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Wearing the Green Beret: A Canadian with the Royal Marine Commandos [Paperback]

Jake Olafsen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 17 2012
With the authenticity of Jarhead and Bravo Two Zero and the straight-up narrative of Contact Charlie, this military memoir describes what really goes on in the training of an elite soldier and his tours in Afghanistan.

In 2004, Jake Olafsen signed up for the Royal Marines Commandos. He left everything behind at home in Canada on the basis of a spur-of-the-moment decision. The Royal Marines have the toughest and longest basic training of any infantry unit in the world. For Olafson, this meant eight months of wet and cold in England and Wales. It was hell, but he came out with the four Commando qualities that the corps look for: courage, determination, unselfishness, cheerfulness in the face of adversity.

Olafsen went on to serve for four years as a Commando in the Royal Marines, an elite military unit based in the United Kingdom. He went to Afghanistan twice: in 2006, he went to confront the Taliban in Helmand Province for six months, and in 2007, he was sent to do it all over again. His story is filled with good experiences, like the sense of accomplishment, patriotism, and camaraderie, and the opportunity to travel the world. But all good things come at a price. The sacrifices he made for the Corps are significant; he has killed the enemy and he has buried his friends. And in telling his story, Olafsen hopes that he can make sense of it all. This is an honest, gutsy story about the mud and the blood, the triumphs and the tragedies.

From the Hardcover edition.

Frequently Bought Together

Wearing the Green Beret: A Canadian with the Royal Marine Commandos + Lions of Kandahar: The Story of a Fight Against All Odds + No Lack of Courage: Operation Medusa, Afghanistan
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Product Description


"The honest and fast-paced book covers the time between his decision to sign up through to his post-discharge flight home, which he says was definitely a one-way ticket."
—Vancouver Sun
"Canadian Jake Olafsen survived and thrived in the Royal Marines from 2005 to 2009, serving two tours in Afghanistan and now relating his experiences in this gripping memoir. . . . Olafsen's descriptions of firefights are vivid and well-written, albeit laced with profanity."
Winnipeg Free Press
". . . Olafson documents it all in its Full Metal Jacket intensity"
Telegraph Journal

About the Author

JAKE OLAFSEN was born and raised on Vancouver Island. After college he worked in the family business in the forest industry. He served with the Canadian Army Reserve for nearly 3 years and helped to battle the B.C. forest fires of 2003. In 2005-2009, Olafsen was a Royal Marine Commando and served 2 tours in Afghanistan. He was most recently in Afghanistan in April 2008, and in total he has spent nearly 14 months in the volatile Helmand province. In 2009, he left the Corps and returned home to Vancouver Island to pursue a career in the international maritime security industry, indulging his passion for mountaineering in his spare time.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this Book. Feb. 23 2011
By PeterB
This was a great read lots of excitement and the author has a great sense of humour.... I guess its all the "Cheerfulness in the Face of Adversity". He talks about the good parts all the camaraderie, the exhilaration of success he achieved but he doesn't shy away from telling you about the bad either loosing friends and some pretty crappy conditions form bootcamp all the way through to the hot sticky bug infested jungles of Asia. I enjoyed following the author along this journey from his decision to join the Royal Marine's to his time in theatre to his eventual return home. Fantastic book and I hope Mr Olafsen considers writing more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read March 19 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a must read for anybody with an interest in war novels, fiction or non-fiction. Very informative, but more importantly very entertaining. The action sequences were rivteting - I did not want them to end.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Jake presents a highly detailed and engaging account of his time with the UK's Royal Marines. The narrative is entertaining and humourous, and offers an interesting first-hand account of his experiences. The book is a refreshing change from the mainstream accounts of soldiering - this is not a dry, second hand account by a war journalist, nor does it seek to vent personal frustrations or deliver a personal agenda from some grizzled, jaded SNCO. The storytelling does not come across as exaggerated, sensationalist or political. It is a straight forward modern day account account of life in the front lines.
The author's writing style makes it easy to imagine the day-to-day realities of modern combat. He describes (but doesn't dwell on) the huge expanses of boredom and the frustrations of one-sided rules of combat, and then paints vivid accounts of intense fighting sequences, the ferocity of modern weapons and the sense of awe that comes from close range exposure to Apache gunships, precision bombing strikes and AC130 Gunships raining down hell upon the enemy. Overall, a great book which I had a hard time putting down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read Oct. 8 2011
Excellent book, to read. Goes to show the Canadian fighting spirit in the RM.
Hopefully there will be an other book by this ex RM
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best in it's class!!! Buy it!!! Aug. 29 2011
Really the best book I read on the subject! You need to buy it! I want more. I whish there was a sequel.
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