Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior, Gen. Hugh Shelton’s 2010 memoir, is now out in paperback (Griffin, 576 pp., $18.99). Gen. Shelton’s book, written with Ronald Levinson and Malcolm McConnell, contains detailed chapters on his two Vietnam War tours.
Shelton, who went on to become the 14th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1997-2001), arrived in Vietnam for the first time early in 1967 as a lieutenant with the 5th Special Forces Group. He served as a team leader with Project Delta, which specialized in long-range reconnaissance patrols. He and his men saw plenty of action tracking the enemy and working with the Montagnards.
Shelton went back to Vietnam a year later at the end of 1968, and volunteered to fight with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. He served initially as the intelligence officer of the 173rd’s 4th Battalion, 503rd Infantry, then took command of a company, and, again, saw his share of the war up close and personal, which Shelton and his co-authors describe very well.