Rogue Warrior

( 89 )


The Rogue Warrior is invading Germany with a blitzkrieg of bravado. His secret assignment: recover a pair of U.S. ADMs - Atomic Demolition Munitions - lost in the Rhine Valley. Yet, what begins as a simple SEAL mission explodes in his face when terrorists visit the cache site. With scandals at home and fresh hotbeds of political and military tensions igniting all over the world, America's diplomatic priorities are everywhere but eastern Europe - and the Rogue Warrior and his SEALs must take matters into their own...
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The Rogue Warrior is invading Germany with a blitzkrieg of bravado. His secret assignment: recover a pair of U.S. ADMs - Atomic Demolition Munitions - lost in the Rhine Valley. Yet, what begins as a simple SEAL mission explodes in his face when terrorists visit the cache site. With scandals at home and fresh hotbeds of political and military tensions igniting all over the world, America's diplomatic priorities are everywhere but eastern Europe - and the Rogue Warrior and his SEALs must take matters into their own hands. But not even Marcinko is aware that a cabal of ultra national extremists - led by Lothar Beck, a billionaire defense contractor - is ready to take advantage of the U.S.'s global distractions. Beck and his subversive cadre believe the time is ripe for their great nation to emerge as Europe's first superpower - a true Fourth Reich. They have the money and influence to make it happen. And thanks to Cold War stockpiling of nuclear and conventional weapons on German soil, they have the arms.

Home-grown terrorists willing to kill Americans to create a government in their own fanatical image have breached the Pentagon's security. The Defense Intelligence Agency has only one weapon left in its arsenal--Marcinko and his elite SEAL team, Task Force Blue. Now, accused of murder and pursued by the FBI, the Rogue Warrior is primed, on the prowl, and ready for the kill. National ads. Online promo. HC: Pocket Books. (Fiction--Espionage/Thriller)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
One of the most controversial veterans of the U.S. Navy's amphibious commando unit, whose troops are known as SEALs, Marcinko describes his combat adventures in Southeast Asia and his counterterrorist activities. A 10-week PW bestseller in cloth. Photos. Mar.
Newgate Callendar
So much action that the reader scarcely has time to breathe...bloody...innocent fun.
C. A. Mobley
January 1999

Rogue Warrior Invasion!

Is it true or is it fiction? You're never entirely sure with retired Navy Commander Richard Marcinko, the renegade SEAL who founded the Red Cell counterterrorism team before turning to pen these bestselling tales of rogue warriors in action. Marcinko and cowriter Weisman take you inside the workings of the toughest fighting team in the world. The weapons, ships, submarines, and even the acronyms (you'll appreciate the glossary!) are all real. The story itself? Close enough that they'll have you wondering whether it's taken from some secret black operation with the details disguised to protect the innocent and guilty.

In Option Delta, Marcinko and his band of merry Rogue Warriors start off doing what they do best: covert insertion in order to wreak violence on a royal Arab who's dealing in tactical nuclear weapons, the kind that fit inside a suitcase (well, almost). They go in the SEAL way, locked out of a submarine and swimming. Picket ships armed with sonar, a band of grungy tangos ("terrorists" in SEAL-speak) onboard the target ship, Marcinko's bad air tank -- all small obstacles for the eight-man squad. Despite the continual intervention of Murphy and his ability to make things go wrong, the SEALs get onboard the boat, subdue the tangos, and capture the weapon. Only one problem: It's not a stolen Russian weapon -- it's an American one.

The ensuing brouhaha over the nuclear weapon brings up an even more frightening problem. During the cold war, the United States hid weapon caches around Europe, intended for emergency use to repel invading Soviet troops. Through downsizing and administrative screw-ups, the Department of Defense has sorta-kinda-maybe lost track of some of the weapons. Not that it's willing to admit it, particularly not since the lost site includes eight stashes of tactical nuclear weapons.

Marcinko hooks up with Army Colonel John Sutter, a kindred spirit who has also been tasked quietly with this mission impossible. Together they locate the missing weapons, track down the chain of tangos intent on finding and selling the weapons first, derail a mad German hunchback industrialist's plan to forge the next Teutonic empire, and generally make things safer for the free world. The plot circles the globe a couple of times as Marcinko unravels the sinister interests of the TIQ (tangos in question) and metes out justice SEAL-style.

Along the way to the action-packed conclusion, Marcinko shares with you his warrior philosophy and insights into military-political decision making. You'll find yourself nodding your head when he talks about the need for teams like his -- and also when the rogue warriors bypass the entrenched political and military rice bowls in order to arrive at the right answer, the one that keeps America safe. There's a need for men like this in the world, and Marcinko knows the gritty reality of fighting it out in the trenches while watching your back. You will, too, after reading Option Delta.

--C. A. Mobley

C. A. Mobley is a graduate of the Naval War College and author of the national bestsellers Rites of War andRules of Command. Other Mobley titles, published under the name C. W. Morton, include Pilots Die Faster and Rage Sleep.

New York Times Book Review

Marcinko...makes Arnold Schwarzenegger look like Little Lord Fauntleroy.

Washington Times
In a field of wanna-bes, Marcinko is the real thing: combat veteran, killer SEAL, specialist in unconventional warfare. --Sean Piccoli
Kirkus Reviews
The stormy career of a top Navy SEAL hotspur. Commander Marcinko, USN Ret., recently served time at Petersburg Federal Prison for conspiracy to defraud the Navy by overcharging for specialized equipment—the result, he says, of telling off too many admirals. It seems that his ornery and joyous aggression, nurtured by a Czech grandfather in a flinty Pennsylvania mining town, has brought him to grief in peace and to brilliance in war. Serving his first tour in Vietnam in 1966 as an enlisted SEAL expert in underwater demolition, Marcinko returned for a second tour as an officer leading a commando squad he had trained. Here, his accounts of riverine warfare—creeping underwater to Vietcong boats and slipping over their gunwales; raiding VC island strongholds in the South China Sea; steaming up to the Cambodian border to tempt the VC across and being overrun—are galvanic, detailed, and told with a true craftsman's love. What did he think of the Vietcong? "The bastards—they were good." His battle philosophy? "...kill my enemy before he has a chance to kill me....Never did I give Charlie an even break." After the aborted desert rescue of US hostages in the Tehran embassy, Marcinko was ordered to create SEAL Team Six—a counterterrorist unit with worldwide maritime responsibilities. In 1983, the unit was deployed to Beirut to test the security of the US embassy there. Easily evading the embassy security detail, sleeping Lebanese guards, and the Marines, the SEALs planted enough fake bombs to level the building. When Marcinko spoke to "a senior American official" about the problem, the SEAL's blunt security advice was rejected, particularly in respect to car-bomb attacks.Ninety days later, 63 people in the embassy compound were killed by a suicide bomber driving a TNT-filled truck. Profane and asking no quarter: the real nitty-gritty, bloody and authentic. (Eight-page photo insert—not seen.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671703905
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Publication date: 3/1/1992
  • Series: Rogue Warrior Series
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Marcinko

Richard Marcinko retired from the Navy as a full commander after more than thirty years of service. He currently lives in the Alexandria, Virginia, area, where he is CEO of SOS Temps Inc., his private security firm — whose clients are governments and corporations; Richard Marcinko Inc., a motivational training and team-building company; and Red Cell International, Inc., which conducts vulnerability assessments of high-value properties and high-risk targets. He is the author of The Real Team; The Rogue Warrior's Strategy for Success: A Commando's Principles of Winning; and the four-month New York Times business bestseller Leadership Secrets of the Rogue Warrior: A Commando's Guide to Success. Rogue Warrior, his #1 New York Times bestselling autobiography, set the stage for his bestselling Rogue Warrior novels, eight of which were coauthored with John Weisman. Visit Richard Marcinko's website at

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Read an Excerpt

Larry Barrett aka Bullet Head/Gold Dust Twin

Larry served with me when I had command of SEAL Team TWO; back then, he was a young E-4 petty officer, working in the Ordnance department. He's one of those tenacious bulldogs who doesn't let go when he has a job to do. ("Bulldog" is appropriate, since he had previous service with the Marine Corps.)

When I started the initial selection process for SIX, Larry was at the top of my list. Why did I single out this lower-than-whale-shit E-4? Because he worked hard at everything he did. The average person will put some effort into the things that come naturally and slack off on the things they're no good at. Someone above average will work at improving their weak spots, but they might not push as hard in the areas that come easy, relying on their natural abilities. The exceptional person will go balls-to-the-wall, no matter what he's working on. Larry was exceptional. "Diligence" is one way to put it; "can-do" spirit is another. He was always hungry to learn more, willing to go that extra step to become a more qualified operator.

(Just to clarify things - you'll hear a lot about both SIX and Red Cell, which are two related but distinct commands. SEAL Team SIX was charged with the mission of counterterrorism worldwide. That meant killing the terrorists or preventing them from doing their dirty deeds. Red Cell was designed to expose the Navy to terrorist tactics and help develop an antiterrorist environment throughout the Navy worldwide. That meant creating awareness and security programs that make it too hard for the nasties to get to you, so they'll give up and go down the street to the Air Farce base.)

There's another reason Larry impressed me. Most people's blood type is A, B, O, maybe AB; Larry's got soemthing unique flowing through his veins -- type L-O-Y-A-L-T-Y. He's not just loyal to me; he's loyal to his beliefs. There's nothing half-assed with Larry -- it's all or nothing. (You'll soon see that this is a common attribute amont the Real Team personalities. There's no "gray area" -- it's black or white. Compromise is not in their vocabulary.) An example of Larry's loyalty: after I selected him, he made sure I'd consider his swim buddy from training, Frank Phillips. (Frank is the other G old Dust Twin.) Not only did he make sure I'd interview Frank, he also coached him -- told him to volunteer for the unit and not ask any dumb questions. Larry was loyal to his swim buddy, and to his new Team; he was a believer in the unit, even before the unit existed.

