A Soldier’s Story

From the harsh realities of basic training to post-war chaos in Iraq and knife-edge tension in Northern Ireland, Squaddie takes us to a place not advertised in army recruitment brochures. It exposes the grim reality of everyday soldiering for the ‘grunts on the ground’. After the tragic death of his younger brother, and in the dark days following 9/11, McLaughlin felt compelled to fulfil his lifelong ambition to serve in the army. He followed his late brother into the elite Royal Green Jackets and passed the arduous Combat Infantryman’s Course at the age of 31. Thereafter, McLaughlin found himself submerged in a world of casual violence.


Steven McLaughlin on writing Squaddie

Squaddie is a snapshot of infantry soldiering in the twenty-first century. It takes us into the heart of an ancient institution that is struggling to retain its tough traditions in a rapidly changing world. All of the fears and anxieties that the modern soldier carries as his burden are laid bare, as well as the occasional joys and triumphs that can make him feel like he is doing the best job in the world.

This is an account of army life by someone who has been there and done it.

‘The British Jarhead . . . I’d like the entire MoD to read Stephen McLaughlin’s book’
– Vicki Woods, Daily Telegraph

‘A candid look at life for the average enlisted soldier . . . offers a powerful insight into the motivation that drives youngsters to sign up as well as the fear which follows when they realise they’re off to Iraq’
– Teri Judd, The Independent

‘The well-read, articulate McLaughlin explodes the squaddie stereotype, giving thoughtful and cogent answers’
– Ian Sinclair, Morning Star

‘A very well written and extremely readable account of how Steven succeeded in becoming a soldier after years of disappointment, especially as he was over the maximum age to join as an infantry soldier! His determination and grit can only be admired and Squaddie is a testament to how he succeeded where many of his younger comrades failed. His short service, that included a tour of Iraq and Northern Ireland, was typical of what most soldiers go through. On active service dreams of winning a VC are replaced with the reality of danger, boredom, excitement and relief that you got home safely. Steven sums this up perfectly. If you want to join the infantry, or are just a student of military life, this book is a must read.’
– Les Howard, Amazon

‘I’m soon to be joining the army (3rd battalion The Rifles) and I wanted to read a first-person account of an infantryman’s life from training to an operational tour of duty. And I couldn’t have found a better source. I’m not a big reader of books but I think this one will change my reading habits, a really good read.’
– Mr Ashley J. Hepworth, Amazon


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