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On October 12, 2000, eleven months before the 9/11 attacks, the USS Cole docked in the port of Aden in Yemen for a routine fueling stop.  At 1118, on a hot, sunny morning, the 8,400-ton destroyer was rocked by an enormous explosion. The ship’s commander, Kirk Lippold, felt the ship violently thrust up and to the right, as everything not bolted down seemed to float in midai On October 12, 2000, eleven months before the 9/11 attacks, the USS Cole docked in the port of Aden in Yemen for a routine fueling stop.  At 1118, on a hot, sunny morning, the 8,400-ton destroyer was rocked by an enormous explosion. The ship’s commander, Kirk Lippold, felt the ship violently thrust up and to the right, as everything not bolted down seemed to float in midair. Tiles tumbled from the ceiling, and the ship was plunged into darkness, beginning to sink. In a matter of moments Lippold knew that the Cole had been attacked. What he didn’t know was how much the world was changing around him. The bombing of the Cole was al Qaeda’s first direct assault against the United States and expanded their brazen and deadly string of terrorist attacks throughout the Middle East. In this gripping first-person narrative, Lippold reveals the details of this harrowing experience leading his crew of valiant sailors through the attack and its aftermath. Seventeen sailors died in the explosion and thirty-seven were wounded—but thanks to the valor of the crew in the perilous days that followed, the ship was saved. Yet even with al Qaeda’s intentions made clear in an unmistakable act of war, the United States government delayed retaliating. Bureaucrats and politicians sought to shift and pin blame as they ignored the danger signaled by the attack, shirking responsibility until the event was ultimately overshadowed by 9/11.  Front Burner captures a critical moment in America’s battle against al Qaeda, telling a vital story that has—until now—been lost in the fog of the war on terror.


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On October 12, 2000, eleven months before the 9/11 attacks, the USS Cole docked in the port of Aden in Yemen for a routine fueling stop.  At 1118, on a hot, sunny morning, the 8,400-ton destroyer was rocked by an enormous explosion. The ship’s commander, Kirk Lippold, felt the ship violently thrust up and to the right, as everything not bolted down seemed to float in midai On October 12, 2000, eleven months before the 9/11 attacks, the USS Cole docked in the port of Aden in Yemen for a routine fueling stop.  At 1118, on a hot, sunny morning, the 8,400-ton destroyer was rocked by an enormous explosion. The ship’s commander, Kirk Lippold, felt the ship violently thrust up and to the right, as everything not bolted down seemed to float in midair. Tiles tumbled from the ceiling, and the ship was plunged into darkness, beginning to sink. In a matter of moments Lippold knew that the Cole had been attacked. What he didn’t know was how much the world was changing around him. The bombing of the Cole was al Qaeda’s first direct assault against the United States and expanded their brazen and deadly string of terrorist attacks throughout the Middle East. In this gripping first-person narrative, Lippold reveals the details of this harrowing experience leading his crew of valiant sailors through the attack and its aftermath. Seventeen sailors died in the explosion and thirty-seven were wounded—but thanks to the valor of the crew in the perilous days that followed, the ship was saved. Yet even with al Qaeda’s intentions made clear in an unmistakable act of war, the United States government delayed retaliating. Bureaucrats and politicians sought to shift and pin blame as they ignored the danger signaled by the attack, shirking responsibility until the event was ultimately overshadowed by 9/11.  Front Burner captures a critical moment in America’s battle against al Qaeda, telling a vital story that has—until now—been lost in the fog of the war on terror.

30 review for Front Burner: Al Qaeda's Attack on the USS Cole

  1. 4 out of 5

    Deanna

    This book was extremely well written. I am coming from an interesting perspective in reading this book. I am the spouse of one of the ships crew at the time of the attack. I believe Commander Lippold did an amazing job of sharing the stories of the ship and its crew as well as his personal thoughts and feelings as the events occured. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in military history, history in general and also to many of us who look for books that provide a human connection. This book was extremely well written. I am coming from an interesting perspective in reading this book. I am the spouse of one of the ships crew at the time of the attack. I believe Commander Lippold did an amazing job of sharing the stories of the ship and its crew as well as his personal thoughts and feelings as the events occured. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in military history, history in general and also to many of us who look for books that provide a human connection. Lippold shares the stories of his crew and their struggles in a way I think many thought would never happen. History only survives if someone shares the stories; thank you for sharing the stories.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sean O'Hara

