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Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy Seal
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Over the years I have read and reviewed numerous books written by U.S. Navy SEALS. This is one of the best ones I have read lately. The author, Chuck Pfarrer, a former Navy SEAL Officer gives us a first hand look at what it takes to be a U.S. Navy SEAL. He relates the many dangerous missions he has been on and his writing style makes you feel like you are there with him and his SEAL team mates. As a former U.S. Navy (regular Navy-1959-1963) sailor many years ago when the SEALS were still called UDT/SEALS, I have always had enormous respect for this Special Ops. unit. If it was not for some medical issues I was going to apply for BUDS training at that time.

This book tells about the author's early life and how he decided to join the Navy. He knew what he wanted right away, which was to become a U.S. Navy SEAL. After Officer Candidate's school he entered BUDS training. It is truly amazing what these Navy Commandos have to endure before becoming fully trained SEALS. If you have any desire to become a Navy SEAL you would be wise to read this book first and even that will not prepare you for the real physical and psychological pressure you will receive in training. There is no tougher military training than to become a U.S. Navy SEAL.

In conclusion, if you are seeking a real thrill ride of real life combat experience, told by someone "who has been there and done that" this book is for you.

Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Predator Hunter: A warrior's memoir)
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on August 8, 2015
I love reading about SEALs, especially when the book is written by a SEAL. So I knew this book would be right up my alley. It goes beyond the simple "and then we got all camo-ed up and shot a bunch of people - HOOYAHHH!" Instead, it is a thought-provoking, emotional account of one man's perspective. I feel like the reader can really get inside the author's head and really understand what it was like.

The only thing I didn't like was he spent so much time on Beirut. That isn't to say I wish he had left that out - it needed to be told. But those months take up so much of the book, especially when, by his own account, not a lot happened until the bombing. I feel the book would have been better if he had cut some of his account of Beirut and used those pages to tell of other things.
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on November 30, 2016
This is a very interesting and well written book about Pfarrer's career in the Navy SEALs and his life before and after. It is an honest and reflective account which makes a change from some of the rah-rah warrior-authors around.

Pfarrer has a gift for writing and he uses a few words I'd never heard before like benthic, fellaheen, baleful, hove, putative, sitzkreig, legations. Fortunately my Kindle has a built in dictionary and these occasional words made it a more interesting book to read.

Another intelligently written book worth reading is Inside Delta Force by Eric Haney.
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on June 22, 2014
Chuck Pfarrer is reputedly 'a legend' in the tightly-knit world of Navy Seals. Despite the numerous omissions in this narrative, omissions made necessary by the demands of confidentiality (some of the missions are still classified information) in the shadow world where these units operate, Chuck Pfarrer's story comes across as the authentic voice of a brave and intelligent man. Better than a fiction thriller.
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on May 6, 2012
authentic, intelligent, modest, articulate, highly talented, creates a crystal clear vision using words only, this book is highly informative and entertaining. a most enjoyable read. a fascinating genuine likeable author.
great sense of humor - LOVED the bar stories.
wow!!! a credit to his unit and nation.
i love his non-sycophant mentality, there is zero ass licking politically correct nonsense here. just pure common sense and honesty!
i loved how he adapted to situations and used his own mind (thinking - not blind obedience) and changed tactics or plans to keep him and his men safe and still accomplish the mission (eg sinking the NASA equipment when chased by Russian ship).
absolutely loved reading this. outstanding writing ability and great stories.
buy it - love it - recommend it to your friends. this one is a classic!!!

5 stars absolutely.
pity about some of the cry babies who have written negative petty minded reviews complaining about language or something - they should be playing with their barbie dolls not reading books for men. haha
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on June 29, 2011
If you are going to read one book about the SEALs then I recommend, "Warrior Soul" by Chuck Pfarrer. The author was a U.S. Navy officer who served in the elite SEAL Team Six at a time when it was so secret the name itself was not used and it was isolated from the other SEAL teams. In this memoir, the author is brutally honest and truly looks into his soul, allowing us a glimpse as well.

It isn't always pretty but there is no doubt it is genuine. As a writer myself, I can only guess how emotionally painful writing this book was. An Honorable German

I can't think of a military memoir written by a post World War Two veteran which is this powerful.

The author was an officer and had a broader view of what was going on than an enlisted man outside of a senior chief petty officer. While the SEALs are apparently informal amongst themselves, calling their officers by their first names for instance, there is no question of who is in charge and as the author shows that responsibility is heavy.

