In 2008 Major Russell Lewis commanded a company of two hundred soldiers from the British Army’s legendary Parachute Regiment on a six-month tour in the most dangerous part of Afghanistan. Living in a remote base and under constant threat of attack from all sides by the Taliban, they were on red alert 24 hours a day, seven days a week for every one of those six months. And through that entire period, the man in sole charge was Maj Lewis.
Company Commander is his story, a riveting first-person account of incredible bravery, telling what it is like to have 200 soldiers depending on you constantly, to make decisions which can and do cost lives, to see men under your command killed and injured and being under the most intense pressure imaginable for every minute of every day for six long months.
Based on the journal Maj Lewis’s kept during the tour, Company Commander takes the reader from the excitement of the beginning of a tour to the adrenalin of the first contact, through the devastating losses of his soldiers and the struggle to keep himself at the highest level of performance for the sake of his men as physical and emotional exhaustion kick in. Readers will experience the highs and lows of a tour through the eyes of a leader of men in as close to real time as possible.
At the end of the tour Maj Lewis was awarded the Military Cross for his leadership and gallantry over the tour. His citation read: “Resolute in defence, tenacious and courageous in attack, Lewis has set an outstanding example to B Company at significant personal risk and has been an inspiration to all ranks.”He still serves in the Parachute Regiment.