My first book, The Lieutenant Don’t Know, is a chronicle of my first deployment in Afghanistan. It was released on April 19, 2014.
Synopsis of The Lieutenant Don’t Know
Convoys of heavily armored vehicles, laden with vital food, fuel, ammunition and water traverse the rugged Afghan desert to keep friendly units supplied. Crawling forward under their heavy load, the Marines attack unfathomable challenges. The enemy watches, and prepares ambushes.
IEDs erupt under the platoon’s trucks, destroying them and injuring the occupants. As the platoon stops to recover the damaged vehicles and evacuate wounded Marines, the Taliban begins their assault. Mortars rain down on the platoon and machine guns open fire, pinning down the guys trying to recover the damaged trucks so the platoon can keep moving.
These are the heroics demanded of every Marine from Alpha Company, CLB-6. The daily grind of combat, the constant fear that filled the long expanses of boredom. Ordinary men and women in combat. Ordinary heroics.
After months of these convoys, after dozens of attacks, Lieutenant Clement’s truck strikes an IED. Trepidation and fear about going back outside the wire present the biggest challenge for the Lieutenant to date. Will he meet the challenge? Will he be the leader his Marines deserve?
“The Lieutenant Don’t Know” is Jeffrey Clement’s first book. He tells the story of his time in Afghanistan as a truck platoon commander with one of the Marine Corps’ critical Combat Logistics Battalions, transporting essential supplies to Forward Operating Bases throughout the Helmand Province in 2010. The human element of combat, the experience of the thousands of Marines who have borne this burden for our nation is the centerpiece of the book. This is the “everyman” story about the war that nobody has told yet. Despite all his technical knowledge and combat experience, Clement is left wondering about the war, simultaneously feeling tremendous pride in his Marines’ accomplishments and a distinctly empty sense of the point of it all. Many of these questions have a single response, a common refrain among Marines…the Lieutenant don’t know.