The New York Times bestseller, Red Metal, by Lieutenant Colonel H. Ripley “Rip” Rawlings IV ’94 arrived on shelves on July 16. Co-written with Mark Greaney, the novel has been named a Publishers Weekly pick of the week, selected by Apple Books as one of the Best Books of July, and is one of the best-selling books on Amazon.
Rawlings served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 23 years and was an Infantry and Reconnaissance Officer with 10 combat and peace keeping deployments. While working at the Pentagon, Rawlings connected with Greaney. Their book is a military thriller about a geopolitical crisis. Russia creates a ruse in the Pacific, then attacks Western Europe and East Africa to seize a rare Earth mineral, a complex cast of characters work together to prevent World War III. Unique to this genre of military thriller are three very strong female lead characters.
Rawlings says Red Metal, released by Penguin Publishing Group, has reconnected him with his roots as an English major. “I really flourished under the kind of academic environment HWS provided,” he says.
In particular, he was influenced by the teaching of Professor of English Deborah Tall, Professor of Art John Loftus P’75, P’76, P’91, Professor of English Peter Cummings, Professor of English Grant Holly, Professor of Political Science Iva Deutchman and Professor of Philosophy Eugen Baer P’95, P’97.
On campus, Rawlings was a founder of the German club, member of Delta Chi fraternity, worked at WEOS radio station and was a member of the HWS sailing team. While studying abroad in Germany, Rawlings played minor league baseball and pursue a second major in German literature. He won a Houghton House honor for a watercolor painting and was part of the Outdoors Club that went spelunking, kayaking and SCUBA diving.
Rawlings has stayed connected to his alma mater through the Day on the Hill Experience facilitated by the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education. He says through his conversations with Hobart and William Smith students he conveys that “wonderful people work in the hardest jobs in our government and they come from all walks of life.” He also tells students that “HWS creates a strong tradition of making critical thinkers in those who work hard to seek it.”