The difficulties of his childhood help him later in life as he goes through the grueling, often painful training to become a Navy SEAL. Wasdin takes several detours in the road of life and makes several missteps; his honesty is refreshing as he discusses his childhood, his failed marr SEAL Team Six is the memoir of Howard Wasdin, a country boy from Georgia who becomes a sniper in the Navy SEALs. Wasdin takes several detours in the road of life and makes several missteps; his honesty is refreshing as he discusses his childhood, his failed marriage to his high school sweetheart, his extensive training, his recovery from life-threatening injuries, and his faith.
Wasdin does not spare details about the military; he offers information on how different branches work together or not , how the soldiers let off steam, and the competition that drives the men and agencies. His perspective on U. He also offers a beautiful glimpse into the humanity of the U. The incident now known as Black Hawk Down has the potential to anger readers because it was senseless and could have been avoided.
Many good soldiers died and many more were injured in an exploit that had trouble written on it from its beginning. May 07, Virginia rated it really liked it Shelves: Although the writing style was at times choppy cutting in and out of stories , I thoroughly enjoyed the "realness" of the voice. Wasdin and Templin did very well in sounding like Wasdin! If that makes any sense I ended up reading an excerpt from this book and I just had to read the rest.
I was not disappointed!! Let me just say that I have the utm Utterly fascinating. Let me just say that I have the utmost respect, admiration and thanks for our military and getting some behind the scenes glimpses into the SEALs was just awesome. I know that there is no way in this lifetime or in many other lifetimes that I would be able to accomplish even a tenth of what the SEALs do just for training.
Fantastic and gripping read!! Jan 22, Sherwood Smith added it Recommends it for: Wrapped around another memoir of the Mogadishu action that also inspired Black Hawk Down and similar works, Howard Wasdin, with the aid of a ghostwriter, relates his life history. He's right that in those days what happened in the home stayed in the home; he expresses a certain amount of insight into the consequences of abuse, without quite seeing the whole picture, which rings true for those of us of a certain age.
He works back and Wrapped around another memoir of the Mogadishu action that also inspired Black Hawk Down and similar works, Howard Wasdin, with the aid of a ghostwriter, relates his life history.
He works back and forth through time, covering his training to become a SEAL, and finally covers the details of that action in Somalia, before segueing to the present. I found it absorbing reading, sometimes lightened by humor, sometimes sharply painful. Aug 15, Amy Hardison rated it it was amazing. I loved this book. I felt great sadness for having lost so many who loved the United States enough to put their life in danger over and over.
Even without the disaster I loved this book. Even without the disaster in Afghanistan, this autogbiography was a incredible read. I highly recommend it. May 30, G. Wasdin's Christianity moves to the front as his story closes, and ends up being the best thing about this book. His self-told account isn't as gripping or detail-packed as Lone Survivor , but his childhood, his training, and his survival of several wars still roll out a great story. May 18, Anna rated it it was ok Shelves: The parts about SEAL training are interesting. Less so is everything after that. And even less so is his reliance on grade-school terms, like "booger eaters" and "pee-pee.
Jun 21, Deanna Against Censorship rated it really liked it Shelves: I read other reviews putting down Wasdin and the Seals. I am a Liberal and a Democrate, but I did not have the problems many reviewers seem to have hadwith this bio. Maybe because I am of the Vietnam Era. I knew members of Seals who served there. I know what they went through on their return. I knew men who were military snipers. A hard job that does protect those who protect civilians.
I spent my professional life in the criminal justice system. Not easy but not as hard as the caree I read other reviews putting down Wasdin and the Seals. Not easy but not as hard as the career these men choose. If you read the details of the kangeroo killings you would see that it was a santioned hunt for animals that were harming the farming industry. Similar to our hunts to bring the deer population under control. The goats helped save lives.
