The Warrior Elite

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The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A you-are-there-style narrative of the most extreme military training in existence, the Navy's six-month Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) program. Novelist Couch (Silent Point, 1993, etc.), an alumnus of BUD/S Class 45 and SEAL Platoon Commander in Vietnam, clearly brings the necessary fervor to this subject, as he understands why SEAL training is so severe, producing enormous attrition among the officers and enlisted men who attempt BUD/S each year. Couch follows Class 228 through every aspect of this strictly regimented training, conveying an unprecedented intimacy with the process, and documenting the camaraderie of men put to the test. The three phases of BUD/S combine harsh physical training (PT) and constant competition with the omnipresent escape route of Drop On Request (DOR), which allows overwhelmed trainees a face-saving exit, while insuring that each class is winnowed down to the most hardcore. The First Phase culminates in Hell Week-a period of sleep deprivation and constant, borderline-sadistic PT, much of it (like "drown proofing") in the water, which forces many DORs, including those who must withdraw due to Hell Week-related injuries, but may return in a later class. Those who continue into Second and Third Phases learn SEAL specialties, from night swimming to tactical shooting and covert demolitions, while continuing with PT evaluations, and increasingly realistic combat and emergency simulations. The author offers a good historical understanding of the SEALs, whose group identity developed in the crucible of Vietnam, where their loss rates were high, and also some anecdotes of real SEAL combat missions, which demonstrate why such severe training is necessary.While Couch's stylized macho prose (e.g., unease described as a "gut check") is nothing if not appropriate to the material, the superior element here is the empathy and texture within his character depictions, of the earnest, youthful trainees (many of whom sooner or later DOR) and the merciless yet knowing instructor cadre. An energetic read for sailors, SEALs, and the greater population of armchair SEALs.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616378684
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio Pa
  • Publication date: 8/28/2011
  • Format: Other

Meet the Author

Dick Couch

DICK COUCH graduated from the Naval Academy in 1967 and served as a Surface Warfare Officer and SEAL Platoon Commander in Vietnam. Dick enjoys a unique relationship with the US Special Operations Command and has been allowed to document the special operations training venues for SEALs, Army Special Forces (Green Berets), Rangers, and Marines.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 83 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(56)

4 Star

(20)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 83 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2009

    It Pays To Be A Winner

    In this book, The Warrior Elite by author and experienced Navy SEAL Dick Couch is an amazingly inspiring book which follows Class 228 as they travel through BUDS Training, the first step in earning the prestigious Navy SEAL Trident. Dick Couch shadows the class through all of the training, through all of the struggles, and through all of the team building. There are four phases of training which the BUDS Trainees go through, but throughout the training they consistently and constantly have men DOR, or Drop On Request. There are some who don't make it through the first hour before they quit, but then there are those who persevere and who endure to reach their ultimate goal. The training focuses on the truth that it pays to be a winner. Life isn't all simple and nice, but it is full of competition and occasional disappointment. When the trainees win a race they are rewarded, but if they don't they are forced to do more physical training. Because of the excessive amount of physical torture that these trainees are put through they are as a result mentally tested as well. It is amazing what the human body and mind can endure when it is focused on achieving one goal. The book also largely focuses on the theme of endurance. The Trainees quickly realize that having this trait is not enough to pass BUDS Training- no, they must have their entire life focused on this trait. In fact the training starts out with over 150 zealous, enthusiastic trainees who have all excelled at their various Basic Navy schools. There they were above average, but at BUDS Training they will have to be far more than that to survive and endure the ruthless training they face. There was also a large focus on teamwork. These young men are put through incredible tasks together.
    Because of this they learn to work with one another. They learn each others strengths, weaknesses, and places for improvement. The BUDS Training is also strategically difficult. It is such a smart system because it quickly weeds out the ones who will not excel and help out the team. The teamwork and bonds that they create with each other is also so important because of what these trainees are actually training for. Unlike a sports team, these men are being trained to kill and survive. If they aren't connected with each other then it could literally result in the death of fellow comrade and friend. I really like how Dick Couch was able to create a bond between the young men in the book and the reader. When they excelled you felt inspired, when they failed you felt sad for them. I wish that the author had described in more detail what they went through though. Because the BUDS Training is a 9 month process Dick Couch leaves out lots of experiences for lack of time. But he uses amazing imagery in the parts that he chooses to share with the reader. Overall I would give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. It was very entertaining, inspiring, and well written. Dick Couch has a true gift of making the reader feel like part of Class 228 and I am looking forward to his next book.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Very Interesting!