Another one of Larry's assets was his skill with foreign languages. He could develop a working knowledge of a language pretty damn fast: give him a few days, and he could understand and assess conversations and written material, and express himself pretty well -- with one drawback. Whatever the language, he spoke in a south Florida drawl. That limited his effectiveness in counterintelligence operations. No real problem there. We all have talents and limitations; the key is to maximize the former and limit the latter. I'd pick other guys in the Team for the verbal stuff.

But in every other way, Larry was terrific operationally. When he wants to he can melt into the background and become wallpaper; he's got one of those faces that you feel like you know from somewhere. He mingles well with just about anybody; he can talk up to a total stranger and start a conversation without seeming pushy or threatening.

Behind that mild-mannered exterior, his brain is always going. He always has a purpose in mind; he's always collecting data, looking for ways to achieve the mission more effectively. He never stops learning, never stops passing on all he can.

Over the years, I had the privilege of watching Larry develop as a leader. He always led from the front and demanded top performance from his subordinates. He learned from the chiefs who raised him; he spent his time in the trenches with his troops, making sure they were well prepared, militarily and personally, for what they would face. He's a hell of an instructor - meticulous in his presentation, eager to explain the "whys" that make it all work. He never forgets that this shit was new to him once, too. I've also had the pleasure of watching him raise his two young boys with the same thoroughness and dedication. He's determined to pass on everything his father gave to him, plus whatever his "sea daddies" shared with him.

I don't want this to sound like some kind of "I love you - you love me" Valentine, so I've got to talk about Larry's flaws. His loyalty was so strong that his first impulse was to follow my orders or wishes, even if he saw a better way. He might not even tell me about that better way. He soon learned to speak up more often, and when he did speak, I listened. I knew his ideas were backed up with thought and merit. He never talked just to hear his own voice.

Larry was and is a "temple dog." Anyone would be blessed to have him in their organization. If the United States ever needs his talents again, I know he'll be there in some shape or form.

Now listen to what a growling bulldog has to say about teamwork.

NAME: Larry Barrett

DOB: December 22, 1951

HOMETOWN: DeFuniak Springs, Florida

MILITARY: United States Marine Corps; SEAL Team TWO; Mob SIX; SEAL Team SIX; Red Cell; SEAL Team FOUR, Navy liaison to the Air Force for SpecOps

HIGHEST RANK: E-9, master chief


CURRENT: Owner/operator, RV park and nature camp

First time I was in combat was Grenada. I thought it was...pretty interesting. We hit the radio station and received some fire, seized the radio station and basically stopped traffic. Not too long after that we started having guys arriving in these six-bys, armored trucks. That's when all hell broke loose. We had to shoot our way off the beach. Some of the guys had to swim out in the ocean and appropriate a fishing boat.

The first time, I guess, is always kind of strange. You're thinking, "Why are these guys shooting at me? I'm a pretty decent guy — why are they trying to kill me? Just because I invaded their country..." But it was pretty wild.

Combat can be terrifying, exhilarating, powerful — all these different things, depending on what's happening to you at the time and how well you deal with it all. And combat is relative to the piece of ground you're standing on. You can say, "Ah, Grenada wasn't much." Well, from my point of view, it was plenty. It all depends on what's happening on your little piece of ground.

My dad did a lot of different things. He was a shipbuilder — built Liberty ships during World War II. He was one of thirteen children, and two of the boys served in the Army during the war. But he stayed at the shipyard. Then after the war, he did a lot of things. He trapp ed, sold hides, he opened a grocery store and filling station, he ran cattle — think he had about 150 cattle at the most. He did whatever it took.

My mom pretty much ran that store. She did a whole lot of work herself. My father was probably the toughest man I ever met, but when it came down to it, my mother was tougher in the long run. She had to deal with me and my two sisters, and him. Strong woman.

My dad was a firm believer in work. There was no sitting around the house. Came summer, he found you a job, farmed you out to people around here, maybe clearing land with a machete or working for a carpenter. So I had a job every summer. Then, of course, we were always helping out around the store, pumping gas and so forth. This was back in the days of full service at no extra charge.

We had a unique childhood. That's a story right there in itself, growing up in the store. We had a pet bear, and my father brought home little alligators when he came back from hunting.

I always went to real small schools, so we didn't have a high school football team or baseball team. I did run a little bit of track. As far as classes go, I was a real good student, starting out. I was the secretary-treasurer of the Beta Club, an academic club, early on in high school. Then about eleventh grade, I started drinking and running around with the boys. My grades subsequently fell.

So by the time I graduated, I didn't have any real idea what I wanted to do. First thing, I got a job on a roller coaster, down in Panama City, Florida. This thing was advertised as "the world's fastest roller coaster." We used to get up there and grease the tracks every morning with axle grease, to make it go faster. Climb around underne ath and tighten all the bolts that had fallen off the previous day. It was a seven-day-a-week job, from nine, ten in the morning to midnight or one o'clock at night.

I worked that most of the summer. Then I started getting bored. One day, I got on the ride, in the back car, and climbed out. You know those big springs that stick up in the back? Well, I rode those springs, holding on to the back end of the car. Rode that way all the way around.

I'd just gotten off and I saw the boss man running over.

A few yards away, he slowed down, and when he got up to me, he said, "My wife saw somebody riding on the back of the car. I was coming over to tell you about it and then I realized it was you. You do that again, and I'm gonna have to fire you. How would that look in the papers — 'Roller coaster operator killed while acting the fool'?"

Well, like I said, I was getting bored, and then a friend of mine got fired, and I got mad and quit. Then I got on a survey crew, clearing land for the Intracoastal Waterway. We cleared land through every single swamp for I don't know how many miles around. Well, that got pretty old. I knew these guys in the Marine Corps, and that seemed like a good deal to me.

I spent two years in the Corps, got out as a corporal. I might have reenlisted, but for this little problem I had. Once when I came home from leave I got in a fight with a sheriff's deputy. They filed felony charges and all that. When I went back to base, the sergeant said, "Look, re-up and I'll send you to Okinawa. They'll never touch you." But I said, "Nah, my dad's put up a whole bunch of money for my bond. I have to go to court." So when I got out, I went down to Mobile, Alabama, and then it never went to court. They ended up dropping the charges because the sheriff was basically harassing me.

Well, by that time, I didn't want to go back into the Marines. I started working construction, building highrises, doing odd jobs. Just going nowhere. Back to my old habits — drinking, fighting.

I was hanging around with this guy whose dad used to be in the Navy. He was a plane captain on a carrier — the Forrestal. It caught on fire several times, so he always called it the Forest Fire. Anyway, he kept talking about the SEALs this, the SEALs that. It sounded pretty interesting, what he was saying, and I got tired of going nowhere. I told my girlfriend, who was about to become my wife, I asked her, "College or the Navy? Your choice." She goes, "Navy."

So I went down and signed up. I knew I had to change something, and that seemed like the way to do it.

I was in BUD/S class number ninety-two. I'm not really sure how many started. I believe it was the standard — about 120. We graduated about 20, with several rollbacks.

I don't think you're ever prepared for exactly what happens to you in training. I was thinking, "Well, it's gonna be tough, but Parris Island was tough and you got through that." Because I had prior service, I got to skip boot camp and go straight to BUD/S. So before I reported, I stayed around here at home, trying to get ready. I'm running and lifting weights five days a week, and then just blowing it all on the weekends, partying and all this.

I thought I was in decent shape. I got there about two days before class started and went running with some of the other guys there and I thought, "I'm gonna die. I really am."

But I knew in my mind and my heart that I w asn't going to quit. I'd make it or not make it, but I wasn't going to leave there because I gave up. They were going to have to kick me out. It was like working for my dad. This was my job, and I was there to get through it.

About Hell Week, the toughest thing I remember was the night rock landing. We were a winter class, we must have had twelve-foot waves at that point. We went out in the daytime, and I mean, it's rough. Guys are getting hurt, really hurt, thrown back against these rocks. When we mustered up for the night landing, I was thinking, "No way. It's all a bluff. This is way too dangerous. It's all a mind game." So we get the boats and finally make it out past the surf. Just getting out past these waves is tough. I'm thinking, still, "Nah, it's all a bluff. They're gonna call us back." But we just keep going, and I'm thinking, "They're cutting it awful close. They're gonna have to call us back pretty soon." And then I realize they really mean it. That was tough.

There was some helping each other out, then and all week long. But when you get right down to it, it's up to you. People can encourage you, but after a certain point, they've got to take care of themselves. They're not there to look after you. It's really up to you to get through it.

Back then, about all you had to do was look like you wanted to quit. Once you said it, you were out of there. Since then, they've decided, "Well, that's humiliating." It's not humiliating. I don't even remember those guys. All I remember is their helmet liners lying there. They usually rang out while you're going through another evolution, so you don't even miss them. You're just surviving. You're going on. You feel bad for these guys who didn't make it, but who were they? You can't remember who they were.

When I was in training, I called home this one time, and my mother said, "Well, how is it, son?" I said, "Well, Ma, it's pretty tough here. I'm just hanging on day to day." And I always remember what she said — she told me, "Well, son, if the other boys can do it, I'm sure you can, too." I'm thinking, "Thanks a lot, Mom. That's not any kind of advice." But it's really the best thing she could have said. If they can do it, you can do it. Don't worry about it.

I was thinking of that during those long swims in the Gulf off the coast of Louisiana, heading out to the oil rigs. If you judged the current wrong, you might be out there swimming for six or seven hours, and then you have to climb the rig. That would be pretty taxing. But you know — if they can do it, you can do it.

You know that old saying: Courage is not the absence of fear; it's the conquering of fear. There's always fear there; it's just a matter of overcoming it. I think a lot of it is peer pressure. Look at the Civil War. These men served with people from around home, and nobody wanted word to get back that they were a coward.

Just because you go through all this difficult training, that's no guarantee you're going to do well in combat. But if you don't do well in training, it's a pretty good bet you're not going to handle the real thing all that well.

These days, if a person wants to quit in training, they don't let him. They give him four or five counseling sessions, let him warm up till he's not cold anymore. "Oh, we don't want him to make a hasty decision." Well, in some situations, real-life situations, you ca n't quit. You can't just walk off. You quit, and somebody's got to take care of you.