Put things in prospective. Do you wish to sleep and eat with rats? If a rat is in your house would you hesitate to call an exterminator? Do not judge from your safe home. Wasdin's early life was more than harsh. He was lucky to make it to adulthood alive. Of course it affected his life. In adulthood he came to terms with the brutal life he experienced. A small child with no one willing to stand up for him.
He spent his life standing up for others. His Team became his family.
To be a Seal or Delta one must have a strong ego and drive. He gives the reader information about training, missions and the necessity of teamwork. Wasdin freely admits to being a egotistical jerk. He laughs at some of his superhero thinking. That show his growth. If he still felt that way, he would not have the insight to write about it. He would have spent more time on describing his medals instead of the medals of others. He would not have made his late in life career decision. I am glad I read this book. I am glad there are people who are willing to dedicate their lives to serving and being the best at what they do.
I do not have to approve of the conflict to admire and support the men and women who serve in that conflict. We should have learned this lesson with Vietnam. Is this a perfect book? Does Wasdin get on his soapbox at time? Yes but he bled for that right. Is it a book worth reading? It does make one think. Wasdin gives us what he promises: It is why we read this book. Be thankful someone is willing to be out there so we can read and write our reviews in freedom. Feb 27, Amelia rated it it was ok Shelves: It would cost millions to make, but be slammed by critics and make barely any money at the box office.
There are elements of the military I will never understand. But I really felt uncomfortable that an elite military member was bragging about such acts he says are just part of military life that I believe are a rare exception to the pe If "Seal Team Six" was a movie, I envision it staring Dane Cook and Jesse Metcalfe, produced by Michael Bay and set to the soundtrack of Lincoln Park. But I really felt uncomfortable that an elite military member was bragging about such acts he says are just part of military life that I believe are a rare exception to the people that serve our country.
You're not patriotic, you're just a d-bag. Frankly, I had a hard time trying to respect these men. His attitude ruined it for me. The cocky tone of the guy reading this on audiobook didn't help.
I found his ego insulting to the men that have honorably served our country with respect. May 13, Jennifer rated it liked it. Definitely not as good as "Lone Survivor". Its not very well written, but interesting enough because of the details about the SEAL training, tactics, and high tech gear they get to use. Other than that, the guy comes off as extremely arrogant and almost robotic, even when attempting to humbly admit he's an egoist. And there were too many product placements- no one cares that you were wearing Oakley sunglasses when checking into your hotel.
Maybe "Black Hawk Down" will be better May 22, Jerome rated it liked it. The narrative flows well for the most part, but some of it is just horribly written. The major problem with the book and specifically with the Mogadishu account was the poor writing. For example, never in the account of the running battle does Wasdin refer to the two maps provided in the book, which were obviously included to illustrate and illuminate the battle.
The first map, of a large area of Mogadishu is somewhat helpful, including some street names and places. Curiously, the map has no Nort The narrative flows well for the most part, but some of it is just horribly written. Curiously, the map has no North direction to orient the reader when Wasdin describes the horrific circling route the convey took as they left the Olympic Hotel.
The second map is a complete mystery. It is a detailed sketch of the area where one of the downed helicopters landed, with various events noted on the map that were never mentioned by Wasdin e. How this map relates to the story is for the reader to puzzle out. A second source of discord in the book's narrative included childish and denigrating insults and commentary. For example he says of "Sourpuss," a Team Six member, that he "whined," "wasn't a cutup," and that "[n]one of us liked him.
No one else liked him? Or maybe it was just Wasdin. He refers to a new Red Team leader as "Buttwipe," after Wasdin returns to duty from his injuries in Mogadishu. These remarks reveal more about Wasdin than about the people he describes. Other writing choices reveal the lack of editorial control or discipline that co-writer Stephen Templin could or would not overcome. Twice Wasdin says some higher up "whacked our [or my] pee-pee," referring to some kind of reprimand or discipline. This term may be used in the Navy but it really adds nothing to the story without explaining the term's significance.
