Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Book Review: Reconnaissance Man

Book Review: Reconnaissance Man, by Aaron Clarey, July 2016, 202 pages.

I read the paperback version of this book.  Review date: August 17, 2016.

Reconnaissance Man (RC) is Clarey at his finest.


Truth be told, becoming a “Reconnaissance Man” is a completely new idea and is simply the advice I’d give to my younger self were I to do it all over again.

Clarey merged his advice for young men with his love of travel and the outdoors in RC.  And he builds on his excellent advice books, Enjoy the Decline and Bachelor Pad Economics (links to my reviews).  RC also builds on his book, Worthless, which I have not read.


...while you can’t control other people or the environment, you can CHOOSE which environment and people you interact with.

His argument: K-12 and most 4-year degree programs do not prepare young adults for careers and career success.  Ideally before college, young adults should consider a series of reconnaissance trips over the course of 2 years or more, within the United States, to find exciting places to live.  Do the reconnaissance as he prescribes, with self-learning activities along the way, and the young adult will learn what career field(s) for which they are ideally suited.  Last, identifying the best places and career fields will, in turn, help the young adult learn more who he or she is.

P48: will be well ahead of your peers in the game of life.

Embark on the Clarey Reconnaissance, and the young adult will avoid the “unrecoverable life regrets” that modern society and K-college is taking so many today.


In immediately going to college, as well as planting your roots in an area that is merely convenient, you almost guarantee you’ll be:
Living in an area you don’t want to.
Working a job you hate.
Constantly pining to do something else, elsewhere.
While tragically not even knowing what else is out there, so you don’t even know what you’re missing out on in the first place.

RC is a road-trip education book.  It is targeted to young adults 14 and up, with the opportune age being 14-16 when one can start planning and saving.  While he targets all young adults, I’d steer this more to young men as the recon trips will be adventurous, lonely, and both physically and emotionally demanding.  In truth, this book is for the 5% of that age group who have the courage and determination to embark on a 2-year, self-supervised and demanding assignment.

In addition to the concepts, Clarey helps the reader narrow their recon area with categories that include climate, taxes, outdoor activities and employment opportunities.  Even a teenager who reads RC yet never leaves the house will be better for it, as RC is an outline of priorities, advice and lessons learned.

If you know of any young adult 14 or over who has shown evidence of work ethic, follow-through and an independent streak, give them this book.  It may be the greatest gift they will ever receive.


Full disclosure: Clarey is a comrade, and I am a fan.

I’ve added RC to the Ushanka Library book list at the left.

You can buy RC at Amazon - here.

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