Of course I'd heard all the stories about Dick — he was a wild man, he was a hard-fisted, hard-drinking kind of guy. Which was right up my alley back then.

The first time I actually met him was when we were unloading a truck at this place I probably better not mention. This was during the Iranian hostage situation, the buildup to the rescue. At that time, I was dipping Copenhagen, and I'd spit in this cup and set it on the bumper of the truck. Well, the cup turned over and spilled. I heard this voice, "Whose mess is this?" Plus a few more choice words. I looked up and saw Marcinko and I think, "Oh, man, I haven't even met the guy and I'm already in trouble."

When I went to work for Dick, I found out he was a great CO. The best I've ever worked for. Organizationally, he's probably a genius — the way he put SIX together, the way he utilized people in certain areas, the way the team itself was organized.

And he's an amazing leader. First off, he stood up for his men. And he was very personally involved. You felt like he knew what was going on in your life, he knew things about you — things that maybe you didn't even want him to know. He just kind of looked into you and really saw you, accepted some of your flaws and helped you use your assets. He motivated us to do things nobody really thought we could do.

I remember when we were getting SIX set up, he took the whole team out and got us free-fall qualified. I had probably thirty, forty static-line jumps at that point. But there's quite a bit of difference between a rope-a-dope, static-line jump, and free fall. Marcinko took the whole team down to F lorida and we all got free-fall qualified — not just on parachutes but on the new square parachutes, which are very dangerous if you don't know what you're doing.

They laid us on the floor, and we all assumed these falling-frog positions. People would come around and correct you — "Ah, that knee's not right." We go through that a couple of times and Dick says, "Okay, here's the parachute." He shows us how to pack it. We pack it once, maybe twice, then we all get in the plane and go up ten thousand feet and jump out of an airplane.

I was scared to death. But it all went well. Everybody made it, everybody did the job, everybody learned. And that had to be done. We were behind schedule, and the Old Man told us, "Hey, we're going. There's gonna be no leave until we're all on line. We've got a mission coming up."

When you're in the Teams, you have to prove yourself every day. You can't ever say, "Yep, I'm a hotdog here, I'm just gonna lay back now."

I miss the guys more than anything. I don't miss the operations so much. I'm not going to go join a private skydiving club, I do very little diving, of course I'm not doing any demolition. But the other guys — they were my kind of people. We were a family.

Of course, families have conflict. We had conflict all the time. But that doesn't mean we weren't professionals. People called us cowboys, whatever, but we were professionals. We got the job done. We could go out with the Skipper and have drinks, be as close as father and son. But when the job came — duty came — the next day, then he was the boss and you were the employee. It just reinforced what my father taught me — do your job and do it well, and you'll succeed.

Marcinko and my father both taught me the value of hard work, of teamwork, of making sure your people were taken care of. I sure wish the two of them would've got a chance to meet. There are a lot of parallels between them. Maybe that's why I like Marcinko so much.

I left the Navy Halloween of 1994. I'd already set up a business, putting in docks and piers and seawalls, working with this Special Forces guy who'd just retired. We worked with another older fellow who had a barge, and he was supposed to sell us the barge, but in the end he didn't.

Well, putting these things in, it's pretty rough, particularly on your back. I got to the point I just couldn't do it anymore. I was going to see my chiropractor every day. So then I just kind of slid into what Marcinko was doing, did that for a while, worked with an old SEAL buddy, Chris Caracci, up in eastern Michigan, just doing all kinds of things. Worked with a buddy who's a captain on a millionaire 's yacht, helped him bring the yacht down from Savannah to Fort Lauderdale. Worked in the air-conditioning business around here.

Then, not too long ago, I moved back here, where I grew up. Me and my sister are reopening the store, opening up an RV park. We've got to do something with the land — the taxes keep going up — so we're thinking we can put a nice RV park in, and keep it as natural as possible. We don't want to stack 'em in there like sardines. We want to leave some room, put some nature walks through there, that kind of thing. There's a creek that runs through the property, with very few people on it because we own both sides of it for about half a mile.

I wanted to come back here because this is where I grew up and it's special to me. And also, I h ave a nine-year-old boy and a three-year-old boy, and it's good for them. I'm trying to raise my sons the way I was raised — knowing the value of work.

This house sits on three and a half cleared acres, and part of it's infested with prickly pear cactus. You have to keep digging 'em up and throwing 'em away, or they keep increasing. So I have my boy take a bucket and go out and work on that. He'll work for a while and then leave. I'll go find him and say, "Look, I'm the boss, you're the employee. You cannot leave this job until you check out with me." So we're learning some things. I think his mother's going to have him washing clothes, doing the dishes, and all that before too long. Be good for him.

I definitely think there's a need for something that teaches people how to work, how to think about something besides themselves.

I had an old chief, Bob Shamberger, who used to tell us, "Soft lands breed soft people." He always said he was quoting Alexander the Great on that, but who knows. I think we've come to that — we've become a soft country. I'm a Christian now, have been for a couple of years, and I believe this country has turned away from God and the Bible, the ethics and the morals you need. And I think people are searching for that. You get these executives going out in the woods, beating on their chests around a campfire to act like men — that's pretty sad.

SpecWar's become more and more pertinent to the world situation. You can't always send cruise missiles into drugstores and blow them up. So I think SpecWar's going to be more and more utilized, and more and more valuable. But I also think SpecWar has to get back to the values they started with — hard training, focus o n the mission. People aren't getting any tougher, you know what I'm saying? People are getting softer. And if you keep easing off on the standards to accommodate the next generation, you're going to have people who can't do anything. Let's not deal with the quantity of people — let's deal with the quality of people. You can take two thousand people who aren't worth anything and you get nothing accomplished. But if you have two hundred of the right people, you'll get the job done.

That holds true for the Teams as well. They have to be careful they don't get so big that they lose sight of the goals and the abilities they had from the start. Now, you got all these admirals, all this structure. People need to just step back and look at what happened to Special Forces in the Army. They got more and more and more, and the officers became more and more in charge, and they created positions of higher rank, and people wanted to be there just so they could make the rank.

One of Marcinko's strengths was depending on the chiefs to run things. They've got their eye on the troops, they know what's going on. Most officers in the Teams — unless they're very lucky or very good — most officers never spend more than two years, maybe three, in an operational platoon. Then they roll into a training department, go out for postgraduate work, become XO and CO. But they never really are on the operational level again — not like the chiefs, who might spend most of their career in operations.

You can't have guys rolling through for two years, then becoming CO of a Team, making major decisions that affect not just his Team, but SpecWar as a whole. You've got to have somebody up there who knows what he's talking about , and somebody the four-star Army guy will respect. Not somebody who got there because of politics.

But that's the way this world seems to be. Things get hot, and the pencil pushers run like rats, hide out — then when it's all over, they come right back and take over again.

We've all seen that happen. The suits, the desk jockeys, are in control when things are going well. Then, when the shit hits the ventilator, they abandon ship. That's the cue for the Real Team to enter stage left and kick ass.

Copyright © 1999 by Richard Marcinko

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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

Chapter 1

God, how I do love being cold and wet. And it is lucky that I do, because cold, and wet (not to mention tired, hungry, and suffering from terminal lack o' pussy), is precisely how I have spent a large portion of my professional life. Take my present situation. (Oh, yes indeed. Please, take my present situation. All of it. Each and every molecule. Every single fucking bit.)

And exactly what was my current situation, you ask? Well, to be precise, I was one of four SEALs crammed inside a spherical steel tank built for two -- we're talking roughly eight feet high by five feet in diameter -- in total blackness, squashed atop and against the three similarly chilly and claustrophobic occupants, and clinging to a ladder attached to the side of the cylinder so I wasn't stepping on the head of the man below me. just to make things interesting, cold seawater from several vents was being pumped into the tank. Currently the water was at crotch level, and it was frigid enough to shrink my Rogue-sized balls to hazelnuts, even through a thick, black neoprene foam wet suit, which covered me head to toe.

I waited quietly, patiently, until the tank was completely filled. As the water came in, I could hear the air as it escaped through the collar of the air bubble hood manifold above me. Under what might be called normal circumstances, I could have monitored our progress on the chamber's interior pressure and air gauges courtesy of the two waterproof battle lanterns that are mounted six feet above the bottom hatch cover. But Mister Murphy (of Murphy's Law fame), or one of his Murphyesque minions, had already decided that light was an unacceptable component of8 ADCAP -- ADvanced CAPability -- torpedoes, and Mark 67 SLMMs -- Submarine Launched Mobile Mines), to having to store our weapons and other gear outside the sub, as the escape hatches were too narrow to allow us to exit with anything more than our Draeger LAR-V rebreathers. Even our method of egress was nonreg. SSNs have two escape trunks. This one (known formally as the stores hatch, because it was where the ship's stores are commonly onloaded) was the most forward trunk. It was located just aft of the control room and abutted the triple-thick insulated, lead-shielded wall surrounding the nuclear reactor compartment.

SSNs modified for SpecWar have enlarged escape trunks so that SEAL platoons, which number sixteen, can lock out quickly. Unmodified SSN escape trunks are, as I have just pointed out, built for two men at a time. But given the parameters of my current mission, which included the necessity of a quick exit, I'd changed the rules. And so, we were locking out four at a time. Which currently gave the escape tank the crowded ambience of a frat-house telephone booth during a cram-the-pledges contest.

Thus, I stood immobile in the darkness, teeth chomped tight on my Draeger mouthpiece, trying not to stick my size ten triple-Rogue foot in Gator Shepard's size normal face, while trying my best to stay out of range of Boomerang's bony elbow (he has a nasty habit of flailing his arm like a chicken's wing when he's under stress), running and rerunning the night's schedule in my head. Oh, yes, it was much easier problem solving than thinking about my iced-down nuts and my other chillpacked nether parts. And so I stood there in the cold and the wet, anticipating everything that can, could, will, would, shall, should, may, might, or must go wrong, so I'd be able to outwit Command Master Chief Murphy who, experience has shown, likes to tag along on these kinds of ops.

