Forged in Fire

(Trade paper)
Dispatches on 30/07/2024

Forged in Fire takes us inside the secretive world of the Australian commandos.Garry made a report on the radio: 'I see around 200 women and children heading north up the valley.' Less than 400 metres below us, a steady stream of women and kids were hurrying away in single file.
'Where are all the men?' I asked Garry. 'Waiting for us, ' he responded, with a look of concern I had not seen on his face before. My heart skipped a beat-we were on. From the age of 12, Scott Ryder knew he wanted to join the army, and he signed up as soon as he could. After serving as a paratrooper and in East Timor with 3 RAR, he wanted more. He trained all summer and took the gruelling selection course for the commandos, earning the prized green beret on his second attempt. Forged in Fire takes us inside the secretive world of the commandos. Ryder shares battlefield stories from his tours to Afghanistan, where his regiment saw some of the heaviest fighting Australian forces have experienced since the Vietnam War. After being seriously injured in a shocking Black Hawk helicopter crash in Kandahar, he was the only survivor to return to active service. Frankly written, with self-deprecating humour, it reveals the qualities of strength and mental resilience that characterise special forces operators. 'Scott is not famous; his chest is not bedecked with the grandest tin and ribbon. His voice is from among us rather than up on high. And his account of the DNA of the commando, the lesser sung super-soldier, is all the better for it.' - from the foreword by Chris Masters, author of Flawed Hero