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The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 Paperback – Jan 28 2003


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The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 + Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy Seal + Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Reprint edition (Jan. 28 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400046955
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400046959
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #124,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Booklist

There is a pod of good books on the SEALs, but this one is unique. Couch, a Vietnam-era SEAL and retired naval reserve captain, was given the most complete access possible to the demanding BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) course and has recorded his observations, those of one who has been there and done a good deal of that. His account of Hell Week, the culmination of a formidable three-phase course intended to produce men who are physically, psychologically, and technically the best in the world at what they do, may leave the average reader short of breath. Few Hollywood stereotypes are on view; in their stead are a man who passed BUD/S at age 39, a superb swimmer who was disqualified for sinus problems, and a trainee at the low end of the fitness scale who subsequently won the Congressional Medal of Honor. Also on view is much serious thought by serious thinkers on the making of warriors at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The Warrior Elite is the first book that captures how the SEAL spirit is tempered. It reveals all the grit, sweat, mud, and blood of BUID/S training -- real-time, down and dirty. This is a must-read if you want to know what becoming a virtual warrior is all about." -- Governor Jesse Ventura, BUD/S Class 58

"A wonderful, thought-provoking book by Dick Couch and a quick study of human personalities; his conclusions are optimistic and uplifting." -- Vice Admiral James Stockdale (USN. Ret.) Recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor.


"The Warrior Elite
offers superb insight into the making of a Navy SEAL. Dick Couch takes the reader through the incredible challenges of basic training and into the minds of these unique warriors who comprise our nation's highly selective fighting force. Having served extensively with Dick in combat as junior officers in Vietnam, I now understand the "how's and why's" of his profession and the SEALs' commitment to mission. The Warrior Elite captures the essence of a Navy SEAL -- the indomitable will to win and steadfast commitment to team." -- Robert J. Natter, Admiral, U.S. Navy, Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet

"An authentic voice that spells out what it takes to become a SEAL--the sheer grit to overcome all obstacles. America is lucky that it continues to attract such men as these to serve." -- Theodore Roosevelt IV, Class 36


From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "day-oh" on June 18 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book contains a great deal of information about the SEAL training program and how mindboggling difficult it is to accomplish. The author is obviously very interested in the actual training program; what gets lost are the people themselves. I was expecting the book to be something of a Survivor-type story, where we would meet some members of the class of 228, get to know them and their motivations and see which ones failed and which ones survived. Instead, the characters are introduced in a very perfunctory way, and almost none of the quitters are gone into in any detail.
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Format: Paperback
I first became interested in the Navy SEALs during a Learning Channel 5-part series that follows class 324 thru BUD/s (Basic Underwater Demolition, Seal training) To see the various evolutions these young men had to go thru was inspiring. Thus when I was on Coronado Island I decided I had to get a book that dug deeper into the forging of a Navy SEAL. I was recommended this book by the owner of a Coronado bookstore. Dick Couch, the author and former Navy SEAL was given access to BUD/s class 228 to tell the story of the men who make it to graduation and beyond. Throughtout the book you get a real sense of what it would be like to go thru the training, and all the internal thoughts that you need to fight off to make it. There is a great deal of detail put into Indoc., First Phase, Hell Week, Second Phase and Third Phase. While that entails all phases of BUD/s graduation there is much more training ahead for the graduates, that most likely gets told in Finishing School.
I highly recommend this book, to at the bare minimum understand the trials these men go thru, and at the max. to push yourself to achieve things you never thought possible.
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By Eric Rucker on Dec 13 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is definitely written from an conventional Navy officer's perspective. Despite Couch's past SEAL career, he basically comes across as one of the "conventional" thinking SEAL officers that Richard Marcinko repeatedly complains about in his many best selling books. Dick Couch paints the modern SEALs as like some prima donnas and discounts their past "badboy" image and history. He even goes so far as to call the SEALS of the Vietnam era, seventies and eighties era as "streetfighters" rather than warriors. I found this disrespectful to the many enlisted SEALs and mustang SEAL officers who developed the SEAL mystique during the post Vietnam era.
Couch obviously favors Naval Academy grad officers from the things he says in his book. His Naval Academy bias comes thru loud and clear. He talks little about the many fine "Mustang" SEAL officers who have made the SEAL community what it is today. Many of the more innoative SEAL officers are former enlisted SEALs, who after first becoming enlisted SEALs went onto college, then went to OCS and became SEAL Commissioned Officers. Richard Marcinko is one of these "Mustang" SEAL officers, who earned everything he had and was given nothing.
Couch's opinion at the end of the book that the earlier era SEALs were "streetfighters" rather than real warriors is just plain disrespectful to the many sixties, seventies and eighties era SEALs who built NAVSPECWAR into what it is today. Those men were the pioneers...who rebelled against the conventional Navy and built the current SEAL reputation. Those "streetfighter" SEALs Couch talks about were doing SEAL things long before special ops became popular or hip or cool. In fact they were doing it when special ops was actually UNPOPULAR in the Vietnam and post Vietnam era.
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Format: Paperback
The training to become a US Navy SEAL is one of the toughest programs of any special operations unit in the world. From what I've read, the only other units that might come close or match the SEAL training is perhaps the Air Force's Pararescue and Combat Controllers program.
This book affords us a rare opportunity into the world of the basic training stages of SEAL candidates. Basic Underwater Demolition and SEAL training (BUD/S) is approximately 6 months but as pointed out in this book, it takes at least a year of training to become a full-fledged Navy SEAL. After one finishes BUD/S, he must go for SEAL Tactical Training (STT) and function as part of a SEAL team for another six months before he is eligible to receive his coveted SEAL trident pin. BUD/S is the focus of this book however. We get to know a number of SEAL candidates fairly well from the first day of indoctrination to the final day of BUD/S and beyond. Class 228 began with 114 trainees who were selected from a much larger group of applicants. Of those 114, only 10 of them managed to go straight through all of the phases and graduate. The majority seem to volitarily drop out of the program at some point in the program (particularly during the infamous "hell week"). Anyone can volitarily quit and any time in the training by simply telling an instructor "I quit". Trainees quit for a number of reasons, but some of the more common reasons are because of the constant exposure to cold water and the inordinate lengths of time trainees must stay awake. The trainees body temperatures are allowed to drop to what most medical professionals would regard as dangerously low. Trainees passing out in the pool is not uncommon in BUD/S.
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