New Book "Boys in the Barracks" Provides a Candid Look at Army Culture; First Step in Understanding Those Who Serve

Amidst U.S. Army Recruiting Challenges, #1 Amazon Bestseller

Reveals Truths About Why Soldiers Join and Why They Stay

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Barracks Publishing LLC announced the release of its new publication, “Boys in the Barracks.” The first of its kind, the new non-fiction book goes beyond traditional narratives about the military, providing an unfiltered look at Army life in garrison from the perspective of the soldier. It describes the mundane and exhilarating, the serious and humorous day-to-day realities of soldiers when they are not at war yet preparing for the next war. “Boys in the Barracks” is already a #1 Amazon Bestseller in the Military Life & Institutions History category. Proceeds from the sale go to support Cohen Veterans Network (CVN), a national not-for-profit network of mental health clinics for post-9/11 veterans, service members and their families.

New book “Boys in the Barracks” provides unfiltered look at Army life in garrison from the perspective of the soldier.

Hundreds of active duty soldiers were interviewed for the book which delves into a wide range of topics including Army leadership, discipline, language, humor, physical fitness, and mental health. It explores the unique culture of the Army, providing insight into its traditions, customs, and unspoken rules. With less than 7% of adult Americans having ever served in the military, the authors emphasize that understanding the culture of the Army is the first step in understanding those who serve, regardless of the era or conflict. The book addresses critical questions about the impact of military service on soldiers’ lives and how these experiences shape their transition back to civilian life.

The release of “Boys in the Barracks” comes as the U.S. Army has struggled to meet its recruitment goals in recent years. In 2023, the Army fell significantly short of its target of 65,000 new recruits, having signed 55,000 contracts.

“In this book, we give voice to the many soldiers whose stories go unheard outside of the barracks and the motor pool,” says co-author Dr. Anthony Hassan, President and CEO of Cohen Veterans Network. “We explore the diverse factors that drive soldiers to enlist and what influences their decisions to remain committed.”

The book bares significance not only for Army leadership looking to spur recruitment and enhance combat readiness but also for recruits, providing an unvarnished look at the realities of the life they’re stepping into. Written with compassion for those who serve and respect for the institution of the military, “Boys in the Barracks” additionally appeals to veterans, spouses, academics, scientists, policy makers and veteran support organizations.

“We present an honest and uncensored portrayal of soldiers’ daily lives to allow for better understanding of their experiences and challenges,” says co-author Professor Carl Castro, Director of Military and Veteran Programs at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at the University of Southern California. “With a candid glimpse into Army culture, this book provides insights for military leaders to optimize the potential of every solider, helping to improve their overall experience and ensure that they are strong advocates for the Army and what it means to serve.”

The authors also drew from personal experience, both having served in the military. Dr. Hassan enlisted in the Army as a radio operator in 1980. In 1995, he transitioned to the Air Force as a military social worker where he participated in peacekeeping operations in Saudi Arabia and East Africa and as combat stress control officer during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Professor Castro joined the Army as an infantryman at the height of the Cold War and later through the support of the Army obtained his PhD. During his service, he participated in numerous peacekeeping and combat campaigns. He retired in the rank of colonel.

Building on the excitement around the launch of the book, Barracks Publishing additionally introduced an initial collection of “Boys in the Barracks” merchandise, such as the “Army Talk Spoken Here” phone case and “Standby to Standby” sweatshirt.

Visit for more information on the book, the authors and merchandise.

About Barracks Publishing:

Established in 2023, Barracks Publishing is a dynamic Los Angeles-based publishing house that is committed to bringing authentic and compelling narratives from the heart of military life to readers worldwide. Its inaugural book, “Boys in the Barracks,” lays the foundation for a planned three-part series that will subsequently focus on the experiences of women soldiers and military spouses. Works from Barracks Publishing promise to broaden understanding of life within the Army, exploring diverse and often underrepresented perspectives. Visit

About Cohen Veterans Network:

Cohen Veterans Network (CVN) is a 501(c)(3) national not-for-profit philanthropic organization for post-9/11 veterans, active duty service members and their families. CVN focuses on improving mental health outcomes, operating a network of outpatient mental health clinics in high-need communities, in which trained clinicians deliver holistic evidence-based care to treat mental health conditions. It was established in 2016 by philanthropist Steven A. Cohen with a commitment of $275 million to build the network. Learn more about CVN at

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