    While it's great to have a first hand account of the USS Cole attack from the commanding officer, I'm disappointed to find it stuffed with self-serving apologia. Although Lippold assures us right at the beginning that he accepts full blame for what happened, he spends the entire book pointing out every extenuating circumstance and shifting responsibility for his errors to superiors -- "Oh, nobody told me that the alert against Middle Eastern terrorists targeting the US Navy in the Mediterranean While it's great to have a first hand account of the USS Cole attack from the commanding officer, I'm disappointed to find it stuffed with self-serving apologia. Although Lippold assures us right at the beginning that he accepts full blame for what happened, he spends the entire book pointing out every extenuating circumstance and shifting responsibility for his errors to superiors -- "Oh, nobody told me that the alert against Middle Eastern terrorists targeting the US Navy in the Mediterranean extended into the Middle East, and there's no way I could possibly have known." The worst part comes in the epilogue when Lippold discusses how he was denied promotion to captain. The simple facts are these: the JAG report issued after the attack placed heavy blame on Lippold for his failure to properly implement the proper force protection plan in Aden, but Navy brass overrode the report and exonerated him; when his name was submitted to the Senate for promotion, John Warner personally kiboshed it and threatened to open hearings on the Navy's handling of the Cole if they ever submitted Lippold's name again. According to Lippold, this was all politics -- two of the sailors who died under Lippold were from Warner's state and it was an election year, so they must have used sway to force Warner into opposing the promotion, never mind that Warner didn't change his stance after election. There's no way Warner was actually convinced by the JAG report that Lippold was deficient in his duties, or that the ones playing politics were the admirals who overrode the report. The defensive tone Lippold takes throughout the book, pointing his finger at anyone who didn't wholeheartedly take his side, leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    The USS Cole docked in Yemen on 12 Oct 2000 for a routine fueling stop. A suicide boat squad loaded with explosives drove into the side of the destroyer ripping a gaping hole into the structure and killing 17 crew members. Forshaddowing their 9/11 attacks al Qaeda used commerical transportation to attack it's target. Lippold recounts his fight to save the 37 wounded, and prevent the ship from sinking. Why I started this book: I was just going to listen to an hour or two before bed... Why I finish The USS Cole docked in Yemen on 12 Oct 2000 for a routine fueling stop. A suicide boat squad loaded with explosives drove into the side of the destroyer ripping a gaping hole into the structure and killing 17 crew members. Forshaddowing their 9/11 attacks al Qaeda used commerical transportation to attack it's target. Lippold recounts his fight to save the 37 wounded, and prevent the ship from sinking. Why I started this book: I was just going to listen to an hour or two before bed... Why I finished it: This was a powerful accounting of Lippold's, his crew's and the USS Cole's experience. I listened, way past my bedtime and continued immediately this morning. Many people in these reviews have dinged Lippold for his account of his failed promotion despite being cleared of wrong duty and failing to "take ultimate responsibility." That's not the way that I read his story... instead finding it interest in the pace of official inquiries versus public attention; and system failures in intelligence sharing versus personal preparedness failing.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael Denham