Finally, I sensed the water flow had stopped. When I was positive no air remained in the escape chamber, I flexed my shoulders, worked the cramp out of my neck, and then started to pull myself toward the steel ladder bolted to the escape trunk bulkhead. I knew that I had to climb three rungs, then reach above my head in the total blackness to the spot my mind's eye had muscle-memoried as being the first of the six dogs that secured the trunk's outer hatch cover.

Wham! My action was interrupted by a rude elbow (or other sundry Boomerang body part -- it was dark after all, and who could really tell), which smashed into the right side of my temple. I went face first into the ladder rail and saw goddamn stars. Belay that. I saw the whole Milky fucking Way. Oh shit. Oh fuck. Oh, doom on Dickie. Which, as you probably know, means I was being fuckee-fuckeed in Vietnamese.

My mask came off -- the back strap separating from the clasp and disappearing into the void between my legs. And then the sonofabitch hit me again -- this time smack upside my wide Rogue snout, which knocked my mouthpiece clean out of my mouth. I gagged and snorted, which just about fucking drowned me, because as you will remember I was completely underwater, and gagging and snorting when underwater means inhaling what in SEAL technical language is known as the old double-sierra: a shitload of seawater.

It occurred to me that perhaps I should yell "CUT!" and start this process all over again. But that, of course, was impossible. This wasn't fucking Holl ywood, where you get as many takes as you need to Get It Right. Or a goddamn training exercise, where you can take a time-out to regroup, rethink, and reapply yourself to the task at hand. This was for real. And there was a mother-blanking, bleepity-bleeping schedule to keep.

You what? You want to know what that schedule was? And you want me to explain it all now? When I'm in serious fucking pain?

Geezus, have you no sense of timing? Okay, okay -- you paid good money for this book, so I'll be fucking accommodating. To be brief about it, the mission tonight was for me and my seven SEALs to lock out of the Nacogdoches, swim undetected roughly eighteen hundred yards to the northeast, and make our way under half a dozen picket boats manned by armed and dangerous nasties. Then we'd locate die Nadel im Heuhaufen -- in this case it was a certain seventy-five-meter boat -- board it, obliterate any opposition, and then capture a Saudi royal yclept Prince Khaled Bin Abdullah. We would do all of this sans any hullabaloo whatsoever.

The reason for our stealth was that Khaled baby was the forty-seven-year-old scion of the Abdullah family, third cousins of da king, and Saudi Arabia's sixteenth most wealthy clan. Khaled's annual income was somewhere in the $400 million range, which works out to something like thirty-three million U.S. smackers a month. Educated in Germany, England, and France two decades ago, he'd eschewed the lavish single-malt scotch, Cristal champagne, beluga caviar, and hooker-rich lifestyle most of his fellow princes took up. Instead, he'd somehow gotten involved with the campus radicals, e.g., assholes from the Baader-Meinhof gang, the Red Brigades, a nd others like them. So Khaled wasn't into conspicuous consumption like most of your Saudi blue bloods. Instead, he'd invested his profits from Microsoft, Dell Computer, Cisco, and Intel, his circa 1980 12.5 percent zero coupon bonds, and his ARAMCO oil royalties in transnational terrorism.

Khaled funded Hamas suicide squads, Algerian GIA (Armed Islamic Group) death squads, and Kurdish car bombers. You could say that his money endowed "chairs" in murder and assassination at two of the five "universities" the mullahs have set up outside the Iranian cities of Tehran and Qum to train transnational terrorists. He'd provided financial support and logistics to the Harakat-ul-Ansar's program to assassinate westerners in Kashmir and Pakistan. He'd even given money to American neo-Nazis, German radicals, and Puerto Rican ultranationalists. This scumbag was a real equal-opportunity tango.

And until now, between the reluctant but constant protection of the Saudi royal family (he was, after all, an illegitimate third cousin to the current Saudi ambassador to the United States, which made him a directly indirect relative of da king), and his residence in rural Afghanistan, where he was protected by a brigade of Come-Mister-Taliban-Tally-Me-Banana-clip-on-your-AK-47 gunmen, it hadn't been politically prudent, tactically practical, or diplomatically realistic to lay our hands on him without creating what the State Department tends to describe as "a deplorable, regrettable, and unfortunate violation of sovereign territory involving United States military personnel."

But tonight, his illegitimate ass was going to be mine. Because my guys and I would nail him in international waters, where the State Department has no jurisdiction. Once he'd been properly TTS'd -- which as you know means tagged, tied, and stashed -- we'd turn him over to the proper authorities, i.e., a team of special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who were already waiting on a close-but-not-too-close VSV. They'd ferry him to an aircraft carrier cruising off Malta, where he'd be put on a plane that would, through the marvel of in-flight refueling, not touch down until it reached the good old U.S. of A. Bottom line: he'd stand trial for financing the bombing of the Khobar Towers complex in Saudi Arabia a few years back and killing nineteen American military personnel.

Yes, friends, when it comes to terrorists, the United States has a long, long memory. And sometimes, despite the current State Department's best efforts to the contrary, we even act on it.

Ninety-six hours ago, Khaled, the TIQ, had been lured out of his safe haven in Afghanistan to these here international waters, which happen to be eighty miles due southwest of Akrotiri, Cyprus, by the promise of securing something he'd been trying to buy for the past decade: a ready-to-go, .025-megaton Soviet special demolition munition device, popularly described as a suitcase atom bomb, (even though the goddam thing does not come in a suitcase). The bomb was real -- and the man selling it to him, a former Stasi officer-turned-black marketeer, smuggler, and arms merchant named Heinz Hochheizer, was a bona fide no-goodnik. Neither Heinz nor Khaled realized they'd both been set up in a protracted, complex, and very intricate sting by the CIA, which thought that getting its hands on one of the old Soviet devices at the same time Khaled was being scooped up made an excellent idea.

It had taken more than nine months to get this far, but Khaled had finally nibbled at the bait, and the folks at Langley had allowed the hook to be set -- hard. Still, Khaled was a smart sumbitch. He knew that Fawaz Yunis, one of the tangos involved in the hijacking of TWA 847 back in 1985, had been seduced into international waters by the lure of pussy. But as we all know now, the PIQ (look it up in the Glossary) had been a female FBI agent, an integral part of the FBI's aptly named Operation Goldenrod (sometimes the Bureau actually does have a sense of humor). And Khaled remembered all too well that Mir Aimal Kasi, the wealthy Pakistani who'd killed two CIA employees and then fled to his homeland, had been sold out by his fellow countrymen -- his bodyguards, actually -- and scooped up in the summer of 1997 by a joint task force of CIA officers, FBI Special Agents, and Delta Force shooters.

And so, Khaled was real careful about leaving his Afghan sanctuary, even with the wonderful prospect of securing an atom bomb staring him in the puss. It had taken three months of negotiation before he'd agreed to meet Heinz in a non-Islamic venue. Only the threat that others were interested in securing the weapon had finally brought him out of hiding. And Khaled had insisted on making all the arrangements for the exchange -- arrangements that changed daily, sometimes even hourly, all posted in encrypted messages on the Internet.

But he was being watched by a joint CIA/FBI team. And so, Khaled's progress was noted as he flew in his private jet from a small airstrip southwest of Meymaneh, to Tehran. He was shadowed as he'd driven through Damascus, to Beirut, where his chopper awaited him for the fina l leg of the journey. It was in Beirut that Mister Murphy showed up and our intrepid American gumshoes lost him. Khaled climbed into his limo and drove to the airfield where his chopper was waiting to take him on the final leg of this nasty odyssey, a 230-mile flight onto the deck of the transatlantic-capable, seventy-five-meter boat I'll call the Kuz Emeq, which had sailed from Cannes to the anonymous rendezvous point Khaled had chosen in the middle of the Med. But when the big Mercedes limo pulled onto the tarmac, Khaled was nowhere to be seen. He'd pulled a fucking vanishing act that would have done David Copperfield proud.

The team panicked -- and with good reason. This op had cost us a bundle -- not to mention more than a dozen assets. The alarm bells went off, and our people combed the whole goddam Mediterranean from Libya to fucking Marseille. But Khaled had disappeared. And then, after thirty-six hours of nothing, they spotted another of his private choppers, a CH-3C with a range of more than six hundred miles that we'd originally sold to the Saudi Air Force. It was flying south, threading the needle between France and Italy. When it refueled at Cagliari, Sardinia, one of our people got a peek inside. And guess what? Khaled was there, sipping on his Evian water and reading the Koran. Two hours later, he was sitting in the main salon of the Kuz Emeq as it steamed eastward toward the rendezvous point, with us, and the USS Nacogdoches, in hot pursuit.

Khaled had arranged for the bomb vendor, Heinz the East German (he had Russian Mafiya ties, worked out of a mail drop in Frankfurt's red-light district, and, as I've just mentioned, was an unwitting accomplice in this litt le charade), to be brought in by another of his choppers, so even the Man with the Bomb would be ignorant of precisely where the meet was going to be, and therefore unable to bring any of his own hired guns along. For his part, Khaled made sure that his security people, six fast boats of well-paid Corsican Mafiosi, as well as a dozen fanatical Taliban shooters aboard the Kuz Emeq, were handy, and well armed. For a quick getaway, he had his chopper sitting on the Kuz Emeq's chopper deck, its engine warmed up and its pilots ready to go am geringsten Anlass, which is how the scumbag had learned to say "at the drop of a hat" at the Free University of Berlin back in the late 1970s.

But every once in a while the folks at Christians In Action (which is, you recall, how we SEALs refer to the Central Intelligence Agency), get things right. This was one of 'em. The Agency's sneak-and-peekers had managed to plant a beacon aboard the Kuz Emeq so subtly that even Khaled's head of security, a former KGB one-star technical guru, failed to spot it during his twice-daily ELINT/TECHINT/SIGINT sweeps. And by modifying the sub's ESM -- it stands for electronic support measures -- equipment and then glomming onto the beacon's signal, the Nacogdoches's skipper, a bright young Annapolis ringknocker named Joseph Tuzzolino, aka Joey Tuzz, aka Captain Tuzzie, had stealthily slipped his boat to within just over a mile of Khaled's yacht.