    Informative inside look at what these men "really" go through. Quite impressive!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2008

    Great Book!

    This is a great book. For a SEAL candidate, this book serves as a BUD/S roadmap. For a civilian, it serves to give legitimate insight into a misunderstood and Hollywoodized warrior culture. Dick Couch has done the Navy SEALs and all special operators past, present, and future a great service in telling their stories in his books.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2003

    Excellent insight into Seal Training

    Capt (Ret) Couch leads us through what it takes to become one of the Navy's Elite. He gives detailed, yet easy to understand descriptions of tactics and weapons. I am an USN Intelligence Officer, having served 15yrs. I have worked with SEALs from time to time, but until this book, never full appreciated what it took to become a SEAL. A great account of BUD/S and SEAL training!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2001

    Warrior Elite-written by an Elite

    Capt Couch has written the very best account on Navy SEAL training that I have read. He graduated from class 45 himself, he served in Nam, and walks the talk!! Truly a marvelous read for all who love good reading of the Military variety!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2007

    Gutsy, Non-quitting Real Life Heroes

    A very readable, exciting book about the the toughest men the U.S. could ever want to send on missions. From the start of their training, they willingly endure physical and mental punishment beyond belief to graduate into almost undefeatable fighters. They have incredible willpower that never lets them quit. They are loyal to their teams no matter what the outcome of any mission. It is easy to see why a class of over 100 men graduates only about 20%. They are the pride of our Navy and our country.'They also inspired me to finish whatever I start, no matter how hard it is!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2004

    Discover what it takes to be part of the warrior elite

    As Dick Couch follows class 228 through BUD/S, the reader gets a very personal view of individual's experiences during each phase of training. Couch's detailing of the progress of the trainees as the weeks went on makes the reader feel like a spectator rather than just a reader. This book is captivating, informative, and inspirational!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    If you thought you had any idea what our special operations peop

    If you thought you had any idea what our special operations people go through, you need to read this book. It is amazing the work that these men are asked to put out  - and that's just to qualify for TRAINING. You will have a new found respect for the special operations community, and come away with a new confidence in those who are protecting us.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Expected more

    Would have loved more detail about the revolutions. Filled with opaque generalizations.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2012

    Lonaika

    Name: Lonaika. Age: 12. Room: A14

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2012

    Mike

    Im 29(but not in rl)and im sighing up for being in family medicine

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2012

    Ali

    Age:17 name:ali course: im not taking any but i would lve to teacha dance class if your offerig that. Room: fourteen result(light from a distant star is the title.)

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2012

    Dawn

    I am 20, my room is A21 and I want a job. I would like to be a homeroom teacher for any grade.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2012

    Jack

    19 years old. Science cources. Forensics

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    CLASS LIST

    Plz give name age and room number. If u r accepted or hired there will b a note on ur door on October 27th!!!!! Thanx
    ~$ |{ \| |_ € R

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2009

    Excellent reading

    For anyone who has ever been curious about SEALS training....this is your book. The bravery and mental toughness of these men,as explained by former SEAL Dick Couch,is incredible.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2009

    Great Book

    You'll learn a lot of things the recruiters (and GI Jane) won't tell you. Definitely an enjoyable read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2007

    A Great Book

    This was a great and inspiring book about the Navy SEALs. It amazes me that the body can go through so much physical and mental toil, but it is the hardest training in the world. HOOYAH!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2007

    It pays to be a winner

    A good behind the scenes look and evaluation of what it takes to pass the first evolution to become a SEAL operator. The BUDS program weeds out the wanna-bees, but as the book explains there are years ahead in more training after BUDS. This is the first in series of books on SEAL operators from BUDS to deployment down range. You might enjoy them by reading them in sequence to follow the operator's career path.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2004

    Great Book

    I loved this book. As I've said in some other reviews I hate reading but this one I could not put down. I recommend it to anyone who wants to know how Navy SEAL training is or is just a military type of person.

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