    Commander Lippold goes beyond an account of how the USS Cole was attacked and tells the relatively unknown stories about how his crew time and again saved the ship from sinking in the days and weeks following the bombing. While, at times, the narrative comes off as a little overly defensive that is to be expected considering the author was widely seen as the scapegoat for the institutional mistakes and systemic dysfunction of the pre-9/11 Navy, DoD, and US Intelligence Community. I would conside Commander Lippold goes beyond an account of how the USS Cole was attacked and tells the relatively unknown stories about how his crew time and again saved the ship from sinking in the days and weeks following the bombing. While, at times, the narrative comes off as a little overly defensive that is to be expected considering the author was widely seen as the scapegoat for the institutional mistakes and systemic dysfunction of the pre-9/11 Navy, DoD, and US Intelligence Community. I would consider this book a must-read for any military leader.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    This book should really have 10 stars. It is a very well written and told account of an almost forgotten and passed over incident of terrorism. With 9/11 taking center stage, it is sad to forget this attack on the USS Cole happened. Commander Lippold told the story of his naval history, which I love to hear that kind of stuff, and progressed in time to the attack and the aftermath of the attack. Very well told and very inspirational. I had tears so many times because I was thinking about the com This book should really have 10 stars. It is a very well written and told account of an almost forgotten and passed over incident of terrorism. With 9/11 taking center stage, it is sad to forget this attack on the USS Cole happened. Commander Lippold told the story of his naval history, which I love to hear that kind of stuff, and progressed in time to the attack and the aftermath of the attack. Very well told and very inspirational. I had tears so many times because I was thinking about the complete effort involved in the aftermath of the crew members and their teamwork to not only save the ship but each other. I also was moved by the mobilization of so many ships, agencies and people to arrive on the scene and the beauty of them all coming together to help. How scary it would be as a United States naval ship ALONE in a foreign country to face this terrible attack. I’m sad for the end of Commander Lippolds naval career because I felt is love for the navy clearly shown through. As I was reading how he was treated, I was thinking of my other favorite naval ship and it’s commander, the USS Indianapolis and sure enough, the epilogue mentioned the Indianapolis. Wow! Anyway, this is a great book if you love history, naval history or just want to do your duty as an American and have knowledge of historical events. Educate yourself because it’s showing now a days that lots of Americans, specifically those on the left, don’t give a shit about this country and they should be ashamed.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I read this because I knew someone on the Cole when it was attacked and because I like occasionally to read a war book. It was more detailed and fact-filled than I as a casually interested reader could appreciate and that made it less compelling of a read, but I did appreciate his honesty with some of his own weaknesses. I also found it instructive to be taken behind the scenes of the military and see how politics affects everything. That is sobering when you would like to think national safety I read this because I knew someone on the Cole when it was attacked and because I like occasionally to read a war book. It was more detailed and fact-filled than I as a casually interested reader could appreciate and that made it less compelling of a read, but I did appreciate his honesty with some of his own weaknesses. I also found it instructive to be taken behind the scenes of the military and see how politics affects everything. That is sobering when you would like to think national safety should be first priority, but not surprising given human nature. He wrote this book after he retired and spends a great deal of time trying to show how he was falsely blamed for the attack. I am in no position to know whether that is true or not, but it wasn't the part of the story I was interested in and so going into it at such length was wearying at times. However, if he was as mistreated as he seems to think, I can hardly blame him for wanting to set the record straight. There were a few curse words and few misuses of God's name, but compared to most war books, I appreciated how few there were. The insights into human nature, both good and bad, were my favorite part of this book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Hank Parker

    An important first-hand story of an Al Qaeda attack on a U.S. Naval vessel eleven months before the events of 9/11. Kirk Lippold, commanding officer of the USS Cole at the time of the account, provides a searing, sobering, and honest account of the horror of the bombing of the ship as it lay in-port in Yemen; of the gruesome subsequent efforts to retrieve and identify the remains of the 17 sailors who perished in the attack; of the inadequate security precautions leading up to the bombing; and o An important first-hand story of an Al Qaeda attack on a U.S. Naval vessel eleven months before the events of 9/11. Kirk Lippold, commanding officer of the USS Cole at the time of the account, provides a searing, sobering, and honest account of the horror of the bombing of the ship as it lay in-port in Yemen; of the gruesome subsequent efforts to retrieve and identify the remains of the 17 sailors who perished in the attack; of the inadequate security precautions leading up to the bombing; and of the delayed and disorganized government response that followed. Lippold nearly became the sole scapegoat for the attack. By reading FRONT BURNER you will likely draw your own conclusions about where the blame lay, and what we should have learned from the tragic incident.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Erick

    While I did really enjoy the account and details of the attack on the USS Cole, I too, like many people had a bit of a hard time with how much time Lippold takes trying to justify himself to the reader. He does claim responsibility at times, but the majority of the time he is hell bent on proving he couldn't have done anything to stop the attack and deserved a promotion later in his career. While there is validity to that, it's not compelling stuff to read compared to the actual details of the a While I did really enjoy the account and details of the attack on the USS Cole, I too, like many people had a bit of a hard time with how much time Lippold takes trying to justify himself to the reader. He does claim responsibility at times, but the majority of the time he is hell bent on proving he couldn't have done anything to stop the attack and deserved a promotion later in his career. While there is validity to that, it's not compelling stuff to read compared to the actual details of the attack and the subsequent investigation.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie Robinson