Now all that was left was for us to lock out of the sub, swim in, while keeping the beacon signal dead ahead of our position, slither onto the yacht, and perform the actual takedown. There were even a couple of bonuses for us if everything went right: tha t suitcase full of cash was one -- I like being able to help pay down the national deficit -- not to mention that compact, man-portable Soviet atomic munition device.

And, hey, this was gonna be a piece of cake, right? An easy swim followed by an effortless shoot & loot. Oh, sure it was -- and if you believe that, I have this nice bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. Anyway, so much for background. Now let's get on with the fucking action sequence, shall we?

I bent forward to try and retrieve my mask strap, and was knocked into the ladder again by yet another elbow to my head. What the fuck was Boomerang trying to do, kill me? I reached around and grabbed the offending arm and shook it hard, as if to say WTF.

In answer, I received two taps on my right bicep, and a squeeze back. Which meant he was being properly apologetic -- and would S2, which as you probably know stands for sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up, until I signaled otherwise.

I found my air hose, clamped it back in my mouth, swallowed more seawater to clear the line, and then took a very welcome gulp of oxygen. I bent forward again -- not an easy task, given the thick respirator on my chest -- and fumbled between my legs. Gator reached up, his fingers finding mine in the darkness, and handed me the missing mask strap. I reattached it, pulled it snug, then vented air through my sore-as-a-gangbanger's-dick nose until I'd cleared the fucking mask.

Murphy-time over, perhaps it was time to do real work.

I climbed the ladder, reached up, found the first dog, and twisted until it released. Once I'd cleared the first one, I went on, working my way counterclockwise. The fourth one stuck, but I muscled it free and wrenched until it opened.

Then, the sixth dog undogged, I braced my feet as best I could against the ladder rung and pushed upward with all my strength. The hatch opened outward, and I pulled myself through, and struggled up and along the deck until I found the half-inch nylon line we'd run from one of the midships cleats to the sub's mast so we could find our way in the darkness.

I pulled myself along the line toward the sail. I could sense the current moving against my body as the sub continued on. Nuclear subs are like sharks -- they hardly ever stop moving. And so, locking out is an intricate exercise in which the sub's captain has to keep his boat on a perfectly flat plane while moving at the slowest possible speed -- that's between one and two knots -- so that the swimmers can exit without being swept off into the current, unable to catch up with the sub as it continues onward and out of sight.

In fact, that was one of the potential goatfuck factors of tonight's escapade. Los Angeles-class submarines are built for speed. They do not like to be driven slowly. And so, Joey Tuzz, the CO of this particular sewer pipe, currently had his hands full. Launching me and my guys was going to give him a Rogue-sized headache.

I felt a hand on the knife sheath strapped to my left calf. Good news. That meant my guys were following. I kept moving, pulling myself foot by foot until I felt the rough surface of the mast. I worked my way around until I came upon the elastic netting that held our equipment bags. Reached through to find the outer compartment, where I'd stored my dive light. Found it. Attached it securely to my wrist, then turned it on, so I could see what I was doing. If it had been daytim e, we could have seen one another clearly, as the deck was only sixty-five feet below the surface. But it was just after 2100, three hours after sunset, and the only way to describe things was d-a-r-k. None of the phosphorescence you normally see in the water; no hint of light from above. Or anywhere else. Which added to the goatfuck factor. You can easily become disoriented in these sorts of conditions. Down becomes up. Up becomes sideways. Distance, time, and direction get obscured. You can die.

Boomerang's narrow face came close to my own. I put the light on him. Then, using hand signals, I asked him if he was okay. In answer, he gave me an upturned thumb. Behind him, I could make out Gator Shepard and Duck Foot Dewey as they pulled their way along the line.

I took the light and slid past my guys, working my way back toward the escape trunk hatch. I secured it, then twisted the wheel atop the domed steel until it was tight. I paused, counting the seconds off. Finally, I heard the sounds I was waiting for: water was being pumped out. The clearing process would take four and a half minutes. Then, after the pressure had been neutralized, the bottom hatch would be undogged, my final four shooters would load, the chamber would be flooded once again, and the whole process repeated.

Meanwhile, there was work to be done. I crabbed my way back to the mast and checked the big watch on my left wrist. The shine-in-the-dark display read 2113. Fuck me. We were already three minutes behind schedule, and we hadn't even begun.

2119. The rest of my crew arrived. Half Pint Harris, Nod DiCarlo, and the Rodent led the way. They were followed by a big, burly, eager puppy of an FNG (look it up in the Glo ssary) named Terry Devine, aka Baby Huey.

No, I do not like operating with cherrys -- in other words new personnel -- especially on jobs as important as this one. But on tonight's particular mission, there'd been no alternative. The shooters I call the Pick and Nasty Nicky Grundle were in sick bay with badly broken bones. It was doubtful they'd ever be able to operate with the same balls-to-the-wall efficiency they'd once been able to. Doc Tremblay'd retired -- he'd had enough of the new, zero-defect Navy. And Stevie Wonder had finally passed his chief's exam. That was good news and bad news. Good news because the Navy needs more chiefs like Wonder. Bad news because the Bureau of Personnel -- BUPERS in Navyspeak -- had in its infinite wisdom, transferred Chief Wonder from his sinecure at the Navy Yard down to Norfolk, and I was going to have a hell of a time getting him back under my Roguish wing. Shit, I was going to have a hell of a time bringing him back long enough to give him the sort of proper, old-fashioned, rocks-and-shoals chief's initiation that he deserved.

All those developments had left me one man short. I'd checked the personnel files and, mindful that one officer's scum is another officer's jewel, selected Baby Huey, who was just about to be tossed out of the Teams for disciplinary infractions. He was my kind of kid. First of all, he'd graduated dead last in his BUD/S class. The training officers had given him a black mark for his low standing. To me, it said that the kid had determination and grit -- he'd stuck things through until the bitter end.

Second, he'd been a SEAL for less than a year -- still a pup -- when he'd been scheduled to receive a captain's mast for off-duty br awling. In today's zero-defect Navy, one bar brawl or DUI is enough to get a chief with fifteen years as a SEAL shit-canned from the Teams. As for Boatswain's Mate Third Class Terry Devine, another black mark was placed next to his name, which meant he was unofficially classified as LTWS by the pucker-sphinctered, holier-than-thou, bean-counting, teetotaling bureaucrats who run NAVSPECWARGRUTWO these days. Oh, and run it they do: right into the fucking ground, so far as I'm concerned.

To the SpecWar panjandrums at NAVSPECWARGRUTWO, Baby Huey's brawling suggested that he might be overly aggressive. Which meant he might actually kill something someday. And that possibility put his future as a SEAL in jeopardy.

That's what they saw. But as we all know, Rorschachs mean different things to different people. What the LTWS blot told me, was that Terry Devine was yes, aggressive, and that he liked to play the kind of up-close-and-personal, body-bruising games that relieve the pressure of being a SEAL. But I saw that as a positive, not negative, attribute. Frankly, I don't think you can ask a man to risk his life every day, train at the very edge of the envelope, and then tell him to go out and relieve the stress by playing tiddledywinks, or sipping cocoa and perusing the New Yorker, although there's nothing wrong with either. Sometimes SEALs need an evening (or a weekend), of full-contact boogie rock 'n' roll, smack 'em upside-the-head, rabble-rousing brawling. Like clearing a fucking barful of Jarheads, par example.

But no matter what my positive instincts about the kid may have been, the reality was that I was about to go shooting and looting with an untested, untried, unblooded , twenty-year-old tyke. A big, contentious, muscular tyke, but a tyke nonetheless. Until this very moment of his life, it had all been training and simulation. He'd never had to Do It for Real. Gone into battle. Been wounded. Killed a man face-to-face.

Well, this was the big leagues. Baby Huey would learn quick -- or he'd be dead.

You think that sounds cold? Well, it may indeed sound cold. But it's the fucking truth. The men who work for me are always selected because they can look into their enemies' eyes and kill them dead. Not wound. Kill. Roy Boehm, the godfather of all SEALs, taught me by example that breaking things and killing people is what being a SEAL is all about. I see no reason to modify his operational philosophy even in these politically correct days of nonlethal weapons and touchy-feely military doctrine.

2121. First things first. We lashed ourselves together, and I lashed the line that tied Boomerang and me together to one of the mast cleats, thus assuring that all eight of us were attached to the sub. Under normal OPCONs, SEALs travel in pairs. Tonight, our four pairs of swim buddies would move as one until we reached the Kuz Emeq. Night swims are tough. Clandestine night underwater approaches are even tougher. I wanted to know where each and every one of us was, at all times -- and that meant moving together. We began to unpack the gear and affix it to our bodies. We were traveling light tonight, because it is no fun swimming when loaded down with equipment. Eighteen hundred yards is an easy swim -- if you are on the surface, and you can drag your gear in a flotation bag. It is an easy swim at a depth of thirty-five feet as well, despite being hampered by your rebreat her, which has all the hydrodynamics of a small refrigerator. But tonight it would not be an easy swim, because tonight in addition to the Draegers, we'd be encumbered by weapons, ammo, and other takedown equipment. There would be hostiles patrolling on the surface, and crosscurrents to face. No, this was going to be work.

2127. I finally strapped all my gear on -- the last step was attaching my suppressed MP5-PDW -- when I received a hand signal from Boomerang that everybody was packed up and ready to launch. Good news. I undid the half-hitch that secured us all to the mast cleat. just as I turned us loose I sensed the current intensify. The fucking Nacogdoches was picking up speed -- three, maybe even four knots right now. Not good. Like I said, speed is not a plus when you are trying to launch swimmers.

I grabbed for the long line I'd used to pull myself from the escape trunk to the mast. But now the fucking sub began to roll counterclockwise, and the line was nowhere to be found. What the fuck was Tuzzy trying to do -- drown us?

I kicked as hard as I could. But it is impossible to keep up with something moving at four knots, especially when you are tied to seven other bodies by five-yard lengths of nylon rope.

