Excerpt from Every Man A Tiger by General Chuck Horner, Tom Clancy, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Every Man A Tiger

by General Chuck Horner, Tom Clancy

Every Man A Tiger by General Chuck Horner, Tom Clancy X
Every Man A Tiger by General Chuck Horner, Tom Clancy
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Paperback:
    May 2000, 576 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Prologue: 3 August 1990

On Friday morning of the August week in 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait, Lieutenant General Chuck Horner was at 27,000 feet, cruising at .9 Mach (540 knots), and nearing the North Carolina coast. He was headed out to sea in the Lady Ashley, a recent-model Block 25 F-16C, tail number 216, that had been named after the daughter of his crew chief, Technical Sergeant José Santos. Horner's aide, Lieutenant Colonel Jim Hartinger, Jr., known as "Little Grr," was on Horner's left side, a mile out, slightly high. Horner and Hartinger were en route to a mock combat with a pair of F-15Cs out of the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) at Langley Air Force Base in Tidewater Hampton, Virginia: a winner-take-all contest that would match wits and flying skills. After that, they were all scheduled to form up and return to Langley AFB as a flight of four aircraft.

It was a bright, clear day-a good day to be in the air. Horner felt the joy he always did when flying thousands of feet above the earth in a fast and nimble aircraft, an emotion that few others ever had the opportunity to experience. Part of it was the feeling of unity with his aircraft - the fighter was like an extension of his mind and body. The brain commanded and the aircraft responded, with no other conscious motions. In an air battle, a pilot had no time for unnecessary thoughts. He evaluated angle, range, and closure with his target, while keeping track of all the fast, nimble aircraft that were trying to drive him in flames out of the sky. He thought and the jet reacted.

It was Hartinger's turn to lead, to call how he and Horner would fly from takeoff to landing, and he had set up a two-versus-two air combat tactics mission - what fighter pilots call a 2v2 ACT - with the F-15s. Horner was looking forward to it. At Langley, he was scheduled to attend an aircraft accident briefing with his Air Force boss, General Bob Russ, commanding general of the Tactical Air Command. Accident briefings were never pleasant experiences, even when the accidents were proven to be unavoidable, so Horner was happy for the chance to "turn and burn" with the guys from Langley before he hit the painful part of the day.

His policy was to try to maintain his combat skills whenever he flew his F-16. Even when traveling to an administrative meeting such as the one at Langley, he liked to make the trip worthwhile. It was a good way to stay up-to-date with the younger - often much younger - pilots he might someday lead into real battle.

He was in his fifties, but he wasn't too old to go up against an enemy. He could hold his own with most U.S. fliers; and those fliers were better than 95 percent of anyone they might meet. What he'd lost in eyesight and physical stamina, he made up for with experience and brains. Experience atrophied with disuse, however, and he needed to know firsthand not only that his combat skills were current and credible, but also what the younger fighter jocks were doing, what they were practicing - their aerial, radio, and shooting discipline and tactics.

Fighter pilots are members of a very tiny, elite tribe, who also happen to be the most arrogant group on earth. Flying high-performance jets is a consummate art, and to be merely somewhere near the top of the food chain doesn't begin to make it. They want to be the top. If there's nobody around you left to beat, there's still yourself. That means if a commander does not remain credible, a pilot may be reluctant to obey his lead. In war, failure to obey in the strictest manner can get people killed. So Horner felt he owed the people he commanded the duty to remain up-to-date in the use of his equipment, in tactics, and in understanding the stresses they faced.

Since April 1987, Chuck Horner had been commander of Ninth Air Force, which supervised the Air Force's Active and Reserve Fighter Units east of the Mississippi River. In that position, he also served as the air component commander for the Central Command, the United States military organization responsible for national security interests in the Middle East and parts of East Africa (except for Israel, Syria, and Lebanon). In 1990, Central Command was led by Army General H. Norman Schwarzkopf. It was Horner's job as CENTAF Commander to work with his foreign counterparts in a region that stretched from Egypt to Pakistan and to plan military operations - air campaigns that might be needed should a crisis arise that endangered the interests of the United States. It was also his job to make sure that U.S. air units were combat-ready, and that the logistics were in place to support them during a rapid deployment in peacetime or war. And finally, it was his job to command air assets that had been deployed to the region-during the recent Iran-Iraq war, for instance, USAF E-3A AWACS radar aircraft had kept watch over Saudi Arabia in order to prevent the local conflict from spilling over the border. When Horner wasn't visiting his assigned bases in the United States, he was visiting the nations in the CENTCOM area of responsibility.

Reprinted from EVERY MAN A TIGER by Tom Clancy with General Chuck Horner (RET.) by permission of G. P. Putnam & Sons, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright May 1999 by C. P. Commanders, Inc

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Overstory
    The Overstory
    by Richard Powers
    Many glowing adjectives can be used to describe a novel by Richard Powers: brilliant, moving, ...
  • Book Jacket: American Histories
    American Histories
    by John E. Wideman
    In American Histories, a collection of 21 short stories, John Edgar Wideman draws America's present ...
  • Book Jacket: I Found My Tribe
    I Found My Tribe
    by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    Ruth O'Neill was only 28 when she married film director Simon Fitzmaurice in 2004. Changing her...
  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Girl Who Smiled Beads
    by Clemantine Wamariya

    A riveting story of dislocation, survival, and the power of stories to break or save us.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!


Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.