Bloomingdale resident Roland Tiso has written his memoir, In Strange Company: An American Soldier with Multinational Forces in the Middle East and Iraq, about the participation of multinational forces and organizations in the Iraq War and the Middle East. The book will be available in January.
In Strange Company is an interesting, informative and exciting account of Tiso’s service, capturing his experiences from 1994-2004, the last 10 years of his uniformed service as an officer in the Army.
In the book, Tiso describes the planning that characterized the strategy and operational requirements for an Iraq war plan that was the basis of an invasion of Iraq if such an action was deemed necessary. The brain trust, study and meticulous design of this plan were all but discarded in 2003, the result of which was a somewhat chaotic situation in Iraq after our combined forces swiftly and competently defeated the Iraqi Army and captured Baghdad. What followed was an insurrection fomented by terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda, disenchanted former Iraqi military officers, the Iranians and various religious factions that found us lacking in terms of manpower to adequately suppress their activities and seal Iraq’s borders. We continue to pay for this error to this day.
Tiso began his story back in 2005, a year after retirement from the Army, but only recently completed it.
He said, “I took it off the shelf in June 2021, a year after I retired from defense contracting, and finally found what was needed to bring it all together into a coherent and organized work of true value.”
Tiso served in Iraq from 1997-98 with the United Nations forces observing the demilitarized zone between Kuwait and Iraq that was established in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War. Following that assignment, he traveled extensively throughout the Middle East for two years as the executive assistant to the commander of U.S. Central Command (General Anthony C. Zinni, United States Marine Corps). Tiso then went to Egypt to command U.S. Task Force Sinai, the U.S. peacekeeping contingent serving with the Multinational Force and Observers.
He noted, “These assignments placed me in close working relationships with military leaders of numerous foreign armies, with which I interacted daily and discussed at length in the book. I have tried to simplify the more technical aspects of military planning and operational art to enable everyone to better understand them.”
Tiso hopes the book will be purchased by people from all walks of life.
“The book’s forward is written by General Zinni, something of which I am immensely proud,” he added.
He intends to donate proceeds to veteran causes, with his first objective to donate to the Fisher House at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital.
You can meet Tiso at his upcoming book signing, which will be held on Saturday, February 10 at 10 a.m. at BayCare HealthHub in the large classroom adjacent to the coffee shop on the first floor. It is located at 2470 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico.
To purchase the book, visit www.casematepublishers.com/9781636243948/in-strange-company/ or find it on Amazon.