    This book was included in the Audible Plus catalog, so I listened to it. I remember reading about this event in the news, but it never really registered in my mind that it was prior to the attacks in 2001. The very morning that the commander of this ship was debriefed about this attack incident, was on September 11, 2001. During this meeting, he expressed his concerns about Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda. What a sinking feeling that the author must have had. I thought this book was extremely i This book was included in the Audible Plus catalog, so I listened to it. I remember reading about this event in the news, but it never really registered in my mind that it was prior to the attacks in 2001. The very morning that the commander of this ship was debriefed about this attack incident, was on September 11, 2001. During this meeting, he expressed his concerns about Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda. What a sinking feeling that the author must have had. I thought this book was extremely interesting and informative. I was glad that I found it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    A well documented narrative of the event that started the war on terror that gets bogged down by too much explanation it was not because of command negligence. At least the reader is left with a positive impression of how well the crew handled themselves after the tragedy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Wallace

    Outstanding book by the Commanding Officer. The story from the best person to describe what happened to the ship and her crew. I thoroughly enjoyed the book!

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Winter

    Cole; Terrorism Is Real The detail is astonishing. The sad political overtones at the end make the tragedy bigger than it should have been.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ray

    "Front Burner" is the story of U.S. Navy Commander Kirk Lippold, focusing primarily on his experience as the commander of the USS Cole. The Cole was attacked by Al Qaeda suicide bombers in October, 2000 during a refueling stop in Yemen. Commander Lippold's story is one which has been told many times since Al Qaeda's attacks on the U.S. on 9/11, i.e., that of U.S. intelligence deficiencies, and a general lack of understanding of the threats from Al Qaeda at that time. As bad, anything which may h "Front Burner" is the story of U.S. Navy Commander Kirk Lippold, focusing primarily on his experience as the commander of the USS Cole. The Cole was attacked by Al Qaeda suicide bombers in October, 2000 during a refueling stop in Yemen. Commander Lippold's story is one which has been told many times since Al Qaeda's attacks on the U.S. on 9/11, i.e., that of U.S. intelligence deficiencies, and a general lack of understanding of the threats from Al Qaeda at that time. As bad, anything which may have been known at that time was not fully shared and integrated throughout the Intelligence Agencies and the Pentagon. The Cole attack was one of the early Al Qaeda attacks against U.S. interests. Because of the lack of intelligence, the USS Cole was unprepared to properly defend itself during what was thought to be little more that a routine refueling stop in Yemen. Seventeen sailors were killed in the attack, and another 39 wounded. Commander Lippold explains that Naval Intelligence failed to identify the danger of a possible Al Qaeda attack to ships visiting Yemen, and as a result, security steps taken while refueling in Yemen proved to be ineffective in protecting the ship. A small boat managed to came alongside the Cole, detonated its explosive cargo, resulting in the Cole being severely damaged and threatened with sinking. Lippold describes the gaping hole blown in the side of the ship, the flooding of the engineering spaces, loss of shipboard communications, the deaths and injuries to the crew, and the real fears of losing the ship should flooding continue unabated. Throughout the book, Lippold talks extensively of the heroic steps taken by the crew to save the ship, however I felt the book would have been made more interesting if Lippold had been able to include more details of those heroic actions through the eyes of the crew members rather than from his own perspective as the commanding officer. It is Lippold's story, so being told through his eyes and his perspective is understandable, however I continued to have the feeling that in some passages, he made his story sound a little more self-serving and self-centered than needed. To me, the book would have benefited more from better capturing the perspective and specific stories from the rest of the crew, those with their hands on the emergency equipment and struggling to stop the flooding, keep the generator running, rig casualty cables, etc. Also, and perhaps it's my own bias based on one or two other Annapolis graduates I knew (an extremely small minority I should add), but I didn't feel he made himself to be a particularly likable or sympathetic character in the book. At any rate, the book ends with a bitter detailing of the fact that his advancement and promotion from Commander to Captain was prevented because of political interference. Thus, even though he was exonerated of blame by investigation into the bombing, the attack on the Cole ended up ending Commander Lippold's career in the Navy. That was hardly unusual, in that historically, a ship's Captain has always ultimately responsible for his ship. And while Lippold makes it clear that he did not have the information needed to make the necessary decisions to better protect his ship, to some in the Military and Government, someone had to be held accountable. Lippold was obviously sensitive to being blamed, and understandably, sounded somewhat defensive this otherwise significant story of a precursor attack against U.S. interests prior to 9/11. Note: to anyone interested in knowing more about the investigation into who was responsible for the Cole attack, I recommend Ali Soufan's "The Black Banners" as a good source.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    I really wished Cdr. Lipphold had worked with a ghost writer; the three weeks following the attack are truly a compelling story. I read this book because I wanted the back-story surrounding what happened on the USS Cole; for me Cdr. Lipphold is ‘just’ the story teller; going into his previous Navy career is helpful in establishing credibility. Historical books that provide small vignettes of the sub-characters are a favorite of mine. Many books have been written by, and about, Commanding Officers I really wished Cdr. Lipphold had worked with a ghost writer; the three weeks following the attack are truly a compelling story. I read this book because I wanted the back-story surrounding what happened on the USS Cole; for me Cdr. Lipphold is ‘just’ the story teller; going into his previous Navy career is helpful in establishing credibility. Historical books that provide small vignettes of the sub-characters are a favorite of mine. Many books have been written by, and about, Commanding Officers … fewer detail Seaman Snuffy’s shipboard life. Not too long ago I finished reading “No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden by Mark Owen; which also fell into my “interested in the event, not the writer” category. Compared to the Owen account, Cdr. Lipphold work is superior in providing vignettes of the ship’s crew; thank you. It would not surprise me if each of the Cole’s crew was mentioned by name. Another area where I felt Cdr. Lipphold was even handed was in telling the good, bad and ugly details of the event and follow-up events. Some details I was extremely surprised to see included (such as leaving his sidearm and full clips in an unlocked desk drawer); to me including these details add to the credibility. Finally, a number of comments have been made regarding the difficulties (and subsequent failure) to promote. Navy history is littered with examples where promotions (especially for officers) were withheld or delayed for years following ‘newsworthy’ events. These individuals may not have been involved with the event, but were unlucky enough to be on the same promotion list as someone who was tangentially associated. I’m not passing judgment one way or another; but it does not surprise me.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brendan

