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The Finishing School: Earning the Navy SEAL Trident Paperback – May 31, 2005


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The Finishing School: Earning the Navy SEAL Trident + The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 + Breaking BUD/S: How Regular Guys Can Become Navy SEALs
Price for all three: $45.98

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Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (May 31, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609810464
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609810460
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Couch is a well-qualified guide to this class of men who possess what he calls a relentless desire to fight and win as a team." —Wall Street Journal

“Lively, informative, and intimidating.” —Bob Kerrey, president, New School University, BUD/S Class 42

From the Inside Flap

In America's new war, the first guns in the fight are special operations forces, including the Navy SEALs, specially trained warriors who operate with precision, swiftness, and lethal force. In the constantly shifting war on terror, SEAL units--small
in number, flexible, stealthy, and efficient--are more vital than ever to America's security as they take the battle to an elusive enemy around the globe.

But how are Navy SEALs made? What special training and preparation sharpen the physical skills and intangible character of a regular soldier into that of an elite warrior? In the acclaimed Warrior Elite, former Navy SEAL Dick Couch narrated one SEAL class's journey through BUD/S training, the brutal initial course that separates out candidates with the character and stamina necessary to begin training as Navy SEALs. In The Finishing School, Couch follows SEALs into the next levels of training, where they further develop their endurance and strength, but also learn the teamwork and finely honed skills they'll need to fight with the best--and win.

Dick Couch spent six months living with and observing SEALs in training for operational readiness in the months leading up to the Iraqi campaign. He follows them on the ground and in the water as they undergo SEAL Tactical Training, where they master combat skills such as precision shooting, demolitions, secure communications, parachuting, diving, and first aid.

From there, the men enter operational platoons, where they subordinate their individual abilities to the mission of the group and train for special operations in specific geographical environments. Never before has a civilian writer been granted such close access to the training of America's most elite military forces. The Finishing School is essential reading for anyone who wants to know what goes into the making of America's best warriors. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

This is a very good and informative book.
Chris Jaronsky
I read way into the morning to finish, because I knew I would not be able to sleep until I finished the book!
joe L. White
Really great, in depth look at the training to become a Navy SEAL.
FoxForceFive

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By C. N. Seger on May 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"The Finishing School" is a terrific book, and every bit as fascinating as "The Warrior Elite." Dick Couch shows exceptional tenacity in following every twist and turn of training that these incredible warriors go through, and he handles the narrator's job superbly--giving us a personal reaction every now and then from his perspective as a SEAL in the Vietnam era.
Couch provides insight into what makes SEALS succeed (or fail) and enriches our understanding of how crucial training is to their complicated missions. I felt like I was there in the classroom and on the range with them at all times. Yes, the training evolutions do seem to go on without end, but that's one of the book's points: these guys are the best trained, toughest warriors the world has ever seen, and they will come after you from the sea, the air, or on land.
I particularly enjoyed the sections dealing with the SEAL weaponry; the choices they have are fascinating and scary. If you're a Navy buff, or in the least bit interested in what force America can project almost anywhere on earth, then this book is for you.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Chuck on March 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I read Dick Couch's The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 and was ecstatic to hear that he was working on a second book about the training post BUD/S graduates do before they go to their platoons. The Finishing School: Earning the Navy Seal Trident, follows SQT (SEAL Qualification Training) students through some of the most challenging and exciting moments of their Navy careers. Anyone with an interest in the military, an aspiring SEAL, family member or friend of one of these amazing warriors should definitly read this book. I must add that it is not necessary for one to read The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 to understand The Finishing School: Earning the Navy Seal Trident. There are several pages devoted to explaining the BUD/S process which was the topic of The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228, although I highly recommend both. Hope this review was helpful to you.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jack Thompson on August 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you've read The Warrior Elite, you know what you'll get in this book. Captain Couch does a great job describing what happens from the day the BUD/s graduates are secure from Coronado to the time they go on forward deployment with their SEAL Platoons. I especially liked that he offered details on both the Officer and Enlisted sides of things. As a person hoping to secure an Officer billet to BUD/s while maintaining a family, it was refreshing to see that others do it. It also does justice to the modern SEAL and inadvertently dispels negative notions that the likes of Marchinko and Carracci have impressed on us. The modern SEAL is above all a Professional, like most of his processors, not a blood thirsty Rambo like the previously mentioned would have you believe. If you want to truly understand this world, read this book, if not go back to Rouge Warrior. It's pretty detailed and has a few pictures just like the last book. On the negative side, I was left wanting more for the $25.00 hardcover price. The 263 pages read more like 170. It's worth the 5 stars I gave it, but I also felt it was not as complete a product as The Warrior Elite.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kevin on June 8, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the second book in Mr. Couch's trilogy on SEAL training and operations. To reference pop culture: it isn't "The Empire Strikes Back." The author does an oustanding job of relating all of the details of the secondary training that SEALs go through after finishing the Basic Underwater Demoltion/SEAL (BUD/S) school that he so ably covered in his previous book. In the SEAL world, BUD/S is like high school where you're struggling to find yourself and just make it through, while "the Finishing School" is more like college where the self-selected successes go on to find their specialties, while losing a few along the way. This is a worthy and interesting story to tell if you're really into the Special Operations world, but I don't see much here to keep the casual reader engaged. This second book lacks several of the important devices that made his first one such a page turner. Keep in mind that these are owed to how SEALs train, not to any fault of the author's. For one, BUD/S is comparatively well known to an informed audience (or anyone who has seen a few SEAL-related movies), while this level of training has received little or no such attention. Secondly, the drama of sheer survival, particular Hell Week, is missing. Here, it's the "best get even better." Most importantly, BUD/S (and Couch's book on it) is confined to a constantly shrinking cast of characters, giving us a chance to know quite a bit about each of the "survivors" and, consequently, care about what happens to them. The reader's emotions rise and fall with the successes and failures of those men.Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "vmilo8" on April 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I gave Warrior Elite 5 stars. Finishing School was good but there were so many sections that I glossed over because all they had was Navy-Speak bureaucracy-type stuff that I didn't think was interesting at all. The parts that were great were when they focused on one of the SEALs and gave his background and story, etc, and on the details of the training. Maybe to a Navy insider it might be more interesting but it would have gotten 5 stars from me if he would have concentrated more on the actual trainees and not all the mil-speak departmental stuff.
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More About the Author

DICK COUCH is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who has served as a Navy SEAL and as a CIA case officer. He has written six novels and the nonfiction works Down Range, The Finishing School, and The Warrior Elite. He lives in central Idaho.
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The Finishing School: Earning the Navy SEAL Trident
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