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5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put this book down....
My title says it all. I could not put this book down. Even after seeing the Discovery Channel's documentary on Class 238, this book adds so much more to the real life experience. I think this is the very best book written on BUD/s. Makes my 1972 Marine Corp boot camp experience feel like kindergarden. Hooyah to all past, present, and future Seals.
Published on July 12 2004 by Clark L Lerch

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3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of detail about the training program
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...
Published on June 18 2002 by day-oh


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5.0 out of 5 stars how Navy SEALs are trained, Sept. 3 2003
This review is from: The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 (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. Some of the trainees begin to hallucinate and become irrational and delirious from sleep deprivation.
The focus on certain trainees makes this book all the more compelling. We meet a young man who wants to become a SEAL very badly but he's dropped for not being able to meet the physical demands. There is another man who is trying BUD/S for the second time; he's very strong and has no problem with most of the training evolutions but he eventually gets a pulmonary edema and hence is forced out of the program. Then there's a man who doesn't seem to have a weakness at all and breezes through everything until he's forced out of the program due to sinus problems.
I'll stop and leave with a quote from this book which I found interesting:
"warriorship is as much a tempering of the spirit as a physical rendering"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Warrior Elite: The forging of Seal Class 228, Aug. 15 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 (Paperback)
I've read just about every book there is to read on Special Forces/Special Forces training. Usually they fall into 2 categories: Too much rah rah by an ex-SF guy, or not enough detail. This is THE best Special Forces book written to date, hands down! And without argument it is the most descriptive and incisive book on the Navy Seals ever written. But what makes this book so good is the style of writing. No glory embellishments, no rah rah. Just the facts, which are far more seat-of-your-pants exciting than anything else out there. Captain Couch let's the men, the dangerous work they do, and initiation into the most elite warrior force in the world, tell the story. The book follows what starts off as 137 top-notch military performers, through the incredible physical and mental challenges that is Seal initiation and training, until ultimately only 13 of the original class makes it through. Additionally, the author spends time constantly attempting to uncover the mysteries of why one man makes it all the way through, and why another, who is seemingly cruising through, quits one day before the end of hell week. By the end of the story, you feel like you know every one of these guys. I've referred this book on many times. Not one person has not been awed by this incredible book. If you have any interest in Special Forces or the Seals, don't miss Warrior Elite. This is a must read! I cannot wait until his next book comes out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT!, July 9 2003
By 
Del C Brown (Honolulu, HI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 (Paperback)
This is absolutely the best book on BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolitions/SEAL) Training that I have ever read. Most of the SEAL training you hear about is the infamous Hell Week. This book does an excellent job of showing you that Hell Week is merely a speed bump in a SEAL's training.
Retired Captain Dick Couch is a 1967 graduate of the US Naval Academy and Honorman of BUD/S Class 45. In this book, he takes the reader through all six months and three phases of BUD/S. Due to training requirements, he isn't really allowed to fraternize with the BUD/S trainees, but he does a good job of portraying some of the students of Class 228. So much so, in fact, that I found myself getting a bit choked up reading about their graduation ceremony. It felt like I was there, sitting proudly in the audience as I watched a family member or friend graduating from BUD/S.
It's amazing that you learn that the average SEAL is not a hulking mass of muscle like you would be apt to think. Many are under 6 feet tall and weigh in the area of 160-170 pounds. Certainly not the stereotypical Rambo-like visage one would expect (note: Rambo was a Green Beret, not a SEAL; you will also find out through other reading that most Green Berets are not like Rambo, either). One learns that what separates these elite men from others who fail the BUD/S course is heart, will, and determination. Strength, stamina, and endurance are important, but the strongest and fastest do not always make it. It is the heart of these warriors that stands above others.
Couch takes it a step further and touches upon post BUD/S training, the future of Navy SEALs and their possible role in the war on terrorism, following the 9/11 tragedies.
