Combat Swimmer: Memoirs of a Navy Seal

Combat Swimmer: Memoirs of a Navy Seal

3.2 8
by Robert A. Gormly
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

For the first time in trade paperback-a classic memoir of Navy SEALs in action.

In gripping prose, Captain Robert A. Gormly tells about his days as a leader in the Navy SEALs- taking readers into the night, into the water, and into battle on some of the most hair-raising missions ever assigned.

Trained to a fine fighting edge just in time for Vietnam,

Overview

For the first time in trade paperback-a classic memoir of Navy SEALs in action.

In gripping prose, Captain Robert A. Gormly tells about his days as a leader in the Navy SEALs- taking readers into the night, into the water, and into battle on some of the most hair-raising missions ever assigned.

Trained to a fine fighting edge just in time for Vietnam, Gormly served two tours of duty and engaged in top-secret missions in the Persian Gulf. Here, he shares his viewpoint and his experience-including what is perhaps the most graphic description ever of SEAL action in the invasion of Grenada. Gormly takes readers behind the myth of this awesome team, revealing how their lives depend on their unprecedented expertise and unparalleled courage.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This book is at once a memoir, a history and a warning. Gormly has been part of the SEAL community virtually since its emergence. In Vietnam as a junior officer, he met the absence of strategic policy with a tactical approach: killing as many Viet Cong as possible. Even in retrospect, Gormly concludes that the most effective U.S. approach might have been attacking the enemy's infrastructure by eliminating the "cadres" who spread and enforced Communist ideology by terrorist means. The limited political sophistication of this approach is suggestive, particularly in the context of Gormly's progress through the Navy's special operations system from 1968 to his assignment as commander of SEAL Team 6 in 1983. When Gormly relieved the notorious Richard Marcinko, he inherited a unit that had made a policy of pushing envelopes and ignoring rules. His description of the intraservice politics involved in taming the organization without breaking its morale is as good as anything in print on the challenge of maintaining effective special operations forces in the contexts of a democratic system. His account of the 1985 capture of the Achille Lauro's hijackers reveals a delicate balance of roles and responsibilities in managing doctrine and training considerations, tactical issues and policy questions. Gormly is no knight without fear and reproach in the mold of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan. He is a warrior for the working day, not always right and not always wise. But in a harsh world, it will comfort many to know that men with Gormly's spirit, character and patriotism wear this country's uniform. 8 pages of b&w photos, not seen by PW. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
Captain Gormly, USN (Ret.), a much-decorated, high-ranking SEAL who served for all of 29 years in this elite, secret arm of the navy, recalls his high-risk tours of duty in Vietnam, Granada, the Persian Gulf, and the suspense-filled mission to capture the hijackers of the Achille Lauro. Operating in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, he and his superbly trained fellow warriors beat the terrorist Viet Cong guerrillas at their own gameþpartly because, as Gormly tells it, the SEALs saw water as a haven, not an obstacle; with the help of their excellent equipment, they could stay submerged safely for many hours. And Gormly believes that the SEAL experience in Vietnam can be seen as a microcosmic symbol of the greater US effort that fought the wrong kind of war: a battle of attrition waged according to the advice of military leaders who failed to understand that they were facing a political-military conundrum. To explain the conundrum, he likens the communist attempt at world domination to a giant lizard. The lizardþs head represents the small group of dedicated communists who formed the political infrastructure, while its tail suggests the communist military force, filled with average peopleþapolitical but forced to fight by terror or coercion. Our mistake, Gormly writes, was to cut off the tail of the lizard (which then merely grew another tail) while failing to destroy the head, the infrastructure. The far more successful communist strategy was to outlast the Americans, who would tire and go home after losing 58,000 soldiers. Gormly can't forget the picture of Jane Fonda posing with a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft battery that had shot down a US plane. Nor can he forgivethe US pardoning of draft dodgers who objected to the war. His riposte: Even dutiful combat soldiers also object to warþas did the patriotic author. A candid and unstinting military memoir. (8 pages b&w photos) (Author tour)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451230140
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/03/2010
Pages:
328
Sales rank:
1,132,679
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Gerald Astor
"Combat Swimmer is a gripping, stroke-by-stroke, firsthand account of Navy SEALs." -- Gerald Astor, author of The Mighty Eight and Crisis in the Pacific
Hans Halberstadt
"Bob Gormly tells his story with remarkable wit, wisdom, drama and grace. Combat Swimmer is a superb and fascinating story about the U.S. Navy SEALs, from one of the best of the breed." -- Hans Halberstadt, author of U.S. Navy SEALs, U.S. Navy SEALS in action, and Inside the U.S. Navy SEALs

Meet the Author

Now living in San Diego, California, Captain Robert Gormly served 29 years as a Navy SEAL, as a platoon leader in SEAL Team Two in Vietnam, as the commanding officer of SEAL Team Two, as the Executive Officer of UDT-22, and as the commanding officer of SEAL Team Six. His awards include the Silver Star, three Legions of Merit, three Bronze Stars (two in combat), The Defense Meritorious Medal, and a Purple Heart.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Combat Swimmer: Memoirs of a Navy Seal 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Combat Swimmer by Captain Robert A. Gormly is a fascinating book describing what truly happens with the nations most elite, and secretive fighting force, the Navy SEALS. The book takes you through the entire process, describing, in depth, the harsh training that every SEAL must endure. Eight weeks of BUD's, Basic Underwater and Demolitions, training, the peak of which is the infamous hell week, five days of intense physical training with a maximum, of five hours of sleep. This tests both the mental, and physical endurance these trainees will need in the field. The author also describes post training, what kinds of missions the SEALS are actually assigned, and the roles that these elite fighters played in vietnam. A major theme in this book is dedication. Perserverance, never giving up on a goal that you strive to accomplish. I like the detail that went in to this book, it makes the reader feel like they're really there. There wasnt much i disliked about the book, everything about it fascinated me, from the description of the training, to the missions he went on, to the history of vietnam that was very present. So if your interested in learning about what one of the world's most elite fighting forces does, and how they are trained, this is an excellent book for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a great depiction of the seals and what they do. I enjoyed the stories and the great action of this book. I liked that it was written by a real seal, about what he did.This is great read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Robert Gormly gave his true action accounts about the greatest military team the world has to offer The SEALs. He told about practice ops and real accounts w/ enthusiasm that is unmatched. This is one of the best SEAL books i've ever read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book about a true WARRIOR. He was proud to have fought in our country's forgotten war. A shot in the hand almost ended his military career, but being a true warrior he rehabilitated it and went back to a second tour in Vietnam. I recomend this great book because it is a fine true story from one of America's finest.