CHAPTER ONE9th Infantry Division Headquarters, Dong Tam, Vietnam
15 January 1969
"It's a pussy battalion, Colonel. I want tigers, not pussies."
I had to hand it to Major General Julian Ewell. Twenty-five years after his kick-ass command in Bastogne, the old paratrooper was still firing for effect. He had sent stateside for me to fix one of his busted units -- 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry of the 9th Division -- right then out in Indian country getting its clock cleaned.
"The 4/39th is the worst goddamn battalion I've ever seen in the Army, Hackworth. It couldn't fight its way out of a retirement...