He mentions in this book that he is currently working on a new SEAL book scheduled for release in the spring of 2004. "It follows the path of a BUD/S graduate as he earns his SEAL qualification and prepares for operational deployment with his SEAL platoon. As with 'The Warrior Elite', [he is] following a group of men through their advanced SEAL training--the training BUD/S graduates must successfully complete before they are awarded their Naval Special Warfare Insignia, the Trident...[he is] also oberserving SEAL platoons and SEAL teams preparing for operational deployment." I can't wait for this new book!
I HIGHLY recommend this book to potential SEAL candidates and anyone interested in the training of this elite fighting force.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Visual of BUD/s, May 14 2003
By A Customer
If you think you need to know what BUD/s consists of, this book will do it. The detail was amazing and the entire book gave me a clear picture of what was going on. It read like a movie is watched. I bought it before a long flight to a foreign country, with the hope of having an english book for myself during my stay. Unfortunetly, I couldn't put it down and read the book before we landed. Clear picture with all the information you could want to know.
Just remember, the only thing that'll get you through BUD/s is you WANTING to get through BUD/s
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, April 20 2003
By 
T. Kenvin (Saugus, MA United States) - See all my reviews
This is a harrowing and intense look at the making of Navy Seals. It chronicles BUD/S class 228 in an up close and personal way. Unfortunately there is alot we as readers will never be permitted to see. But make no mistakes, Cpt. Cough takes you to Coronado, and plunges you right along with the trainees (only we have it easy). I read the book in one night....it was that good. I crinched and felt anxious when the students had to pass a graded evolution and I smiled and laughed when they secured from Hell Week. One of the best non-fictional accounts that I have read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE WARRIOR ELITE, April 18 2003
By A Customer
GREAT BOOK,WELL WRITTEN.
IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT BEING A NAVY SEAL OR INTERESTED IN WHAT SETS THESE MEN APART FROM THE OTHER BRANCHES OF THE ARMED SERVICES............ THIS BOOK IS A MUST!
THANK GOD THESE GUYS ARE ON OUR SIDE! THE BEST OF THE BEST,NO DOUBT ABOUT IT!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of the Best, April 14 2003
By 
P. Dino (Lancaster, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Captain Couch has written the most poignant account about what it takes to become the best of the best, a US Navy SEAL. I won't rehash what others have so eloquently said here their reviews.
All I will add is that if you want motivation, read this book. Forget all those phony motavational speakers and the books they hawk, this book truely motivates ones spirit to adapt, overcome and work as a team.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I ever read, April 10 2003
By A Customer
I have to say that this is one of the best books I ever read. This book is about the hardships SEALs go through at BUS/S training. I was amazed at what these men went through during their training. The book talks about the members of Class 228 and their physical and mental struggle through. Many of the members did not make it through BUS/S and many quit before first phase even started.
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5.0 out of 5 stars HOOYAH Mister Couch, April 1 2003
By A Customer
I have trained for triathlons, run half marathons and a full marathon, worked the graveyard (truck) loading dock till I almost dropped, worked labor jobs 22 hours straight, done nighttime scuba in the cold Atlantic ocean and done overnight ER call rotation with general surgeons. I am still amazed at the courage and fortitude of the young BUD/S trainees.
This is a well written book and I have already recommended it to a high school student who has a burning desire to be a Navy Seal. What a great way to find out what it takes to make it through BUD/S (Seal) training. It is written by someone who has been there and done that, Mister Dick Couch. Three rings to all who had the right stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, March 31 2003
By 
Lee J. Maguire (Providence,RI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 (Paperback)
The setting of this book takes place during the Vietnam War Era in Coronado, California; A time when the U.S. Navy SEALs were the avant-garde of the elite forces in the U.S. military. SEAL training known as BUD/s (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALs)is considered the toughest training in the western hemisphere. The reader will see how and why SEALs are people who posess valor and moral fiber in their blood. The mental and physical torture of a BUD/s student is so visibily detailed in this book the reader may experience pain while reading it. As a potential SEAL I highly recommend this book, it was one of the best I have read on the subject.
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The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228
The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 by Dick Couch (Paperback - Jan. 28 2003)
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