Will readers seriously be offended, given the subject matter of the book? Brand names and models of weapons and equipment are frequently mentioned throughout the book, which often fleshed out the narrative, but sometimes became tedious. When Wasdin describes the attributes of the Revo sunglasses that he wore while a patrolman in Florida, the passage is such a non-sequitur to the story that one wonders whether he was paid by the company for mentioning them.
Maybe I'm a cynic, but I find it hard to believe four SEALS can put the beat down on 30 police officers, with Wasdin getting a phone number from a flirtatious female officer he, an elite warrior, had just thrown against a car; another SEAL taking a bite out of a police canine; several officers ending up in the hospital; and all of this leading to the court date where the judge dismisses the case entirely for "youthful vigor" and the courtroom erupts with applause.
This happens fairly early on, so I took the rest of the book with a grain of salt. The prose is choppy and simplistic. While on a mission a bad guy is holding a fire extinguisher in a threatening manner, and the SEALs are about to shoot him when he doesn't follow orders. The author tells the SEALs not to shoot the bad guy and he subsequently smacks the author on the head with the fire extinguisher.
This is his reflection: In retrospect, Fire Extinguisher should've gotten two to the body and one to the head. He's a lucky sonofabitch.
He's lucky that you had a brain fart. The SEALs uncuff the bad guys and one of the bad guys reaches in to his jacket to get a pack of smokes. Apparently they didn't search the bad guys, because all the SEALS were about to shoot the guy thinking he was reaching for a gun. The author had this to say about the incident: He was lucky we had such tight trigger discipline - not like the four policemen in New York who shot Amadou Diallo forty-one times reaching for his wallet.
The ironic part is the author accuses Richard Marcinko of the same "we are the awesomest" tone in Rogue Warrior!: I also found annoying the author's attempts to be funny. I know he's just trying to be lighthearted, but some of it was just irritating: A synonym for dishonesty.
Yes, as in the same noir-type humor exhibited by cops when dealing with terrible crime scenes. He also offers a beautiful glimpse into the humanity of the U. When Wasdin describes the attributes of the Revo sunglasses that he wore while a patrolman in Florida, the passage is such a non-sequitur to the story that one wonders whether he was paid by the company for mentioning them. Fantastic and gripping read!! Things have changed around here. The book is pages long.
Some things were just flat-out obvious, but Wasdin mentions them anyway: Some of his opinions are a little simplistic and uninformed. This is Somalia, remember? Some other warlord would just take their place and make a bigger mess of things. Remember, Atto WAS killed in Did his death bring peace to Somalia? Some things were just weird. Let's put an out-of-place exclamation mark there, even though nobody cares! Must be easy to sit back an point fingers when you're not involved.
I don't care what you think about the media, Wasdin, and I don't care about them per se. Ignore them and do your job. The Clinton camp was far more interested in maintaining political points than keeping some of America's finest troops alive. After the first Black Hawk crashed, the 10th Mountain Division drove around Mogadishu for fifty minutes instead of through, because of previous ambushes. So, for the first thirty minutes Mike Durant and Super-Six-Two were on the ground, the only rescue force Garrison could muster was a hastily assembled convoy comprised mostly of support personnel.
Ultimately, neither this convoy nor the QRF could fight their way in. They were barred by blockades and ambushes. Tanks would have been even slower. And, also, the task force didn't even need ACs. Garrison felt that they were unnecessary. The task force had plenty of AH-6 Little Birds, which provided very effective air support throughout the battle. As for armored support, Garrison didn't need any tanks or Bradleys. The whole point of Task Force Ranger's raids was speed and surprise, and up to the Battle of Mogadishu, these tactics worked.
Since armored vehicles would have been assigned to the 10th Mountain Division, they would not even have been part of the Rangers' QRF. Dec 01, Salvatore rated it really liked it. When I chose this book I had already gone through many reviews as most people do causing me to prejudge the book and almost not pick it. Unfortunately many of the reviews were not positive, and Likely because this is such a polarizing subject. This book is certainly not a literary masterpiece however I was so interested in learning about what Seal Team Six was about I decided to get it.
