Black Hearts and Painted Guns: A Battalion’s Journey into Iraq’s Triangle of Death


Kelly Eads and Dan Morgan

Tuesday, March 26, 2024  |  12:15 - 1:30 pm  |  RLP 1.302E, Patton Hall

Eads, Kelly Triptych

On Tuesday, March 6, the Clements Center for National Security and the Army ROTC and the UT-Austin History Department will host Kelly Eads and Dan Morgan for a book talk on their recent release Black Hearts and Painted Guns: A Battalion’s Journey into Iraq’s Triangle of Death. Join us at 12:15 pm in RLP 1.302E, Patton Hall.

Kelly Eads grew up in rural NW Missouri and joined the US Army as an infantryman after high school. He deployed twice to Iraq, supporting counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations. His last assignment with the 101st Airborne was the acting Platoon Sergeant, supervising both Recon Teams and Snipers in the Scout Platoon for 2nd Battalion, 502ndInfantry Regiment. He was awarded numerous medals during his service, however the medal he holds closest to his heart is the award for being a Distinguished Member of the 502nd Infantry Regiment. He now lives in the Kansas City region with his wife and their two children. Kelly served as a Police Officer for the last 14 years where he continued to assist with tactical operations and counterterrorism investigations. He now assists with security planning and operations for a large school district in his area and also provides tactical training and consulting to private and government organizations. 

Daniel S. Morgan graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, DC with degrees in national security and defense industry. He retired as a US Army Colonel in 2018. His experience has taken him from policy making to congressional legislative affairs to defense strategy across the world. Dan deployed worldwide to multiple combat operations at every level in peacemaking, counterterrorism, counterinsurgency and major combat operations. Over half his military active duty service was in hostile combat zones. In the 1990s, he supported counternarcotic strategy and operations across the globe to include serving in the Clinton Administration at the highest levels. He is a published author on leadership, military strategy, counter narcotics, and US policy. Today, Dan works in the defense industry, providing cutting-edge intelligent sensing technology across space, air, land, and maritime domains. Today, he lives in the Hill Country in Texas west of Austin.