Pfaffer is a well educated man and even more, he is a professional author and screenwriter. Unless you have the gift of words to express how you felt and what you saw in a way a reader can understand, then what you have to say won't have much impact. Pfaffer's book will make an impact on you. In addition to his many achievements as a screenwriter, novelist and author, he also is a cancer survivor. Having survived that monster myself, I can only saw he writes about that part of his life in a way much deeper than I would ever be able or willing to do.

He has both the gift of words and a story to tell about his life in the SEALs which is compelling and written with great passion and style. Well worth reading. Five Stars.
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on October 6, 2015
Detailed autobiography of both his successes and failures as a SEAL, particular attention addressed his time in Beirut. I found that particularly interesting. Pfarrer said this at the end and it really hits home-"I have a bit of advice to offer. Hold on to the people you are close to, and love them fiercely. Get up every morning and live like there is no tomorrow. Because one day you’ll find it’s true."
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on July 14, 2010
Warrior Soul tells us about those incredibly dedicated, skilled, and fit (both mentally and physically) men who are the spear points of our protection. Yet, there is a shadow--illumined by this and other similar memoirs: the misuse of these heroes and the horrific waste of their talents and lives by desk-bound "planners," both civilian and military. Thus Pfarrer writes:

"Any faith I had in our war planners, any trust I would ever have again in the command structure, evaporated in that moment." (Kindle location 3602-3606)

Of course, this was the end result of slow pulls on the trigger of doubt--the accretion of many betrayals of these brave men by their comparatively incompetent superiors. And, more to the point, Pfarrer's conclusion echoes all the special-forces memoirs I have read.

The lesson from all of this (and also from William Manchester's superb biography of Douglas MacArthur, "American Caesar") is that we put too much blind faith in the mantra that tells us that we must have total, unthinking, "civilian control" over our military. In theory, of course, that is correct and that is why our constitution makes the president the "commander in chief," and gives to Congress the power to declare war.

Our nation, however, is no longer the largely agrarian agglomeration of states that it was in the late 18th Century. It is the supreme world power, and when, as Gibbon tells us, we give plaudits to those who lead us in battle, the tendency is to have too many battles. Thus, Charles Edward Montague observed, "war hath no fury like a non-combatant."

We should re-think the absolute inherent in the civilian-control mantra. It has not been the military that has led us into senseless (and now seemingly endless) wars, but the military's civilian masters abetted by a complicit Congress as well as by lackeys in the military command (as H.R. McMaster reveals in "Dereliction of Duty"). The list is legion--over our nation's entire history.

It seems to me that neither our presidents nor our Congresses should be able to "fight" wars (with other's lives, of course) unless the military agrees that the proposed war is both necessary and winnable. And once that decision is made, the war should be won! That is what "Warrior Soul" and similar memoirs tell me, although neither Pfarrer nor the others suggest it.

Edward R. Murrow once observed that a nation of sheep begets a government of wolves. We have been too easy for the politicians to herd into places they want us to be.
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VINE VOICEon May 2, 2009
The author's odyssey from delinquent highschooler, to military school, through college, ocs, BUDS training/elimination and then advanced training is fascinating. The book profiles a sustained view inside the soul of a true band of warriors. Young MBA's could learn a lot from study of leadership and organizational structure in the teams.

The operations were interesting although obviously limited in their selection and description due to restrictions. Others have complained of the lack of discussions of many operations, however, my feeling is that the author more than makes up for that in the depth of the detail and of the many sub operations as part of the long deployment in the middle east.

The discussion of the transformation of Seal Team 6 from its original personality cult into something close to the other teams was enlightening.

Where Pfarrer really distinguishes himself is the weaving of the story of his personal life into the book. His transformation from near dropout to military school and the associated change in his behavior was great. His descriptions of his loves and breakups are told with real time passion. He cuts himself no slack as to his personal failings although one wonders how much can be attributed to living a random, high adrenalin life, often alone, far from home and surrounded by women seeking adventure with the worlds few true warriors.

The Seals must train like tomorrow might bring the Super Bowl, Olympic High Diving Finals, mother of all marathons or shootout at the OK corral in some randomly selected place from Holidays In Hell. However, with the addition of Roman tradition that the loosers are eaten by the lions. Team 6 required further separation from his "brothers" in the other teams. Further adding to the adrenalin shocks is the randomly jerked leash associated with the micro management of war by the flotsam and jetsam found high in the halls of power in DC.

The book is well written although some editing errors still remain. It is written as a first person account, not a top down history of the events. It excels in achieving its goal, telling the life of a warrior soul in today's world.
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on May 11, 2017
This was an incredible tough man throughout his life. What a story about the life of becoming a Navy Seal and then moving up to Seal Team Six, the very best of the best. Lots of action and suspense throughout this book. I highly recommend this book to your readers.
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