Pilgrim Days

From the Vietnam War to Troop Commander, 22 Special Air Service Regiment

Alistair MacKenzie

Date Published :
November 2019
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
100 color & b/w photos, maps
No associated books available.


‘We are the Pilgrims, master; we shall go
Always a little further; it may be
Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow’
And if there was ever anyone who went a little further, a little beyond, it was Alastair MacKenzie…

In a career spanning 30 years, MacKenzie served uniquely with the New Zealand Army in Vietnam, the British Parachute Regiment, the British Special Air Service, the South African Defence Force’s famed ParaBats, the Sultan of Oman’s Special Forces and a host of private security agencies and defence contractors, MacKenzie lived the soldier’s life to full as he’s journeyed the ‘the Golden Road to Samarkand’.

This extraordinary all new work from the author of ‘Special Force: The Untold Story of 22nd Special Air Service Regiment (SAS)’, vividly documents in a detail that stuns, the experience of infantry combat in Vietnam, life with the Paras, the tempo of selection for UK Special Forces, covert SAS operations in South Armagh and SAS Counter Terrorist training on the UK mainland, vehicle mounted Pathfinder Brigade insertions into Angola and maritime counter-terrorism work in Oman.

This is a military CV like no other and one that makes for the most compelling of reading, listing as it does, a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of modern military history featuring personalities featuring the likes of Cedric Delves, Arthur Denaro, Jan Breytenbach, Mike Jackson, Peter McAleese, Fred Marafono and more.

Brutally honest, MacKenzie is candid about life as a Special Forces soldier, questioning as he does, approaches and man management that leave a lot to be desired. No stone is left unturned, no reputation left aside. Read it and be amazed; his is a perspective that has been earned the hard way. It can’t be ignored.

About The Author

Alastair MacKenzie comes from a military family of long standing and he served as a para-trained platoon commander for 12 months with the New Zealand infantry on combat operations in South Vietnam and in the special forces of South Africa, Oman and the UK, where for four years he was troop commander in the 22nd Special Air Service Regiment. After his retirement as a full-time Army officer he enjoyed a successful commercial career with Royal Ordnance and British Aerospace before moving to consultancy roles. In civilian life he retained an involvement with the Territorial Army as an SAS officer and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2001. He obtained his PhD in Politics in 2005 and is the author of published works including ‘Special Force: The Untold Story of 22nd Special Air Service Regiment (SAS)’ and ‘The Sounds Soldiers’ Memorial – Stories of the Fallen’.

More from this publisher