countdown boutiques-francophones Learn more Coffee Week Pets All-New Kindle Music Deals Store sports tools Registry

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$16.20+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on December 17, 2001
The true story of how the world's toughest and best fighting teams are molded - one day at a time. It is an extremely well-written, fast-paced account giving us a rare glimpse into the making of Navy SEALS. The chapter on Hell Week alone is worth the price of admission.
This is one book where the journalistic and writing skills of the author places the reader smack in the middle of the action. I felt as if I was living the experience of the officer and enlisted trainees as they endured bitterly cold ocean temperatures, endless physical training, and numerous psychological uncertainties. The joy of graduation day for those who finish is impossible to fathom for an outsider, but the author managed to project the feelings and emotions to the extent that I was grinning and yelling HOOYAH in my living room!
Captain Couch has written an outstanding book that every American can be proud of. Its timing is obvious--no doubt some of the fine young men described in the book are laying it on the line in Afghanistan and points elsewhere as we speak. There are plenty of lessons for life and business within the story of SEAL Class 228--stuff that can be applied by everyone who strives to be the best, persevere, and contribute as a team player. Hopefully many of our esteemed civic and political leaders, present and future, will pick up a copy.
As for the graduates of SEAL Class 228 and their brethern, let's jusy say that after reading The Warrior Elite, I believe you will realize how fortunate we are to have them on our side.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 9, 2003
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 29, 2001
CAPT Couch's account of the officers and men of BUD/S Class 228 is a masterpiece. The class, which began with 147 members and ended with only 10 original members graduating, is followed from Indoc through all three training phases to graduation and beyond. BUD/S training is the most strenuous and demanding in all the world's military and completing it is the first requirement for those aspiring to be SEALs. What most who have no experience with Navy Special Warfare don't know is that just finishing BUD/S does not make one a SEAL. The training, as CAPT Couch shows, never stops. Once assigned to a Team, there is still a probationary period and failing to meet standards can lead to expulsion. Gaining the coveted Trident (the SEAL pin, also called "The Bird") is no sure thing either; the fledgling warriors having to pass a review board of their peers.
This is not just another "gosh, what harsh training!" book. Told in a straight-forward style, the process is presented for what it is with no embellishment or histrionics. As good as the training descriptions are, the last chapter and epilogue are almost perfect evocations of the warrior ethos, its development, future and nurturing by leaders who have all been tested in the same way. The value of the experienced chiefs and senior petty officers is highlighted; truly they are the institutional knowledge of the Teams.
The SEALs I have known and worked with were all quiet professionals, dedicated men who did the hard things that their country demanded. The younger SEALs are the same: willing to go in harm's way, to risk death for all the right reasons. They are truly an elite, even among the other special operations forces. This book lets you know how they got to be the way they are.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 15, 2003
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 15, 2003
First, I liked this book. The details of BUD/S training rigor and effort is unique among books on this subject. I am interested in SEALs because of their desire to win, their attention to detail, and their ability to do the unexpected and seemingly impossible. Overall, this books is much better than 95% of books about SEALs.
While the books provides great detail on Phases 1, 2 (including Hell Week), and 3, the chapters on Phase 4 and "Beyond the Basics" seemed to have been written in a weekend. As I got to this part in the book, I felt let-down based on the excellent coverage in the first part of the book. The material repeats itself in several places, especially towards the end. However, some topics (e.g., IAD) should have been expanded upon.
It's easy to stand on the sidelines and critique while the man in the arena writes the book. However, I believe that the book lacked a consistent level of detail. So, I am giving it four stars.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 25, 2002
This chronicles an exhaustive review of modern day SeAL development and training. So much so that I had to take a "medical" from how well Captain Couch depicted every evolution, to every swollen joint and sleep deprived hallucination, these men kept going to accomplish the mission. One cannot but be floored by the level of dedication and commitment of these young men, to endure the most "hellacious" test of the human spirit. To be the best our Warriors have to put up with the worst. These men do it without any modern day pronouncements of political correctness, lowered standards based on race or ethnicity, or ashamedly no such notion of "an Army of one." These men win together, are the best and the brightest, and I thank God they are Americans. I wouldn't want to be be on the other side knowing there might be a few SeALs on the loose.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 17, 2003
What the men in this book went through is amazing. You have to wonder if they are on the edge of insanity to put themselves through this. But they aren't They are driven by a need to be the best at what they do, to do more than is expected of them. To read what they put themselves through really humbled me. It made me look at my daily life in a new perspective. It makes me want to push myself to do more, to do better. If they can put themselves through that much torture than I can push myself too. If you like book on the military and special ops, this should be on the top of your list. From Indoc to Graduation, the book covers the full gauntlet of what the BUD/S trainees go through to have the privelge to be called a Navy Seal. Reading this book will let you understand why becoming a Navy Seal is the greatest honor in the military.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 19, 2004
I am so impressed with the story told by Dick Couch about the training and selection process for Navy SEALs. He shows that guys who make it through 'Hell Week' are not just strong, tough guys who won't quit, they're lucky too. Avoiding injury through such physical stress is the real limiting factor for those who are mentally tough enough. The mental toughness though, that's the really fascinating part of the story. Every guy, in some part of his mind wonders, 'If it came down to it, do I have what it takes?' This book shows that Navy SEALs do! I wish I had this book when I was younger. I wouldn't be so cocky as to say that I could do this, but I would have loved to have tried. Great book for a young man, but entertaining for anyone. The trials that these warriors endure puts our every day complaints into perspective.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 23, 2002
This the best book about the Navy SEAL's training that I have come across. In an unprecedented move they allow Dick Couch(ret.) to return to the training grounds as a reporter/writer. He goes through beginning to end with Class 228 and tells you everything they go through. And not only that he gets the trainees response by being able to interview them during the training! This isn't like most books where people try to remember how it was when they went through. There is also a great description of Hell Week in that he was allowed full access to the entire week (although he didn't manage to stay awake for the entire period). The instructors and trainees also ask Couch how things are different from when he went through the training. A must read if you like books about Navy SEALS or just want to know what they really go through.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 19, 2001
I have read many books on the training of Navy SEAL's, and this is by far THE best that I have seen. The level of detail that Dick Couch goes to in describing the process of becoming a SEAL is incredible. Written from both the student's perspective, and the instructor's perspective, it gives you an amazing look at why the training is conducted the way it is. Most books leave you with the impression that surviving Hell Week is the end game. This book takes you through diving phase, as well as land warfare phase . It was amazing to me to learn that even some tough SOB's who made it through Hell Week, and even diving phase, get washed out in third phase as the standards go up. If you are thinking about becoming a SEAL, or just a SEAL enthusiast like me, this book is a must read!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse