Article first published as Book Review: SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy Sniper by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin on Blogcritics.
“SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy Sniper” by Howard E. Wasdin (website) and Stephen Templin (website | Twitter) is a memoir of Mr. Wasdin’s time as a Navy SEAL. This book just happens to come out after SEAL Team Six took out Bin-Laden. The book was not rushed to print because of the operation. I thought this was an important point to make.
- 352 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
- Language: English
- ISBN: 031269945X
“SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy Sniper” by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin is a well written memoir that walks the reader through Wasdin’s childhood, Navy SEAL training, several missions, and Mr. Wasdin settling down with his beloved wife and children.
This is an exciting book, an easy and fast read. While the authors cover a lot of ground, the book kept my attention throughout.
Especially poignant, for me, were the chapters about Somalia and the Battle of Mogadishu. I read a lot about that battle and Mr. Wasdin’s point of view is raw, honest, and different from anything I read before. I am familiar with most of the people he mentioned and reading about them, the tactics and the battle from a different, on the ground perspective were an amazing experience for me.
I appreciated the chapters about the rough training and the reasons for it (“the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle”), it is amazing the mental fortitude of these warriors which helps them go through, what seems to me, almost superhuman tasks.
At the beginning I thought there were a lot of product placement in the book, which I found disappointing, however the more I read the more I realized that it is not product placement (even though it’s hard to tell) but simply telling the reader about the equipment being used – the best of the best – and why.
A bit disturbing were the chapters about Mr. Wasdin’s childhood and the abuse he suffered by his stepfather. Mr. Wasdin credits that abuse with his ability to withstand pain and attention to detail, which I gathered he truly believes.
I don’t want anyone who read this book to think that if you beat the living hell out of your child, he’ll turn out to be a Navy SEAL or an elite warrior. Mr. Wasdin does make that point very clearly in the book, but I didn’t feel he made it strongly enough or often enough.
During my service, I have met many people from the special forces including the most elite units and the one thing common to all of them was a simple fact that this is what they were born to do.
You cannot learn or acquire the characteristics, capabilities, and fortitude to become an elite warrior.
You either have those or you don’t.
You can hone your skills, find the hidden talents, sharpen them and practice to become better but you have to be born with them, to begin with.
At the end of the book, there is a section about the “Special Operations Warrior Foundation” founded in 1980 as a college scholarship fund for children of special operations warriors who have been killed. Please take some time to visit them and make a donation if you can.
So tell me, what is your favorite military memoir?
The book is a behind-the-scenes look at SEAL Team Six, a unit that specialized in counter-terrorism, hostage rescue, and counterinsurgency. Howard Wasdin writes about the grueling selection process, Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) and sniper school.
After going through the selection process, Mr. Wasdin faced combat operations in Desert Storm as a member of SEAL Team Two and got selected for SEAL Team Six. He was sent to Somalia on a mission to capture or kill Somalian warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid.
Zohar – Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free.
*Amazon links point to an affiliate account, the money is usually spent on books
- Best of the Best: A Seal Team Six Member Speaks (battleland.blogs.time.com)
- “Book Excerpt: Howard Wasdinâ€™s SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy Seal Sniper” and related posts (vanityfair.com)
- Inside Seal Team Six: 9 Reasons Why Navy Seals Are Cooler Than You (newsfeed.time.com)
- 10 killer nuggets about US Navy SEAL Team Six, our new favourite action heroes (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- Howard Wasdin on why the SEAL team chose to shoot ObL (allthyngs.wordpress.com)
BOOK BLOGGERS – Have you read “SEAL Team Six”? If so link up your review below: This post is in the 69th