    Lippold was the Commander of the USS Cole when it was attacked by Al Qaeda, eleven months before the 9/11 attacks. The attack occurred in Yemen and my first thought was how could the ship's commander allow this to happen? The Cole was taking on fuel when a small boat on a suicide mission, loaded with explosives, pulled alongside and detonated, nearly sinking the Cole and killing 17 sailors. Why did the Cole permit the boat to pull alongside? I'm really glad I read this book since I now realize t Lippold was the Commander of the USS Cole when it was attacked by Al Qaeda, eleven months before the 9/11 attacks. The attack occurred in Yemen and my first thought was how could the ship's commander allow this to happen? The Cole was taking on fuel when a small boat on a suicide mission, loaded with explosives, pulled alongside and detonated, nearly sinking the Cole and killing 17 sailors. Why did the Cole permit the boat to pull alongside? I'm really glad I read this book since I now realize that Lippold did the best he could with the limited intelligence provided him. Given hindsight, there was enough Al Qaeda activity in Yemen that it should never have been selected as a fueling location to begin with or at the very least, the Cole should have been warned to be at full alert while in port. The truth behind this book is that we sadly underestimated the capabilities and intent of Al Qaeda and even though they brazenly attacked two embassies and a US Navy ship, our government refused to take them seriously. Lippold and his crew behaved heroically in the aftermath of the explosion. Although there were multiple investigations of his actions, clearing him of culpability, he was subsequently denied further promotion in the US Navy - rather than investigating Lippold we should have been investigating the senior administration of our country - why did we have such a weak response to a series of attacks that included the Cole. Would the attacks on 9/11 been prevented had we gone after Osama Bin Laden for these attacks?

