When America needed a significant military response, especially after 9/11, Schwalm says the first line of security against terror was the warriors of counterinsurgency warfare, the U.S. Army Special Forces, i.e., the Green Berets. The author, a retired lieutenant colonel with the Green Berets who terms these Special Forces soldiers“supermen without equal in the world,” details their rigorous training to be “killing machines,”beginning with his own difficult passage through the qualification,, or Q, course, at Ft. Bragg, N.C.. Schwalm details the harsh, even brutal contests of physical endurance, will, and tactical resourcefulness of the grunts, driving some soldiers to quit or feign injury to get out of the training. Schwalm himself served as commander of Special Forces officer training, acknowledging the importance of battle-tested guerrilla troops ready for multiple combat deployments throughout the world, including Iraq and Afghanistan. Forged by experience and headline events from flashpoints around the world, Schwalm’s insider perspective on the training for unconventional warfare gives his book a fresh, authentic voice. Agent: James Hornfischer. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"This is not just a memoir by a top soldier, leader, and scholarit is a fine tale of courage, compassion, and selflessness from one of our country's finest." Eric Greitens, author of The Heart and the Fist
bestselling author of Brothers Rivals Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, and the Partnersh - Jonathan W. Jordan
"In The Guerilla Factory, Tony Schwalm offers a gripping insider's story of how America's elite warriors are made. From the terror of capture to the art of building an insurgent army, Schwalm's personal account takes you deep into the shadowy world of the Special Forces to reveal how Green Berets are picked, trained, and deployed in exotic places where the usual rules of warfare don't applywhere success is shrouded in secrecy and failure can mean death."
"[A] well written, eye-opening memoir . . . Rich with twists, anecdotes and insights into how officers are selceted and trained to lead small units of tough, highly trained fighters behind enemy lines. . . . [This] is first-rate reading."
bestselling author of Brothers Rivals Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, and the Partnersh - Jonathan W.Jordan
"In The Guerilla Factory, Tony Schwalmoffers a gripping insider's story of how America's elite warriors are made. From the terror ofcapture to the art of building an insurgentarmy, Schwalm's personal accounttakes you deep into the shadowy world of the Special Forces to reveal how Green Berets are picked, trained, and deployed in exotic places where the usual rules of warfare don't applywhere success is shrouded in secrecy andfailure can mean death."
“Captivating . . . one of the more engaging books I have read in quite some time. . . . As entertaining as it is informative. The Guerrilla Factory is one of those select works that will appeal to a wide array of readers. . . . For those who simply enjoy a good war story, Tony Schwalm will demonstrate he has few peers.”
A retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer provides a behind-the-scenes look at the physical, psychological and emotional toll one pays to join the ranks of America's most elite fighting force. In his debut memoir, former Green Beret Schwalm minces no words recounting the near-tortuous training endured by America's Special Forces. The author begins by categorizing Special Forces soldiers into two types, the Supermans and the Daniel Boones: While "Superman goes, does, and leaves" the Daniel Boone variety of soldier "goes, does, and stays and stays and stays." The staying is the hard part, explains Schwalm, because it demands that trained killers learn to make nice with local citizens in foreign, dangerous terrain. It is a tightrope walk depending more on rhetoric and rapport than conventional weaponry, though for Special Forces soldiers like Schwalm, both brain and brawn have their place. The author's riveting account into the inner workings of elite training proves particularly interesting to military outsiders, who soon learn of icy swims in makeshift rafts, endless midnight runs and war games so realistic that the word "games" seems wholly inaccurate. After enduring POW training--which demanded Schwalm and his comrades be locked in hot boxes and deprived of all basic necessities--the exhausted soldier leaves the extreme training exercise having drawn a single conclusion: "I would rather be a pile of bleached bones shining in the sun than taken alive." Soon after, the student becomes the teacher; Schwalm was dispatched to Trinidad to train Trinidadian commandos in the ways of American warfare. Yet in the wilds of Trinidad, he was faced with a new and humbling challenge: learning to lead despite vast cultural differences. An eye-opening, unconventional war story in which the war itself resides in the training.