Relentlessly, inexorably, the big boat slid away from me, a receding shadow in the blackness. And then, as if snapped up by a huge grappling hook, I was whipped around, turned topsyturvy, and -- wham -- slammed against the sub's hull.

I reached out to grab something, but there was nothing to take hold of -- just smooth hull beneath my fingertips. Now the fucking sub rolled another four, five, six degrees away from me, and the current slammed me up against the hull. Oh, terrific. If Joey Tuzz kept this up, he'd roll us right into the path of his goddam screw, and we'd end up as SEALburgers. What the hell was he doing? There was no way to ask -- and no way to find out. Once we'd left the escape trunk, we had no comms. Oh, this was not the way I'd fucking conceived this mission.

My instinct told me the sub's speed had just increased again. Maybe up to six, six and a half knots. Yes, I know that six knots is just about the speed at which most joggers jog. But underwater, when you're being bounced against a fucking submarine hull, six knots is enough to get you fucking killed.

Well, I wasn't about to get myself -- or any of my men -- killed tonight. This mission was too important. There was too much at stake. I clawed at the hull, my fingers seeking any goddam purchase they could find. They found nothing. And now, the combined weight of my seven men started to pull me aft along the hull. I was slipping farther and farther astern -- toward that goddam lethal screw.

Fuck. I would the lifeline around my left arm, stretched my right arm as far out as I could reach, summoned every particle of energy left in my body (and more importantly my soul), and kicked, trying to propel myself in the direction of the sub's roll.


I kicked again, and again, and again, and again, until the muscles in my calves, my thighs, my back, and my chest all caught fire.

I hurt like hell. But I made progress. My hand brushed against the rough surface of the narrow, nonskid safety track that runs almost the entire length of the sub's hull. I knew that two feet from the track , a parallel line of fixed cleats runs along the spine of the hull. I kicked, kicked, kicked. Every at om of my body fought against the water, the current, and the sub's movement. Every particle of my mind willed forward progress. I bit through my mouthpiece, but I didn't give a fuck -- I was going to get us out of this. I WOULD NOT FAIL.

And then, the fingers of my outstretched left hand found a fucking cleat. I muscled my big paw around it, joint by joint, holding tight, my arm clenched as tight as it was when I did the last fucking pull-up in the last fucking rotation during Hell Week at BUD/S, when you are so completely fucking exhausted that you know that you can't even draw one more fucking breath -- and then the fucking instructor tells you to give him another twenty pull-ups or you are gone from the program.

Yes, I gave him twenty fucking more back then -- and another, just to show I could fucking do it. And the lesson I'd learned has stayed with me my entire career: when you believe it is over, it ain't over. When you think your body cannot do any more, it CAN do more, and it WILL do more. And you WILL NOT FAIL in your mission.

And so, yes, I held on to the cleat, clawing, clenching, grasping, clutching, until I could wrap the safety line around the cleat and secure us to the boat once more. With the line secure, I hung there suspended, hyperventilating, expended and sweating into my wet suit, as the sub moved steadfastly on through the dark water.

I was totally spent. I was emotionally drained and physically exhausted -- completely burnt out. And we hadn't even begun the night's work yet.

2129. Just as inexplicably as it had accelerated, the Nacogdoches now dropped its speed and eased back to vertical, barely moving placidly through the water at the proper one-knot velocity . What had the problem been? Had Captain Tuzz been evading something one of his multiple warning systems had picked up? Had the sub started to take in water -- foundering because of its slow pace? Had the boat simply begun to stall out and he'd had to act to save it -- even if it meant losing us? There was no way of knowing. We were out here on our own.

And frankly, it didn't matter. We'd survived. We were locked, loaded, and ready to go -- and it was way beyond the time to go to work. I released the hitch tethering us to the sub and peeled away, checking the lighted dial of the underwater compass strapped to my right forearm to get our heading. I looked at my depth indicator. We were at fifty-five feet right now. Yes, I realize that according to the current NAVSEA operational manuals, our Draegers should not, and here let me quote, "be used at depths greater than six fathoms under any circumstances without the express authority of NAVSEA."

Now, it doesn't matter than no one at NAVSEA has ever used a fucking Draeger LAR-V anywhere but in one of the fucking swimming pools in which they certify the goddamn things. That's right, gentle reader: the nitnoy, pus-nutted paper pushers who are charged with buying these items for the Teams are not the selfsame salty-balled SEALs who have to use 'em. The result is that those deskbound bean counters don't give much of a rusty F-word whether equipment works or not, or whether it's suited to the SEAL mission profile or not, or much of anything else.

This sort of shit-for-brains U.S. Navy institutional mind-set is nothing new. When Roy Boehm created the first SEALs back in 1962, he was duly and properly authorized by the powers that be to carry M-14 rifles a nd .38-caliber pistols, because those are what the desk-bound bureaucrats at BUWEPS -- the Bureau of Weapons -- decided that he needed. Roy, to his credit, went out and bought .35 7 Magnum pistols, and AR-15 assault rifles for his shooters. The M-14 is a terrific rifle at a thousand yards. And the .38 Special is a good target round. But even as far back as 1962, Roy realized one of the places his new team of merry marauders would be sent was Vietnam. And Roy had studied enough war to know that the SEALs would have to be capable of disabling the Viet Cong's motorized sampans and junks with their pistols -- which is something the .357 round can do. He also knew from his experience of working with the Philippine guerrillas in World War II that most of the rifle work his men would do they'd do from ambush positions -- a hundred yards or closer.

Knowing all of this -- and unable to convince the apparatchiks at BUWEPS that he was correct -- Roy simply went out and bought his men Smith and Wesson .357s and AR-15s without going through the system. And the Navy tried to court-martial him for doing so. In fact, if it hadn't been for President John F. Kennedy, the Navy would have succeeded in keelhauling Roy's horsehide-tough ass, and we SEALs would have been much worse off today.

Anyway, the rebreathers we were currently using weren't Navy-certified beyond forty-one feet of depth -- in fact, the Navy doesn't want 'em used any deeper than about thirty-five feet. It didn't matter that I have been using them at depths up to sixty feet for more years than I care to remember. I've just never bothered to tell the folks at NAVSEA what I've done.

2145. We moved ahead in the darkness. I felt a crosscurren t, coming from starboard to port. Now it took 50 percent more effort, as I kept my eyes focused on the underwater compass's dial, to keep us on course. Behind me, Boomerang was counting kicks (two to the yard), so he could guestimate how far we'd come, and how far we had to go. I checked my depth gauge: twenty-three feet. Maybe there'd be less current a bit deeper. I angled my body down slightly, and kicked forward into the blackness, gently bringing us down to a depth of thirty-two feet. After eighty or ninety seconds, the crosscurrent subsided and I began to make decent progress once again. I began to sense a dull ache in the forward portion of my brain -- I'd probably been so intent on swimming, I hadn't been breathing deeply enough. I sucked a big gulp of 02 to clear my head and swam on.

I checked my depth gauge as my legs kicked rhythmically. Steady as she goes at thirty feet. I liked that depth: it gave us a big safety margin. Highly unlikely we'd be spotted. Shit, with the night this dark, we could come in at six feet and they'd never see us. But as my old platoon chief, Everett Emerson Barrett, used to tell us tadpoles, "Never assume, you worthless, pencil-dicked geeks: assume makes an ASS of U and ME." And so, I wasn't about to assume anything. A whole bunch of agencies had actually come together and worked their butts off putting this op together, and I wasn't going to screw things up for any of us.

2203. There was something above my head. I couldn't see it. But I could feel it, as if, despite swimming in the darkness, a shadow had loomed over me. The sensation was completely and absolutely palpable. Instinctively, I angled myself downward, slowing my pace. Fro m the angle of the safety line attached to my waist, I noted that the SEALs behind me did the same. I fought the urge to turn the light on and go take a look. Instead, I kicked on single-mindedly, moving in the heading my compass was pointing. And I prayed to the God of War that whatever was up there didn't have a sonar system deployed, or any other detection device for that matter. I didn't need any more fucking problems than I'd already had.

I swam on another 150 kick strokes, then paused long enough to let Boomerang and the rest of the team catch up. My head still ached -- in fact, it now felt as if a vise was tightening down between my ears. Well, fuck it -- I had work to do. We all hung suspended in the water, nose to nose, and conversed with our hands.

"There was something up there, right, Skipper?" Duck Foot gestured.

I shrugged, giving him the universal sign for, "Your guess is as good as mine." But I think we both knew we'd passed under one of Khaled's picket boats. Well, whatever it was, Duck Foot had sensed it, too. It was the hunter in him.

I asked Boomerang how far we'd come. His hands told me we were almost halfway there. Hmm, I realized my thigh muscles had lied to me. From the way they were burning, I'd have guessed we'd have made a lot more progress than that.

2257. On the target, my ears were was now ringing like Big fucking Ben, and my head was pounding like I'd just been kicked by a steel-toed boondocker. WTF was causing it? There was no time to ask or answer that question. Too much else to think about. Like the Kuz Emeq. We were, to be precise, twenty-nine feet below Khaled's vessel. Not that we could see anything. But there was ample evidence that we'd hit the spot.

Boats, you see, make a shitload of noise -- much more than you might expect. And this one was no exception. We could hear the ship's generators and pumps working; I could discern the ebb and the flow of the crew as they moved around the ship. Even make out the reverb from some rock and roll someone was playing up above. We knew it was the right vessel because the homing device told me that I was dead on. And, to make our lives easier, Khaled's crew had obligingly deployed a pair of sea anchors to keep the yacht's movement at a minimum. Indeed, I was currently hanging on to one of the anchor hawsers.

Time to make ready. For those of you who have been through the process with me before, think of this as a refresher in Roguish SpecWar philosophy. For those of you who haven't, pay fucking attention, because you will see all of this material again.

Okay. Here's a fundamental SpecWarrior truth: whether you are taking down an aircraft, a train, a bus, a car -- or a luxury yacht, the three elements most crucial to the success of your operation are, one: surprise, two: speed, and, three: violence of action.

