In Warfighter, Colonel Jesse L. Johnson, one of the most decorated living American veterans, recounts the action-packed true-life tale of a man who stood and fought at the crossroads of history. Spanning forty years of conflict, from the jungles of Vietnam to the deserts of Iran and Iraq, never has a modern military memoir covered such a vast landscape of all-out warfare. Never has one man fought on the frontlines of so many of America’s most heroic battles. Johnson led the most elite forces on operations that defined eras past and present, mentoring young soldiers who would rise to become some of America’s greatest generals. He held the ear of princes, kings, presidents, and even Hollywood movie stars. With an all-star cast worthy of an epic war film, this extraordinary hero’s journey sheds new light on some of the most transformative events of our time—crises, conflicts and covert operations that have shaped the world as we know it today. More important, Warfighter offers us a deeper understanding of the personal sacrifice and human toll of a lifetime at war, and the honor-bound code of a man whose instinct in battle was to always charge ahead of those under his command—into the fight.
Colonel Jesse L. Johnson is one of the most highly decorated combat veterans living today—the man General H. Norman Schwarzkopf called “an unsung hero of the Gulf War.” Having spent the majority of his four-decade career in Special Forces, Delta Force, and the most legendary units of both the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, Colonel Johnson holds more awards for valor than any other special operator or covert commander in the United States Armed Forces, with the exception of the few that hold the Medal of Honor. His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross; the Defense Distinguished Service Medal; three Silver Stars; four Bronze Stars (two with “V” device); two awards of the Legion of Merit; the Soldier’s Medal; the Army Commendation Medal (with “V” device); three Purple Hearts; and the Gold Medallion and Seal from the Central Intelligence Agency.
He lives in Valrico, FL.
Alex Holstein is a writer, producer, and military affairs analyst who has developed several factual and dramatic series with prominent film and television production houses in Canada and the United States. He received a BA in Theatre from the University of Southern California, and an MSc in Russian and Post-Soviet Studies from the London School of Economics, where he wrote his thesis on the Soviet KGB.
He lives between Toronto, Canada, and West Palm Beach, Florida.
“Jesse Johnson was a hero to me when I worked for him as a young airborne Lieutenant, and he remains a hero to me and countless others some 45 years later. His incredible courage on multiple battlefields, his inspirational leadership, his sacrifice over many decades, and his genuine love for soldiers and soldiering make his story a timeless one, as relevant and inspiring today as it was at each juncture along the way – including when I was privileged to serve under him.”
--General David Petraeus, US Army (Ret.)
Fmr. Commander, International Security Assistance Force
Fmr. Commander, US Central Command
Fmr. Director of the CIA
“It is imperative that all Americans read Colonel Jesse Johnson’s story. At a time when fiction, fantasy, and facade too often displace actual accomplishments, courage, and character, we should recognize the authentic heroes among us. I served with Colonel Johnson for more than four decades, in both peace and war, and there is no doubt that he is the real deal. Jesse Johnson’s life’s journey transcends decades of American conflict, our own national development, and societal transformation. His life is a history lesson in and of itself. I am proud to know Jesse Johnson as a brother in arms and as a friend.”
--General Peter J. Schoomaker US Army (Ret.)
Fmr. Commander in Chief, US Special Operations Command
Fmr. Chief of Staff, US Army
“Colonel Jesse L. Johnson is a warrior's warrior. For over 40 years from Vietnam to Iraq, from the 1st Cavalry Division to the Delta Force, Johnson was there standing tall and doing his duty. WARFIGHTER recounts his stories from start to finish and is a real page turner. Compelling work.”
--Joseph L. Galloway, co-author of We Were Soldiers Once...and Young