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The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 Paperback – January 28, 2003
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There is a pod of good books on the SEALs, but this one is unique. Couch, a Vietnam-era SEAL and retired naval reserve captain, was given the most complete access possible to the demanding BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) course and has recorded his observations, those of one who has been there and done a good deal of that. His account of Hell Week, the culmination of a formidable three-phase course intended to produce men who are physically, psychologically, and technically the best in the world at what they do, may leave the average reader short of breath. Few Hollywood stereotypes are on view; in their stead are a man who passed BUD/S at age 39, a superb swimmer who was disqualified for sinus problems, and a trainee at the low end of the fitness scale who subsequently won the Congressional Medal of Honor. Also on view is much serious thought by serious thinkers on the making of warriors at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
"The Warrior Elite is the first book that captures how the SEAL spirit is tempered. It reveals all the grit, sweat, mud, and blood of BUID/S training -- real-time, down and dirty. This is a must-read if you want to know what becoming a virtual warrior is all about." -- Governor Jesse Ventura, BUD/S Class 58
"A wonderful, thought-provoking book by Dick Couch and a quick study of human personalities; his conclusions are optimistic and uplifting." -- Vice Admiral James Stockdale (USN. Ret.) Recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
"The Warrior Elite offers superb insight into the making of a Navy SEAL. Dick Couch takes the reader through the incredible challenges of basic training and into the minds of these unique warriors who comprise our nation's highly selective fighting force. Having served extensively with Dick in combat as junior officers in Vietnam, I now understand the "how's and why's" of his profession and the SEALs' commitment to mission. The Warrior Elite captures the essence of a Navy SEAL -- the indomitable will to win and steadfast commitment to team." -- Robert J. Natter, Admiral, U.S. Navy, Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet
"An authentic voice that spells out what it takes to become a SEAL--the sheer grit to overcome all obstacles. America is lucky that it continues to attract such men as these to serve." -- Theodore Roosevelt IV, Class 36
From the Hardcover edition.
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They really are the last stop before the smelly stuff hits the whirly thing, and yet they die for there country, it really would behest the country to support those that put their life on the line, fighting horrors we will probably never get to see or hear about, in countries that are basically living in another century, except for their very rich and connected overlords whom it seems get educated in the very elite Colleges and universities around the world, in the countries they are trying to hurt. Go figure.
To all you Warriors out there, we salute you and thank you for your selfless service for us, and bless you for looking after the very freedom's that we take for granted.
First, it's the best book of genre; in depth description of the training, touches on mental and physical aspects of those who have what it takes, and gives some personal history of the trainees, so you have a perspective of what drove them there.
Second, Dick Couch's discussions of own personal history as a Vietnam era seal and his training adds to the book. His views on the modern "Warrior Culture" of the seals/special forces was insightful.
Third, he made reading about situps, pushups, swimming, running and assorted physical challenges very interesting. Much of the training aspect is known via the discovery channel, military channel or other books about Seals, but one thing this book really conveys is the hardcore intensity of the training; some guys who gutted out hell week fail because their bodies are so destroyed they don't recover in time to begin Phase II training.
Somewhere else I read that more college football players will get drafted to the NFL this year than men qualify as Navy Seals - this puts the elite statement often used to describe Seals into perspective. Reading this book really drives the point home. It is a metaphor for any great accomplishment - some God given talent, discipline, focus, unwavering commitment and a little bit of luck. The luck part comes in because to make through training, even if you have all the tools -physical and mental- to not get injured or sick through 6mos of training or a physiologic issue with diving, involves some luck. You read about a few guys who had what it took and failed because of bad luck and your really feel for them- when a book can make you feel for something or someone it's a mark of a good writer.
Overall, great book. Also amazing is that the intense, three phase training of Buds is only the begining- it takes up to two years to become an operational seal. I will certainly read his follow up "The Finishing School."