This is his book, his own story, and his life journey. As we see he's the protagonist and the narrator. Paul isn't a famous war hero; he's not a high-ranking, superstar officer. Instead, he's a regular person. He likes to drink beer and think about girls—he's been to school, and he likes to read, but he's too young to have had any major life experiences before enlisting in the war. He's your typical teenage boy—excited for his future, but still naïve to certain things in life. That is until the war changes everything and makes him an expert in death.
Paul Bäumer in the Essays