on 14 October 2002
Listen to the review above. This is the second best book I have ever read,(the first being, "First into Action"). When you read this book you literally take the place of one of the trainee's.
I have read alot of books about the military and this is one of the best. Part of it can be funny as well.
Definitely well worth the money! I've read it twice in four months! BUY IT NOW
on 3 March 2008
Dick Couch observes every evolution of BUDS training in grueling detail. Couch is a former Seal and a Naval Academy graduate. He has the experience to understand and explain modern Seal training. When I was a Marine training in Coronado, I often wondered just how hard those guys holding boats over their heads really worked. Couch has informed me not only of the details of the training but given me a glimpse of the personality and attitude required to complete this challenging training. People who are unashamedly reading this book for inspiration or motivation will not have trouble finding it. The survivors of BUDS training possess what Couch calls the "will to win." Whatever they have it keeps them from quitting and pushes them to succeed when the circumstances are more challenging then most people could endure. Class 228 begins with over a hundred men but only about a dozen complete BUDS six months later. As a class, the sailors and former Marines survive by not only pushing their bodies beyond their previous limits but also by relying on their team. Though individually each of the BUDS trainees an exceptional sailor only those who understand how to contribute and operate in a team will become Seals. How the young people of this class quickly meld into a unit is the dramatic center of Couch's book. There are simply too many BUDS trainees for Couch to dwell on each for too long. But those he does focus on are class leaders and quiet survivors who refuse to quit. These handful of sailors are unique in their backgrounds but united but personality traits. Couch praises the mindset and personal values of the few who make it and never criticizes either the navy or the political forces that shape how Seals and the military are deployed in the age of terrorism. In the last chapter of the book Couch drops his objectivity in order to the questions facing the Seal community in the 20th century such as women in BUDS and how to shape Seals out of American youth. Couch criticizes to a degree the culture that shapes young Americans. The young people entering the military today are from "the shopping mall not the steel mill." There is a cultural shift in the US away from the meritocracy based values of the military and Middle America. Couch seems to imply that it takes more resources to prepare these young people for combat not only because of the new challenges in combat but also because of the cultural difference between civilian life and that of the military as a whole. Overall, anyone looking for a more scientific analysis of special operations may be disappointed at how fast and easy this book reads. It is a fast and entertaining story but not an in depth expose of a secretive culture. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is inspired by accounts of incredible challenges met by ordinary people possessing an incredible will to succeed.
on 4 September 2006
Interesting to learn how the SEALs training goes. Very different from what other units do (like the SAS famous Selection or so). Becomes quite heavy as you witness every bit of an effort, every event during the training. Interesting very much for the special forces freaks like myself, maybe quite heavy to digest for the others, as the action is quite repetitive. I guess that the book could be half its size and be even better. Still - it is amazing what these young lads are able to achieve, what kind of tests and hard times they are able to get through. Impressive!
on 15 January 2012
I have to say I have been very impressed by this book. Only got into the spec-ops subject recently and had no idea of what to expect. But this book really went beyond my expectations. It's well written and makes you want to join one of the classes but also gives you a real taste of the pain and the suffering that BUD/S candidates undergo. Ending is bit slow, in which author delves into the "politics" side of U.S. Army status, but otherwise if you are interested in NAVY SEALS this book should be on your must have list.