  16. 5 out of 5

    John

    Parts of this book were very interesting, but it was not interesting enough to keep me engaged throughout the entire book. I started losing interest shortly after the main details of the attack and what the crew of this vessel did to save their ship. I think part of the problem was that Kirk Lippold decided to break down the events into categories, such as "what people did to save the ship," and "what people did to save the crew." While this made it clear and easy to process, I think it would ha Parts of this book were very interesting, but it was not interesting enough to keep me engaged throughout the entire book. I started losing interest shortly after the main details of the attack and what the crew of this vessel did to save their ship. I think part of the problem was that Kirk Lippold decided to break down the events into categories, such as "what people did to save the ship," and "what people did to save the crew." While this made it clear and easy to process, I think it would have been more dynamic to tell the tale along the actual timeline rather than jumping back and forth with different aspects of the saga. It may have been more confusing at first, but over all I believe it would have made for a more engaging read. That being said, I was quite interested to hear about a number of details that I knew nothing about. Everything from the nitty-gritty of what the crew did before and after the attacked, all the way to the political situation at home, and the unwillingness of two administrations to react to the assault. The attack on the Cole should have warned us about what was to come on 9/11, but it did not, and perhaps that is the biggest tragedy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    I didn't really love the book, although that is not a negative judgment on the facts and arguments presented, but I think I would much have preferred the story had been told by a third party, one that reflected more the experiences of all the crew, particularly those injured and killed, or who rushed to the fallen. It just wasn't gripping to me overall, I felt a bit that it was an apologia. Clearly, though, where the crew deserves the greatest accolades was in their superior and rapid response i I didn't really love the book, although that is not a negative judgment on the facts and arguments presented, but I think I would much have preferred the story had been told by a third party, one that reflected more the experiences of all the crew, particularly those injured and killed, or who rushed to the fallen. It just wasn't gripping to me overall, I felt a bit that it was an apologia. Clearly, though, where the crew deserves the greatest accolades was in their superior and rapid response in a very professional manner to the attack. Some censure should placed on Navy planners who failed to consider an attack from a small boat, yes, even before 9/11. We should be proud of anyone who serves in the military.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Paul Kratochwill

    I do not know CDR Lippold personally, but his is a friends with a few of my Navy buddies. He did an amazing job describing the events that lead to the attack on his ship, USS COLE (DDG 67), as well as his career in the Navy after turning over command of his ship. I was extremely disappointed with the way the Navy, and Senator John Warner, treated Kirk after he was fairly and justly selected for promotion to Captain. It is a great injustice to the service of this American hero that a single Senat I do not know CDR Lippold personally, but his is a friends with a few of my Navy buddies. He did an amazing job describing the events that lead to the attack on his ship, USS COLE (DDG 67), as well as his career in the Navy after turning over command of his ship. I was extremely disappointed with the way the Navy, and Senator John Warner, treated Kirk after he was fairly and justly selected for promotion to Captain. It is a great injustice to the service of this American hero that a single Senator could block his well deserved promotion. Kirk had not way to know that terrorists from al-Qaeda were targeting his ship that fateful day in Yemen.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    I highly recommend this book. Politics aside (reasons for the "intelligence" failure are not as straight forward as presented and in the end it was a diplomatic/political decision to send the USS Cole there and not an Intelligence Community decision failure) I think that Kirk Lippold has created a wonderfully gripping and heart-wrenching narrative that is well written and highly readable--it takes hold of you and binds you to the end. It is a fitting tribute to the men and women who served with I highly recommend this book. Politics aside (reasons for the "intelligence" failure are not as straight forward as presented and in the end it was a diplomatic/political decision to send the USS Cole there and not an Intelligence Community decision failure) I think that Kirk Lippold has created a wonderfully gripping and heart-wrenching narrative that is well written and highly readable--it takes hold of you and binds you to the end. It is a fitting tribute to the men and women who served with him and it speaks volumes of his integrity and honor. I bought additional copies, one sent to my son a Navy LT and one sent to my husband a retired Navy CAPT in working in Kabul.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sandi

    This is a minute by minute chronology of what led up to the attack and its aftermath. The ship nearly sank, and it was an amazing feat to keep it afloat. Lippold is a crew-focused leader, and seems genuinely interested in their careers and upward mobility. He is a decent writer and a fascinating speaker, and he describes his own strengths and shortcomings and lauds the heroism and perseverance of his crew. My frustration is that he deflects blame when his position should be that he is responsibl This is a minute by minute chronology of what led up to the attack and its aftermath. The ship nearly sank, and it was an amazing feat to keep it afloat. Lippold is a crew-focused leader, and seems genuinely interested in their careers and upward mobility. He is a decent writer and a fascinating speaker, and he describes his own strengths and shortcomings and lauds the heroism and perseverance of his crew. My frustration is that he deflects blame when his position should be that he is responsible because it happened "on his watch".

