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The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Leader Hardcover – November 5, 2013

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Editorial Reviews Review

Author One-on-One: Marcus Luttrell and Jason Redman

Marcus LuttrellJason Redman

Former U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell was honored with the Navy Cross for his actions in 2005 while facing Taliban fighters during Operation Red Wings. He is also the New York Times best-selling author of Lone Survivor and Service.

Marcus Luttrell: What is the most important lesson you gained from your SEAL career?

Jason Redman: The only thing that truly stops you from overcoming adversity in life is you. If you absolutely refuse to quit, ultimately you will succeed. This is the essence of being successful; as a Navy SEAL, in training, in combat, in any endeavor in life.

ML: You were in several intense firefights. What would you tell young warriors going into combat for the first time?

JR: Trust in your training, trust in your senior leaders, and focus on your assigned task and doing it to the utmost of your abilities. In the absence of leadership, step up and lead. You will feel fear, but courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to recognize it and still overcome it and act courageously. Trust your, plan, training, and tactics and accept the fact that what happens on the battlefield will happen.

ML: What part did your wife Erica and children play in your recovery after you were wounded?

JR: Erica and my children played a tremendous role in my recovery. Despite my wounds and how I looked, they showed me what unconditional love is. My biggest concern is for our young warriors who come from a broken family and don’t have that support network. This is why I am so passionate now about supporting our veterans, especially our combat veterans.

ML: What advice do you have for vets trying to overcome physically and emotionally after they’ve been severely wounded? Where did the ‘sign on the door’ in the hospital come from?

JR: All warriors who have seen combat carry some scars back from the battlefield, either visible or invisible, we all bring back demons. Don’t suppress those demons; get out and find other veterans who have seen combat and talk about it. You will never fully get rid of those demons, but with time and facing them you can learn to live with them and minimize their impact on our daily lives. You must make a mental commitment to overcome, refuse to give in to your wounds regardless of what they are, and lift up the people around you. This process is cathartic.

The Sign on the Door came from a few people who emotionally expressed their distress at my wounds. I made that mental commitment in the beginning to not focus on what happened. What happened, happened and I could never go back and change it. The Sign captured my mental commitment to say, “The mark of a man is not found in his past but how he overcomes adversity and builds his future.”


“As a SEAL operator, I had the honor of serving with some of the best warriors and leaders in the United States military. Jay Redman’s humble and direct account of his journey . . . is remarkable. His life is the epitome of the ‘Never Quit’ spirit.” (Marcus Luttrell, New York Times bestselling author of Lone Survivor and Service)

The Trident is a riveting, brutally honest and heartfelt story of a warrior’s journey to hell and back. It’s one of the best memoirs about love, combat and triumph against all odds that we’ve seen in a generation.” (Sean Parnell, New York Times bestselling author of Outlaw Platoon)

“[A] book all leaders and aspiring leaders should read; both military and civilian—not only for the heart-pounding ride-along into battle, but for the inspiring reminder that a warrior’s strength and tenacity comes not from his physical stature but from his family and from within.” (Eric Blehm, New York Times bestselling author of Fearless)

“This story is not just about a SEAL on the Iraqi battlefield, but a SEAL at war with himself, and his ultimate victory. [Redman’s] story will inspire the reader, just as it did me.” (Robert M. Gates, former Secretary of Defense, from his Introduction)

“Lt. Redman doesn’t hide anything . . . Only an intensely personal account like this can show us what he and thousands of others like him have gone though, and will continue to struggle with, for the rest of their lives.” (Larry Bond, New York Times bestselling author of Exit Plan)

The Trident is a frank, compelling and inspiring chronicle of an American warrior’s journey.” (Washington Times)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062208314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062208316
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (512 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Former Lieutenant Jason Redman spent 11 years as an enlisted Navy SEAL. For his bravery in battle, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, the Purple Heart, the Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (five awards), and the Combat Action Ribbon (two awards). After being severely wounded in Iraq while acting as Assault Force Commander, Redman returned to active duty with the Navy SEALs, retiring in 2013. He has founded a non-profit corporation called Wounded Wear, which provides clothing tailored for wounded warriors. He and his wife Erica live with their children in Virginia.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Chris Jaronsky TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Many of the books I read are finished in a few reading sessions. This one was different. I found myself reading a couple of chapters and then putting it down and thinking about it for a few days. I was amazed by Jason's story. While I am always amazed at anyone's journey towards becoming a member of the SEAL teams, this one was different. Here was a smart man, incredibly determined, willing to overcome anything to realize his goal of wearing a Trident. Yet he made that road so much tougher because he was always his own worst enemy.