And here is another vital but essential rudiment of SpecWar. At its core, each special operation pits a small but highly trained and motivated force against a larger but less well-motivated unit. The specoperators achieve their victory through achieving something called relative superiority, or RS.

Simply put, relative superiority is when that small, elite force achieves a swift tactical advantage over the larger body of defenders. The obvious truth of the matter is that if you do not overwhelm the bad guys quickly, ruthlessly, and efficiently, they will overwhelm your shooters before you can kill enough of them to achieve RS.

That's where the speed and the violence of action comes in. There can be no hesitation, no doubt, no restraint. You must balls-to-the-wall ATTACK. And when you do ATTACK, you go in, as my old shipmate, Colonel Charlie Beckwith, the godfather of Delta Force, used to say, to "kill 'em all and let God sort it out."

Now, the most critical period in a special operation has come to be known as the Area of Vulnerability, or AV. The AV in an aircraft hostage takedown, for example, starts when the assault group begins its approach to the plane. Because if the shooters are spotted before they Get There, the hostages will be killed before a single rescuer makes it into the cabin. When you go over the rail of a ship under way, you are most vulnerable as you are making your climb up the caving ladders. There's a thin line of shooters, spread out as they muscle their way up and over the rail.

Oh, sure, you may have a security team in the boat below, but the fact of the matter is that the defenders hold the high ground -- ie., the deck and superstructure of the ship -- and if a tango decides to take a cigarette break, spots you, and calls for reinforcements before you can neutralize him with a head shot from a suppressed weapon, you're dog meat. Even so, tonight's assault was marginally easier for us than if we'd been tasked with boarding a ship under way.

Obviously, it is much simpler to clamber onto a craft that's not moving than it is to have to factor in all the myriad components of current, velocity, wind, waves, and other Murphy-prone elements of underway assaults. Second, the size of the Kuz Emeq made our job getting aboard less problematic. Oh, the boat may have been over a hundred feet in length, but it had the sort of shallow draft common to pleasure craft, with the happy result that its custom teak side deck and ebony-inlaid gunwale wasn't ten feet above the water's surface.

Moreover, there was a diving platform suspended from the transom, and since the crew had obligingly set out sea anchors, we now had lines to climb.

2301. We jettisoned our fins, lashed all our extraneous equipment to the sea anchor lines, and made ready to hit the Kuz Emeq. Each man knew exactly where he had to be, and just how he'd go over the rail.

Our final assault plans had been assisted by satellite surveillance photographs of Khaled's yacht courtesy of a specially diverted National Reconnaissance Office Lacrosse/Crystal/Flagpole satellite, which provided us with thermal simulations as well as 0.039-meter imagery, which comes out to be a resolution of about 1.5 inches from a constant trajectory of 287 miles above Earth. And when the intel squirrel wonks and photointerpretation dweebs at NRO and DIA's labs had finished playing with -- read computer enhancing -- those satellite snapshots into the two-thousand-pixel-per-inch range, we'd been given a bunch of real Kodak Moment-quality pictures from which to work. Ain't science grand, folks?

Copyright © 1999 by Richard Marcinko and John Weisman

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June 1999 After five bestselling novels in the Rogue Warrior series and his No. 1 New York Times bestselling autobiography, Rogue Warrior, Richard Marcinko delivers what his fans have all been begging for: the true stories behind the men upon whom he based his fictional SEAL team. Below read an excerpt from Rogue Warrior: The Real Team, in which Marcinko introduces Larry Barrett, one of the real-life models for the remarkable characters you've gotten to know in Marcinko's novels.

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Interviews & Essays

On Monday, January 4th, welcomed Richard Marcinko to discuss ROGUE WARRIOR: OPTION DELTA.

Moderator: Happy New Year, Richard Marcinko. Welcome back to We can't wait to get to the many questions regarding the Rogue Warrior series, particularly about your latest -- ROGUE WARRIOR: OPTION DELTA. How are you doing this evening?

Richard Marcinko: Wonderful, because it is still not bad weather in Northern Virginia.

Brian from Mobile, AL: How close to the actual truth do the Rogue Warrior novels get, and will REAL TEAM be fiction as well, or will it be majority nonfiction?

Richard Marcinko: Numerically the novels are close to 65-68 percent true. Chronologically or geographically, action is changed to protect active-duty or real clients. REAL TEAM is nonfiction, and it will be out for Father's Day.

Gabe Miller from Chicago, IL: Demo Dick -- Having been a SEAL, do you believe that given the opportunity, today's SEALs could infiltrate Baghdad and successfully end the ongoing conflict between the U.S. and Iraq? Why hasn't this been done already?

Richard Marcinko: Experienced SEALS today would have to lead, and FNG SEALS could do the job. SEALS have not been passed. Our government has no balls.

Gerald from New York: Dick, I've followed the SEALs in both military history and fiction for ten years. Your original ROGUE WARRIOR book is the most personal, potent, best account I've seen. More power to you.

Richard Marcinko: Thank you very much. More to follow. REAL TEAM out soon. One novel a year to 2001. CD-ROM called SEALS with Sierra Online out for next Christmas. Autobiography still working, with Jerry Bruckheimer as producer. Training center -- Crossroads Training and Development, Freedom, Indiana, on 900 acres -- under development: shooting, looting, Outward Bound, team building, youth and women's programs. Web site will be up soon.

Mary Ann from Williamstown, MA: Is this new release like the other ones in the series? How is it unique?

Richard Marcinko: It is like the others, geopolitically on target, defining real-world threats we should all be worried about. Unique because it identifies vulnerabilities of our U.S. stockpiles of man-portable nukes in Europe.

Marc from Boulder, CO: Since your retirement as a Navy SEAL, is there anything that gives you a rush -- like your job did?

Richard Marcinko: Censored...[laughs] Writing the action sequences, my blood pressure rises. Meeting new challenges with my security company and other targets of opportunity have expanded my horizons and get me excited.

Frank from Allentown, PA: What do you think it takes to be a Navy SEAL? Do recruiters look for the same qualities that they did when you were hired? What are these?

Richard Marcinko: Most recruiters don't really know unless they served in support of SEAL operations. Skill levels required are submitted on qualification sheets. For you, the individual, motivation and the guts to not quit is what it takes. Normal quote: Put your ass in gear and your mind in neutral.

Robin White from wolfthahowls: Mr. Marcinko, are you planning to make a movie of ROGUE WARRIOR or one of the other books that you have out now?

Richard Marcinko: Yeah. Contract with Hollywood Pictures Corporation/Jerry Bruckheimer has gone through seven writers and no acceptable script. I will assist as technical adviser and probably do a cameo scene.

Luis Sanchez from Lancaster PA: Hello, Demo Dick. Do you know of any other resources that are as in-depth and accurate as your books are? I personally have not seen anything that even comes close to your books. How do you stay informed? Will you be in Pennsylvania anytime this year? Will you be Fort Meade in Maryland again? Thank you. Luis Sanchez.

Richard Marcinko: Patches Watson's books are straight from the shoulder. Roy Boehm -- FIRST SEAL. He is my C-Daddy. Also, a new book coming out called NO HEROES by Danny O. Coulson -- first director of FBI-FRT -- tells a good story (out in March). I am not in Pennsylvania with OPTION DELTA. I will be at Fort Mead on January 11th, from 11am to 1pm.

Don from Painted Post NY: I think your work is great and you hit home on your topics. I just wonder what you think about the eventual turnover of the Panama Canal and if you foresee any problems that U.S special forces will be involved in.

Richard Marcinko: Panama is a have-not nation, therefore there will be problems. Special forces from all services are the most economical and effective troops to use. Just-Cause -- 12,000 conventional forces couldnt find Noriega.

Sean from Atchison, KS: How does the SEAL community view the Naval Academy?

Richard Marcinko: A mixed blessing. As you can tell from my writings, my favorite people do not come from the Academy, although many of my fans now attend there. REAL TEAM identifies my XO from SEAL Team 6, and he was a jewel. All commands need Academy graduates to attain recognition as a viable unit.

Todd from Pittsburgh, PA: Did you know Jesse Ventura, governor of Minnesota, when he was a SEAL in Vietnam? If you did, what is your opinion of him when he was a SEAL?

Richard Marcinko: He was a West Coast puke. We did not serve together. He got out after one tour because of the wind-down of the war. He and I have been friends for years. I think he will be a fine governor and will make the people part of his office.

Lars from New Mexico: I just read a book (THE PERFECT STORM) that talked about a part of the military called the pararescue jumpers (PJs for short), and I was fascinated by them. Their training sounds a lot like what a Navy SEAL would go through. Are you familiar with PJs -- do they ever show up in your books?

Richard Marcinko: Yes. PJs are Air Force ParaRescue. Their similarity ends with the jumping, diving, and saving lives. The tactics, demolition, foreign languages, and years of combat experience are the big difference. They are fine troops, they just aren't in the military -- they are in the Air Force.

Charles from Bowie, MD: After having read your novels, when I heard about the operation in Sudan it occurred to me that we might have had a small force on the ground to laser-guide the attack and that would be one reason for the delay in reporting it (to allow the team to leave). What do you think? Likely or not? Thanks -- looking forward to many more books from you.

Richard Marcinko: Likely, but did not have strong enough follow-up.

Rob Belan from Pittsburgh, PA: Dick, Give my right arm to work for someone with your work ethic. Not too many business leaders like to do your style of management. Why is that? Best of luck!

Richard Marcinko: Maybe they can come to Crossroads, and I will change that. We are concentrating on corporate players, and the door is open to public shooters and federal agents. They lack experience. They went to Harvard but don't do shit.

Marc Spiegel from Florida: Are you still an active skydiver? What drop zones do you train at? Do you have a USPA license number?

Richard Marcinko: Too busy for jumping. My highest license is a "C" License --probably before you were born! I do have a buckeye flying parachute, which is a 500-square-foot canopy with a 52-horsepower engine and a ceiling of 10,000 feet.

