Rorke Denver's 'Damn Few' and Other Navy SEALs Memoirs
The controversial, mega-bestselling memoir "No Easy Day" and Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar-nominated movie, "Zero Dark Thirty," have put the U.S. Navy SEALs in the spotlight--sometimes an uncomfortable place for the famously secretive military organization. Ever since John F. Kennedy called for the creation of a military special operations force in 1962, the SEALs have engaged in America's most dangerous top-secret missions, culminating in May 2011 with their killing of Osama Bin Laden. What does it take to become a SEAL warrior? And what is it like to be plunged into the deadliest battlefields? With "Damn Few," Rorke Denver joins an increasing number of former SEALs who have broken their code of silence in new memoirs that take civilians deep inside their secret operations.
Acts of Valor: Rorke Denver
This Navy SEALs insider account is the first penned by an officer. Lt. Cmdr. Rorke Denver was a platoon commander and training leader of the SEALs for 13 years before becoming more widely known as the star in the 2012 film "Act of Valor," which starred active-duty Navy SEALs on a mission to recover a kidnapped CIA agent. Denver's book, "Damn Few," takes us inside special-ops commando training and shows us what it takes to become one of the fewest of the few and the proud.
American Sniper: Howard E. Wasdin
Of the divisions of the SEALs, one of the most rigorous is the one known as SEAL Team Six (officially called the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group), an especially secretive unit specializing in counterterrorism, hostage rescue and counterinsurgency. Howard Wasdin graduated from the most rigorous sniper-training program in the country, the Marine's Scout Sniper School, and as a member of SEAL Team Six in the 1990s, he became one of the best snipers on the planet. In his book, "SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper," Wasdin takes us inside the life of the highest-level sharpshooters and through his own most harrowing battles.
Geronimo Down: Mark Owen
SEAL Team Six was always highly regarded, but it etched itself into history when the 24-man team crash-landed a helicopter in Osama Bin Laden's Pakistani compound and successfully executed the world's most notorious criminal. Pseudonymous author Mark Owen's bestseller, "No Easy Day," is the first inside account of that raid, and he takes us through every dramatic moment of the mission, from months of training through the radio call confirming Bin Laden's death. The title of the book is a play on the motto of the SEALs: "The only easy day was yesterday."
SEAL Turned Novelist: Don Mann
After President Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden had been killed, it quickly came out that it was SEAL Team Six that had accomplished the mission. Many former SEALs, including Don Mann, were shocked that any mention of the secret team was made at all. Yet Mann, a member of Seal Team Six for over eight years and a SEAL for 17 years, has written his own books about the team, including a memoir, "Inside SEAL Team Six," and a new series of SEAL Team Six novels including "Hunt the Wolf" and "Hunt the Scorpion."
Fallen Hero: Adam Brown
America's fiercest and most highly trained warriors know that with great responsibility comes great risk, and it's inevitable that some of their comrades will perish in battle. Before he lost his life in a firefight in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan in 2010, Naval Special Warfare Operator Adam Brown was ready, having written a letter to his children stating, "I’m not afraid of anything that might happen to me on this Earth, because I know no matter what, nothing can take my spirit from me." War journalist Eric Blehm tells Brown's rollercoaster-like story in his book, "Fearless," bringing us from Brown's youth as an undersized, daredevil country boy from Arkansas, through his downward spiral of reckless behavior that landed him in jail and, finally, to his being saved by faith, family and service.
Living to Tell the Tale: Marcus Luttrell
One of the first Navy SEAL memoirs to become a mega-bestseller, Marcus Luttrell's book "Lone Survivor" introduced hundreds of thousands of readers to the world of special-ops warfare through Luttrell's harrowing account of disastrous Operation Redwing, in which SEAL Team 10 fire team leader Luttrell was the only one to survive a firefight that led to the largest loss of life in Navy SEAL history to that point. Blasted by an RPG into a place where his pursuers could not find him, Luttrell crawled for miles over four days until being taken in by sympathetic villagers who risked their lives to protect him from Taliban warriors. His story of the heroism and sacrifice of his fellow soldiers is riveting reading.
On Target: Brandon Webb
Another expert sniper, Brandon Webb served as a lead instructor for the secretive Sniper Cell and Course Manager of the Navy SEAL Sniper Program. He trained some of the SEALs' best marksmen, including Luttrell and Chris Kyle, author of "American Sniper" and the U.S. military’s top marksman with more than 150 confirmed kills. In his book, "The Red Circle," Webb takes us deep into the experience of one of the military's sharpest shooters.