AUSA’s Army Matters Podcast

Thought Leaders: The Green Berets in the Land of a Million Elephants

May 27, 2019

Host Joe Craig, Director of AUSA’s Book Program, speaks with author Joseph Celeski about his new book The Green Berets in the Land of a Million Elephants: U.S. Army Special Warfare and the Secret War in Laos 1959-74. The Green Berets' service in Laos was the first strategic challenge since its formation in 1952, and proved one of the first major applications of special warfare doctrine. Clouded in secrecy until the 1990s, this story is comprehensively told for the first time using official archival documents and interviews with veterans. Joseph Celeski served for thirty years in the U.S. Army, twenty-three of them in Special Forces, and has published several works on special forces and counterinsurgency.

Thought Leaders, a segment of AUSA’s Army Matters Podcast, brings in-depth conversations with authors of military books and senior leaders. Recommendations for future topics are welcome via email at