Jason was young, arrogant, and with a little too romantic a view of the world. That view of the world was partially shaped after reading Dick Marcinko's Rogue Warrior. SEALs were supposed to be bad-ass hard chargers that could drink all night and then run combat missions in the morning. It did not matter what you said or did, your actions would speak for themselves and others would understand and look upon you with awe.

But he ended up burning a lot of bridges and lost the trust and respect of his teammates. In the SEAL teams, reputation is the currency, without it you cannot survive. Your teammates will not go into battle with you if they do not trust you. And he lost that trust.

His world came crashing down around him after he made some poor decisions during a combat mission. He went against his training because he was still immature and impulsive.

When he got called in to explain his poor choices he was filled with indignation. This was a personal vendetta by a Chief who just had it out for him. They were just trying to take away his Trident. He did nothing wrong, they were all ganging up against him. This had happened before, why were they treating him like this? How could they not see he was right?
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By D.C. on November 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Yes, there is the obvious heroism of battle in this book; however, it is about so much more than that. The courage to face your faults, acknowledge them and deal with them. The bravery to keep going once wounded and face the world head on, refuse pity, and the downward spiral of despair. The strength to deal with peoples reactions in a positive way and the valor of helping others through the same. The grit to keep your sense of humor. That is what this book is about.

It explores so many aspects of courage and becoming a person of strong character. There is something in this for everyone. I am eternally grateful for all of our Veteran's sacrifice. This book not only had me appreciating that, also the determined change every single one of us can make in our life to be a better person. We can not all serve, but we can challenge ourselves to own our mistakes, learn from them and change. Jason does a great job of laying out his flaws with brutal honesty. I think most of us could use that degree of self reflection.

Every day is a gift, and this book is an excellent reminder. Cherish your spouse, adore your kids. Be thankful to our Veterans, and don't be afraid to let them know. For me the biggest reinforcement is the values of honesty to yourself and those around you. Look back and reflect on the times in your life you are bitter about. It is doubtful you are blameless and the reason it bothers you is because there is a learning moment there.

I loved this book. This goes on the keeper shelf. It is a wonderful read, parts are very fast paced, and others are reflective moments. It was well blended and I am glad I bought this. I am going to purchase more copies as gifts for Christmas.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Infamous Rascal on November 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"The Trident" is a beautifully written, brutally honest first person account of tenacity, failure, tragedy, and, ultimately, the triumph of determination and love.

Of the many SOF autobiographies out there, this is as good as it gets.

Redman shows incredible courage as a survivor of catastrophic injury, and also with his stunning admission of personal shortcomings that practically derail his career and destroy his lifelong dreams of being a SEAL. His long road to recover first his reputation, then repair his shattered body, are two gripping reminders of the tenacity and strength of character that makes SOF warriors, especially those wearing the coveted Trident, so unique and inspirational.

Most poignantly, the love Redman shares with his "Spartan wife" (check Steven Pressfield's "Gates of Fire" if you don't really get this reference) and her insurmountable patience, strength and love are an extraordinary tribute to his wife Erica and a beautiful reminder of the power of love. While we traditionally ask ourselves, where do we find such men, "The Trident" also shows us that we should be so fortunate to have someone like Erica Redman in our life, or surrounded by love like theirs.

Redman's story is also a vivid reminder of the sacrifices so many servicemen and women (and their families!) give to those of us who walk unmolested through our daily lives (rough men stand ready indeed!). It should serve as a clarion call to make the most of one's life, focus on the power of love, be grateful to those who serve, and push us all to make a difference in the lives of veterans everywhere, especially those wounded on our behalf. The Redmans' own Wounded Wear Foundation is a great place to start.
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