Jeanette Voss from San Diego, CA: I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the time you spent with my son, Harry, when you were in San Diego recently. You are his favorite author, and he has read all your books -- which is not an easy task for someone with ADHD. Meeting you was a thrill of a lifetime. Thank you again very much.

Richard Marcinko: You are very welcome! I will be in Coronado, California, at Bay Books on the 27th of January (5-7pm) and at Barnes & Noble in San Diego at Hazard Center Drive from 7:30-8:30pm on the 26th of January.

Luis from Pennsylvania: You said in one of your books that Saddams security force was trained by the U.S. What else has our government taught him that he can use against us now?

Richard Marcinko: He probably has gained more technology by buying our products from other nations and using reverse engineering for weapons and launch systems.

Sean from Atchison, KS: Do you believe Osama bin Laden can be brought to justice, and will SEALS have anything to do with it?

Richard Marcinko: I doubt that SEALS will have the pleasure. Because he is a Moslem the only true justice is to let him ride the magic carpet when he dies.

Cindy from Michigan: Mr. Marcinko, My husband is a huge fan of yours. His birthday is coming up soon, and I would like to give him an autographed picture of you. Is this a possibility? Also, are you going to be touring in Michigan anytime soon?

Richard Marcinko: There is a strong possibility. No, I am not in Michigan with this book. Send requests to me at my offices at: 801 North Pitt Street, Suite 418, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Bryan P. Esgar from Colorado Springs, CO.: I have read all of your books so far and have enjoyed them all. However, I need to ask a couple of questions. How close to the truth do these stories come? I mean, is it really so easy for terrorists to get their hands on weapons of mass destruction, and do you think that someday they will be used on our soil? Also, in RED CELL there was a group called the Kunika, the Japanese counterterrorist group. My wife is Japanese and didn't know that such a group existed. My question is, do they really exist and are they part of the Japanese police force or the Self-Defense Force? Anyway I am looking forward to reading your new book and hope you keep putting out new books. Best of luck! P.S. Thanks for having jarheads in your books. I used to be one and can't remember ever being liked or respected by someone in the Navy. Way to go. OOHRAH!!!

Richard Marcinko: Yes, it is that easy to get weapons of mass destruction by either stealing them or buying technology that used to be under the control of the old Soviet Union. I will be at Petersen Air Force Base on Jan 21st, 3-5pm. Ambush me there. The Kunika do really exist. Sergeant Tosoe is real, and they are part of the police force.

Scott from Manchester, TN: Ive always heard rumors that if you have ever broken a bone or wear glasses they wont let you in the SEALS. Is this true?

Richard Marcinko: Not true. Bones heal, and you will break many more. Vision must be correctable to 20/20. Get the new operation and lie.

Warren Seideman from Rochester, NY: Do you believe that President Clinton, being antimilitary, is afraid to use the SEALS against problem countries that affect our national interest?

Richard Marcinko: I don't think that Slick Willy knows anything about the military, and his previous experience internationally was at I-Hop.

Peggy Brown from What will happen to the series after the year 2001? Will you and Weisman continue to write together?

Richard Marcinko: Peggy, my love. Nancy and I enjoy your newsletters. I doubt that John and I will continue together after 2001, but I will be there somewhere. P.S. Take care of the cats!

Rena from Hoboken, NJ: How do you keep the language fresh since you aren't in the SEALS anymore? Is your glossary of abbreviations up-to-date?

Richard Marcinko: Yes, yes. I stay current. My military sons check in with Daddy, and I travel extensively. That is why they make laptops.

Patrick from Seattle, WA: Through each successive book, we hear more of the effects of age upon your actions. I can't help but wonder if eventually we'll read about a grizzled Rogue fast-roping out of a helo in a wheelchair. Still using the weight pile at the Manor?

Richard Marcinko: Yes, and the Jacuzzi and the sauna and a quick dip in a cold pond. Some mornings I have to lay down before I can stand up. I adopted a young boy last January at a delivery room. He will keep me rolling in the mud.

Tim Kreuger from Chicago, IL: When will Crossroads be operational? Whom will you recruit as employees to handle the training, and will you be planning any book signings in the Midwest for either OPTION DELTA or REAL TEAM? Thank you -- your books have truly made an impact on my life.

Richard Marcinko: New federal specs have required moving more of the mountain. Probable opening -- Thanksgiving '99. Web site will be up at least four months in advance to book classes. Cadre is in place as I speak. After opening we will evaluate new requirements.

Kathleen from Fletcher, GA: Hi, Mr. Marcinko. I really enjoy your books. Do you plan on touring the country in support of your new release?

Richard Marcinko: Simon & Schuster has a web site under Call up Rogue War, and my name and a tour of duty will list my planned stops.

Rob Belan from Pittsburgh, PA: Dick, Is our government still selling our secret technologies to China and other countries that could potentially hurt us??

Richard Marcinko: Yes. Mostly through large corporations that do not understand the potential strategic or tactical capabilities of the technology. (i.e., Westinghouse, Motorola,...all the big boys!)

AL from Iowa: Your books are great. Im a police officer in the Midwest. Does your company do any training for police, and if so, how does a person get that info? Again the books are great. Keep up the good work.

Richard Marcinko: Yes. Previously through Eastern Michigan University, but with the development of Crossroads our energies are now there. Watch for the web page.

Sean from Atchison, KS: Mr. Marcinko, I am a huge fan of yours. I have two questions for you. In your books you talk about recruiting people for Red Cell and for other units. But you mention that you would rather have people that were not at the top of their class but will get the job done, rather than people who breezed through BUDS. Has this always been true? What is your favorite quote? P.S. Are you going to be in Kansas City anytime soon?

Richard Marcinko: No Kansas City stops with OPTION DELTA. Maybe with REAL TEAM. Schedule not defined. People that have to try harder always understand their limitations and maximize their capabilities and are more sensitive to their surroundings. That has always been the way.

Todd from Jax Beach, FL: Who's cooler -- you or James Bond? You both like gin, right? Are you a fan of James Bond, or do you think he's a pussy?

Richard Marcinko: He must be a pussy. He is a Brit. I enjoy his adventures. He travels first class. I live in the gutter. Bombay Safire Naked 94 proof is still my drink.

Moderator: It was a pleasure chatting with you this evening, Richard Marcinko. We hope you'll visit us again, when REAL TEAM is released. Do you have any final comments for your many online fans?

Richard Marcinko: Thanks for being fans. Without you I won't write. You are the ones that tell me what bothers you and what you would like me to talk about. I enjoy meeting you on tour. Love and kisses, Uncle Dicky.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 89 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 90 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2012

    Plank owner & founder

    This is the man that started SEAL Team 6 & has done a lot for his country. I am proud to say that i briefly met him. He is a man that can carry on a itellectual conversation and completely destroy you in a secnd. A real warrior whom i respect.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

    Rogue warrior

    Great book.for anyone that wants to know what being special ops guy is like should read this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2011


    The MP3 format is not correct. When you go to download the file and listen to Rogue Warrior, another audiobook about the power of a good vocabulary starts to play. I have contacted B&N three times in the past year to get it fixed, and it's still wrong. I am very disappointed in their customer service.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2002

    The One that Started it All...

    Dick sets the stage for an action series better than Tame Tom Clancy could dream up...when will the movies come out?????

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2000


    This is the real WARRIOR. Marcinko is one of the best of the breed. He doesn't take anything from anybody. He does what he has to do to get the job done despite what he has to go through. Anyone who loves the elite Navy SEALS or special forces must read this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2000

    No More Doom on it's Rave on Dickie

    It's about time someone wrote how things really are. And Demo Dickie did it!!! This is smash mouth in your face action. If you want the sublte life of passive reading like an REMF, then pass this books by. If you want a kick *butt* book to read that will have your heart pounding and make you wonder how Dickie is going to get himself out of this one, then get this book. Grab a bottle of Bombay, your favorite sidearm and folding knife and jump in for the fun!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2000

    Way to go Marcinko!!!

    Marcinko is the wisest man when it comes to the navy seals. He knows just what to do in the worst situations. Wether it's sneeking into a heavily gaurded office building and stealing highly classified documents or parchuting from three-hundred miles above the ground into a jungle type area, recovering a nuke,and rescuing a hostage from a warehouse that has been held captive for several days,even though it's all just a training mission. This man can do it all and is very quick on his toes. He tought his men how to think fast and stay alive in hand to hand combat. This man did something so unreal that he himself probly doesn't beleive, he started seal team six. 'THE MOST UNIQUE TASK FORCE KNOWN TO MAN'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2000


    As someone like myself, young, hopeful future SEAL, and adventurous. This book was something I extremly enjoyed reading! Full of death defying odds, Marcinko is someone I truly admire. Not only was the suspense high, this book is ALL-ROUND! Everything is packed into this wild ride into Richard Marcinkos life in the Teams. Ooh-yah!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2000

    the best i have ever read exept the hobbit of course

    the best war book i have ever read tom clancy is nothing compared to this

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2000

    Rogue Warrior: Marcinko's Action Biography

    Possibly one of the most action filled biographies I've read, Rogue Warrior is a bunch of war stories from the man who lived them. Mrcinko makes Rambo look like another GI Joe toy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2000

    The best Spec. Op. book I have ever read

    Rogue warroir was one of the greatest books I have ever read, he has great talent in writting. If you want to get a extreme action book GET THIS ONE

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2014

    Better then most action movies

    This book about his life is one of the best I've read. There are many Navy SEALs out there, but there is only one Demo Dick Marcinko.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2014

    Free i pad

    Kiss your hand three time s tjen post this on three ddifferent books then look under your pellow

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2014

    Excellent account of a fantastic career!

    Excellent account of a fantastic career!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2014

    YOU dezerve to be recognized!

    God bless American soldiers! ONWORD SONS OF AMERICA! ()=======]===========> CTR CHOSE THE RIGHT IN DARKEND HOUR

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2013



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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2014

    Rogue Warrior

    A fantastic biography that kicks off a kick but series of books you will like have trouble putting down. Loved every one I have read thus far. Amazing and action packed books for men never read a book you liked. Check this one out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013



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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2013


    Hahs being scartastic

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2013


    Yeah hilarious

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