Four Brothers to Deploy to Iraq Together, Write Book

The Holbert brothers are going to Iraq to write a book–and fight a war.

Photo (Clockwise from top left) Army Reserve Maj. Matt Holbert, Capts. David and Carlton Holbert, and Lt. Col. Buddy Holbert pose together Feb. 28 prior to their mobilization. The four brothers will deploy to Iraq soon as part of the 108th Division. Four brothers, all Army Reserve officers, are deploying to Iraq with the same division and are planning to chronicle their experiences in a forthcoming book. The book’s working title is “An American Story — The Holbert Family: Four Brothers Who Serve.” Its publisher, Linda Dennis, hopes to tell the story of the whole family’s struggles as Buddy, Matt, David and Carlton begin their year in Iraq with the 108th Division (Institutional Training).


The oldest brother, Lt. Col Buddy Holbert, is a 44-year-old graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He said the family feels grateful to Dennis for recognizing them and expressed his amazement that someone would want to publish their words. “We wrote some little … bios on ourselves and had a couple of pictures taken, and I understand that someone wants to consider that as essays for a book,” he said. “I can’t say they’re written well enough for that, but that’s what I’m hearing.”


Capt. David Holbert, a 40-year-old graduate of Winthrop University, serves in the unit’s security and intelligence branch. He enlisted in the South Carolina Army National Guard directly out of high school and served for more than five years before being commissioned as an officer. With 23 years in the military, David has served the longest of the four brothers.

Maj. Matt Holbert, a 36-year-old graduate of the Citadel military college in Charleston, S.C., serves as personnel officer for the operation. He and his wife, Laura, have one daughter, Sharon, 5, and one son, Clark, 3.

Capt. Carlton Holbert, 32, also a graduate of the Citadel, serves in the unit’s operations branch. He and his wife, Karen, have one daughter, Reilly, 4.

An interesting project. The family is quite unusual and their story should be interesting.

At the same time, I am a bit uneasy about the idea of officers going to a combat zone with the intention of writing a book. One hopes they are able to multitask well, as they have important duties and troops counting on them. I should note, though, that the Defense Department apparently has no such qualms, since they are highlighting this story on their website.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. G A Phillips says:

    God bless them , no big deal, many have written and served well.

  2. Mark says:

    I always got the impression that the military tried to avoid having a large amount of members of the same family serving in the same place.

    I guess it’s because I have seen Saving Private Ryan too many times…

  3. DC Loser says:

    The family prohibition was due to the deaths of the five Sullivan brothers who were on the USS Juneau when it was torpedoed off Guadalcanal in 1942. After that, brothers were prohibited from serving on the same ship.