gets off the plane from Forbes magazine. What is your first thought?? It's Probably, what in God's name is someone from Forbes doing in Angola (Zambia/Botswana/Namibia). How many articles a decade does Forbes write on Namibia?? That's what I call good, common sense, low key cover for the Agency. An Army Major gets shifted from SOF to COS Luanda, yep happens all the time. In fact it doesn't happen, I doubt that it's ever happened. The COS is black, and as the author knows all black people look alike. As a result the COS/Military Attache can go to the airport wearing an old black suit and get away with pretending to be a local driver. The MILATT probably goes to the airport on official business several times a week and knows the management and security personnel on sight and they know him. Putting on a black suit wouldn't help. Our hero checks into a Luanda hotel using his authentic German identity. This is actually a good ploy. Then the author ruins it by having our boy wonder immediately start sending e-mails to contacts in the states. Of course he uses a clever open code along the lines of "tell uncle Bill that aunt Martha will have the package for him". Even the Angolans would figure out he's using an open code in about 30 seconds; even if they didn't know what it meant. Thus making our boy wonder someone of interest to local security. I could go on and on. I am not saying you have to be a National Security Council staffer to write an international thriller but it would be nice if the author spent an hour on the web researching his topic. ...more info
  • Whose Army Is This?
    All of us Griffin fans have put up with a lot over the years while enjoying the bottom line: the characters and the story. We suffer through much of the following in each series: a fifth of each book rehashs previous books; suffer through the fact that apparently a tenth of the American officer corps is wealthy or from old main-line families; suffer through little inaccuracies; and we have to wait up to a year before the next novel comes out - although he does not appear to have finished a series since B.O.W. The series have, however, become formulaic - one could change McCoy's or Frade's insignia and they could be dropped into any of the other series without any real disruption.

    The latest, `By Order of the President' is so full of factual errors and apparent editing mistakes that I can not recommend it in good conscience. I really get the impression that Griffin is taking advantage of his readers. The myriad of mistakes makes it hard to read, particularly for those of us who are professional Soldiers and in the intelligence business.

    On page 67, DTG is `1545, 7 March 1981'. The next subchapter DTG is `0740, 7 March 1981', eight hours earlier. Oops. The editing errors continue throughout the book.

    The real mistakes are hard to believe. He has the Commander, 11 ACR worried about Soviet T-34 tanks coming through the Fulda gap in 1981! I seem to remember being worried about T-63s, T-64s, and such. Page 72 refers to a `Baker Troop', yet the US Army had not used that phonetic term since WWII. Griffin appears to be confusing old Marine terminology with the modern Army. On page 73, a photo caption from the regimental newspaper of 1969 refers to a character as a `WOJG'. In 1969, we had had the numbered Warrant Officer ranks of today for some time. It gets worse - he has a character using a cell phone in 1981, for God's sakes! Later he refers to Warrant Officers as `CWO-3' and `CWO-4' - which are how the Navy/USMC refers to their Warrants. Towards the end of the book he mentions how a `CWO-5' is paid almost as much as a Colonel. The most current Army pay chart shows the difference between the most senior pay grade of CW5 and a junior COL at almost 2000 dollars a month - in favor of the Colonel; a little more than `almost'!

    Page 117: Castillo is on the promotable list for LTC, and that he goes to the bottom of the list to be promoted only if `...some Special Forces LTC retires, or gets dead or promoted...". What crap - the US Army promotion policy has not reflected that system since the 1930s.

    Page 121: the story segment is taking place in January 1991, and Griffin refers to the `Boeing AH-64B'. I seem to remember that in 1991, they were still McDonald-Douglas produced, and we were flying the AH64A model.

    Throughout the book, he has modern military characters referring to people as `sonofabitches'. Not since the early '60s have Soldiers used that as a negative descriptor. We tend to use the word that starts with `mother' and ends with something else.

    He constantly has Soldiers referred to, or using, only their initials for their first and middle names. That's a USMC thing. In the Army, we use full first name, middle initial, and last name. There are a few exceptions to the initials rule, but it tends to be Soldiers like LTC H.R. McMaster - and when you are a war hero, you can pretty much do as you please.

    He mentions the `2303d Civil Government Detachment' - we do not have any organizations like that - even if they are used as cover. I think he meant to say the `2303d Civil Affairs Detachment'. Another left over WWII / 1950s term.

    He mentions the `Counterintelligence Corps' - we do not have a separate CI Corps anymore, and no one uses that to describe the CI forces we do have.

    He talks about General Officers having ` solid stripe down the seam of their trousers...". US Army General's have a double stripe down their seam, the rest of have a single stripe.

    He talks about XVIII Airborne Corps Soldiers wearing black berets, and implies that there are only two colors of berets in the Army - back and green! I think that if you go to Fort Bragg, you will see a whole lot of maroon berets being worn by paratroopers, and then in Ranger Battalions, you will see a lot of tan berets. No to mention, the obvious errors like having Soldiers stationed at Bragg wearing desert BDUs all the time on Post. And someone needs to tell Griffin that no one in SOC calls '1st SFOD-A' the `Delta Force' - that's the movies. Professionals call it just `Delta'.

    And since when are the people of Somalia described as `Somalians'. My spell checker does not even recognize it as a word. When we were not using other terms like `skinnies', we called them `Somalis' as does the National Geographic. What would Griffin call Afghanis, "Afghanians"?

    It goes on and on throughout this book - glaring mistakes about military life and operations. For an author who is touted as being able to describe what it is like as a Soldier like no one else, he needs to go back to Army 101 and see how we live now - not in the 1940s/50s - all must be based on Griffin's service in the '40s and `50s. And last, but certainly not least - the whole premise of the Castillo character is just plain silly. To think that a Major in the US Army has the ear of the President and regularly orders General Officers around like Charlie does is stretching the basic WEB format a bit too much.

    I wanted to enjoy `By Order of the President', but every other page in my copy is marked up with red pen marks as I highlighted mistakes and inaccuracies. Could have been another great guilty-pleasure read by Griffin, but ...... Not this time! Very disappointing.
    ...more info