Why I chose this book: I chose this book because I was undergoing a challenging and difficult time in my life and in my Marine Corps career. Another Marine recommended this book to seek inspiration and motivation to continue doing positive things in my career and to devote myself to duty and ensure whatever tasks that are assigned to me are carried out in a timely and efficient manner.
A brief description about the book: Rifleman Dodd is a story from the book Death to the French by C. S. Forester about a British rifleman by the name of Pvt. Matthew Dodd who fought in the Peninsular which took place in Portugal against an overwhelming force of French soldiers lead by Napoleon. During the war the British secretly built the Lines of Torres Verdes and withdrew to those lines leaving Pvt. Dodd on his own behind enemy lines. Through sheer resolve and devotion to duty, Pvt. Dodd joins Portuguese guerillas and begins to harass and kill French soldiers while attempting to link up with his fellow British soldiers. When he finally returns to the front lines, he sees the embattled armies fighting and shelling each other. Pvt Dodd realizes the French are attempting to build a bridge to get reinforcements while the British are attempting to destroy it. Seizing the initiative, he goes to the enemy position alone and destroys the materials needed to construct the bridge, leaving the enemy shocked and in low morale causing them to retreat. He then joins his fellow British soldiers.
Leadership principles and traits learned from this book: There are a few leadership principles I learned from reading Rifleman Dodd. Pvt Dodd was technically and tactically proficient in that he was able to harass and execute guerilla warfare for months without detection which killed many French soldiers, reduced their supplies, and decreased their morale. The principle know your people and look out for their welfare is reinforced when Pvt Dodd was able to lead a group of Portuguese guerrillas in skirmishes against the French even though he spoke a different language. He was always raiding supplies so he and the guerillas with him could continue the fight. Finally, he set the example for his Portuguese counterparts to follow through his courage, tenacity, and dedication to duty. Pvt Dodd exercised judgement, dependability, initiative, decisiveness, endurance, bearing, unselfishness, courage, knowledge, loyalty, and enthusiasm. The same traits we as Marines seek each and every day.