- Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Dell (July 29, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0440237335
- ISBN-13: 978-0440237334
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (494 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,164,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Inside Delta Force: The Story of America's Elite Counterterrorist Unit
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From Publishers Weekly
Haney, a founding member of Delta Force who retired a command sergeant major, was a career army man, having served in the elite Rangers; his memoir covers his experiences during the formation and early operations of 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta. In the fall of 1978, Haney was recruited and ordered to report to a secret corner of expansive Fort Bragg, N.C., where he underwent a rigorous selection process familiar from similar memoirs. In the second section of three, Haney describes advanced work with explosives and weapons, studying airplanes to plan hostage rescues, and the "final exam," in which the class was sent to the nation's capital, given precise assignments and had to evade the FBI. (The result a red-faced FBI.) Haney then relates his assignments: he served three times in Beirut guarding the American ambassador, participated in the invasion of Grenada, served in several Central American countries and narrowly escaped death during the abortive rescue attempt of the American hostages in Iran. Will he and a partner successfully eliminate a sniper harassing the Marines in Beirut? Will his unit rescue hostages aboard a hijacked plane without losing any hostages? Readers of other special forces memoirs will find this one distinctive for Haney's attention to interservice rivalries (he has a lot of negative things to say about the CIA) that he believes compromised several missions, as well as for Haney's nuanced, often disgusted descriptions of the human cost of war.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up–An adaptation of the authors adult book with the same title (Dell, 2002). The first part of the book gives an overview of Haneys military career and his association with the force and describes the red tape and planning that was required of those who wished to create a new, secret military unit that officially did not exist. It also includes a description of the physical challenges required of those who were chosen to participate in what was a preliminary round of qualification tests. Those who were successful in all the tests were then eligible to participate in the actual selection process. The second half of the text shows the sometimes brutal challenges the successful candidates were required to complete and details some of the actual training sessions. The narration concludes with the unit being sent on a dry run scenario in order to practice newly acquired skills. Black-and-white photos and documents are included in a centerfold. The reading level is not extremely high, but the subject is more likely to be of interest to older readers. This is an excellent choice for students with military interests.–Eldon Younce, Harper Elementary School, KS
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Top customer reviews
I actually just used the Audible version of this and was intrigued with the subject matter.
Was blown away by what I learned (i.e. that operatives were taught by thieves or were trained to live as practical terrorists). Very cool!
It also gave some really cool behind the scenes details of missions/operations from around the world.
Listening to it as one big story was a great experience. I felt connected to the people and could visualize the journey!
As a memoir, there's no real formal plot to follow, but Haney does a great job of creating a narrative flow that makes sense. The reader is guided through the creation of Delta Force from the perspective of a member seeking admission. Readers learn about how the selection process works gradually, just like Haney does as he's going through it. Once on the force, Haney guides the reader through the intense training required to prepare for real-world missions. Finally, Haney takes the reader through several early Delta Force missions, demonstrating how all the selection and training was essential to creating a team that was able to effectively respond to worldwide threats.
I'm not a military buff, and I appreciated that the book was written in such a way that was accessible to me. I learned enough about the military to properly frame the events described, but not so much that it was completely overwhelming and took away from the narrative. Additionally, much of what Haney describes with respect to discipline, training, honor, dedication, etc. is not limited to military life -- these principles are directly applicable in business settings or anyone's personal life. From that standpoint, there is much in that book that is generally inspirational.
As I read, I highlighted several passages. Haney's matter-of-fact observation on winning versus losing battles struck me as interesting and true: "In combat, there are no winners. The victors just happen to lose less than the vanquished." The book is full of statements like that, where Haney makes an observation and moves on without getting mired in attempting to discuss deep philosophy.
Haney's observation on how to improve an organization struck me as applicable to a business setting as to the military: "There is no better way for an organization to improve itself and move forward in a professional manner. But it is a process that must be fundamentally rooted in trust and mutual respect. The very instant it becomes a weapon rather than a lens for diagnostic analysis, the process is dead." This observation was made after describing the process of an "after-action review" where "each man's actions were gone over in complete detail... mistakes were analyzed and successful methods were noted." It seems that Delta Force was able to successfully perform self-analysis -- including detailed examination of errors -- without using that analysis as a way to punish the low performers. This is how teams are successfully built and strengthened, and is something that the business world would do well to take note of.
Finally, one of my favorite quotes from the book came as Haney discusses the problems encountered when decisions were made and/or overruled by top officials who didn't have a good understanding of what was actually happening: "Nothing is impossible for those who don't actually have to do it." I see this mentality all the time.
A note about the Kindle edition: the book contains a selection of photographs. For the print version, I don't know how the photos are presented in the book, but it's somewhat awkward in the Kindle version. They photos are stuck at the very back of the text, with no explanation or indication that they are there, and appear to simply be a direct representation of the photo page. I think the formatting of those photos could be improved. As far as the text goes, it was formatted for the Kindle just fine.
Do I recommend this book? Unquestionably yes.
Most recent customer reviews
A must-read for those interested in how the world's premier counter terrorist unit was formed