  21. 5 out of 5

    William Hill

    This was a very good book. I received this book as a gift and for some reason thought it would be boring. It was quite the opposite. It is an important part of the early history of the war on terror. Commander Lippold provides the reader with an honest evaluation of the circumstances surrounding the Cole attack. Aside from the obvious focus of the book the reader who has not served aboard ships will find the navigation, logistics, and shipboard life in general interesting.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Daryl Bowe

    Finally finished after beginning reading this roughly 2 years ago. This is an emotionally difficult read for me since I served on the USS Cole under CDR Lippold during the incident. Reading this book has helped bring memories that my sub-conscience has buried deep (thanks Captain). It also had raised a few questions that I assume were due to Captain's perspective. Finally finished after beginning reading this roughly 2 years ago. This is an emotionally difficult read for me since I served on the USS Cole under CDR Lippold during the incident. Reading this book has helped bring memories that my sub-conscience has buried deep (thanks Captain). It also had raised a few questions that I assume were due to Captain's perspective.

  23. 5 out of 5

    T.M.

    Its a four for a reason. I would have been a five if there hadn't been a few missing facts. Contrary to the CO, there had been dry runs on other vessels. I was in the navy at the time of this event. It was an excellent telling however of how each of the surviving crew members coped. This event in itself changed how I looked at the safety of my job. Its a four for a reason. I would have been a five if there hadn't been a few missing facts. Contrary to the CO, there had been dry runs on other vessels. I was in the navy at the time of this event. It was an excellent telling however of how each of the surviving crew members coped. This event in itself changed how I looked at the safety of my job.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Steve Smits

    Front Burner is the story of the attack on the USS Cole, written by the Cole's captain. It explains how attack unfolded from those who experienced it. A major point is that there was a major failure of intelligence; after 9/11 this is quite obvious. I found the naval perspective a bit too dry, even though the themes are important and the tragedy to all quite awful. Front Burner is the story of the attack on the USS Cole, written by the Cole's captain. It explains how attack unfolded from those who experienced it. A major point is that there was a major failure of intelligence; after 9/11 this is quite obvious. I found the naval perspective a bit too dry, even though the themes are important and the tragedy to all quite awful.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Adam Wiseman

    A great first person narrative of the events that happened on the USS COLE, but a bit too heavy on the self-aggrandizing and self-excusing for me. CDR Lippold could've left out much of his own story and his opinions on how the Navy handled the event and his career. If not for the self-aggrandizing, I'd probably give it 4.5 stars. A great first person narrative of the events that happened on the USS COLE, but a bit too heavy on the self-aggrandizing and self-excusing for me. CDR Lippold could've left out much of his own story and his opinions on how the Navy handled the event and his career. If not for the self-aggrandizing, I'd probably give it 4.5 stars.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jim Serger

    OUTSTANDING--Leadership in motion. I enjoyed this book about HEROES, and about never giving up on a crew, a ship and on the United States. 5 Stars. This true story shares with the reader about what commitment means, about what adversity means and about what patience means.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Edward

    I didn't know until I checked the book out from the library that it was written by the commander of the Cole. A lot of the information about the attack was filtered through his experience. There wasn't much information about the lack of response to the attack. I didn't know until I checked the book out from the library that it was written by the commander of the Cole. A lot of the information about the attack was filtered through his experience. There wasn't much information about the lack of response to the attack.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Well written. Unbelievable tragedy..and what our troops went through during and after the attack.

  29. 5 out of 5

    John

    Great read. Full of detail. Top Navy brass wimped out when it came to sticking by Commander when he deserved promotion. Shame on Sen John Warner.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Janice

    Well written. CDR Lippold is an old friend. I am in awe to all he and the crew of COLE endured.

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