Yes there are many subjects in the book that are upsetting and disturbing but you also have to realize the lif When I chose this book I had already gone through many reviews as most people do causing me to prejudge the book and almost not pick it. Yes there are many subjects in the book that are upsetting and disturbing but you also have to realize the life these people live and the circles they live in.
We would lie down in our lane and wait for the target, which would suddenly appear at some point in the next twenty minutes. We would have no idea when it was coming. All we could do was wait in a state of total vigilance. Take your eyes off the sight for even a moment—to wipe sweat off your brow, scratch an itch on your face, or take a drink of water—and you could miss it entirely. I saw this happen.
One morning, a guy a few lanes down from me looked down just for a second to wipe the fog off his shooting glasses—and he looked back up just in time to see his target laying down again. He had just missed it. But it certainly trained us to be patient and vigilant at the same time. The cold bore shot was one of the most stressful events of the entire day. Hit or miss, that shot would stay with you all day.
Make a good shot and you were a hero. Blow it and your own personal dark cloud hung overhead for the rest of the day. We ran out onto the range, got our instructions, hustled to our shooting line, threw ourselves on the ground, and scrambled mightily to get our shit together for that first shot.
I chambered my one and only round, got myself settled into my natural point of aim as best I could, target aligned and on sights, felt the tide of my respiration ebb to its lowest point, and in the short moment of that stillness squeezed the trigger—. Oh, man , I thought. Right off the bat, I was in the hole: Fortunately for me, that was my first and only complete miss. I started out pretty rough in the cold bore tests, hitting mostly 7s.
As the days went by I steadily improved my ability to control myself, and my scores slowly crept upward. The stress of that morning cold bore shot got to a number of guys in the class. Pretty soon the camp started thinning out as our numbers began to dwindle. It was eerie the way this happened: Nobody would ask any questions or make any comments for fear of jinxing their own chances. The cold bore shot felt to me like the perfect expression of what it means to be a SEAL sniper, and it carried over into everything we did.
You have to be ready to perform at the very top of your abilities, instantly and without preparation, and under the very worst of circumstances. And do it over and over again—and do it perfectly every time. Our third week at Coalinga, I woke up one morning with an ugly-looking welt on my arm. Brown recluse bites are no joke. They can rot right through your arm, and it happens fast. I tried to self-treat the bite, but infection had already set in. I was sent off to the nearest Naval hospital in Lemoore, about an hour away, for some heavy-artillery antibiotics. Brown recluse bite or no brown recluse bite, the scores on the range were not going to wait for my arm to heal.
Within a few hours I was back out on the yard lines shooting M14 iron sights. During those long hours on the range, we were not shooting continuously the entire time. They would split the class in half, and while one half was shooting, the other half was down in the butts , pulling and marking targets for our classmates.
The butts was a secured bunker area behind the targets that provided a little shade and held the large target frames. When we rotated back to the butts, we would be in charge of raising and lowering the target frames on a pulley system in order to mark the bullet impacts and clean them off in preparation for the next round. Usually we would spell each other out there, half of us pulling and marking the targets while the other half goofed off.
It was a good way to take a break from the intense pressure of shooting and give each other a hard time, something we were always fond of in the teams. Never underestimate the shenanigans bored grown men are capable of perpetrating on each other. Once we ran out of stories usually X-rated, and mostly true , we would come up with all sorts of crazy ways to occupy our time. One game I was especially fond of was Rock Duel; this one brought out the empty-lot rock-fight kid in me.
Two people pair up.
You each pace off twenty yards, perform an about-face, then shoot a rock-paper-scissors to determine who goes first. The winner proceeds to chuck a well-aimed, baseball-sized rock at the other person no head shots of course , who is forbidden to move or even flinch and stands as still as possible, hoping for a miss so he can then have his turn.
The first person to score a kill shot is declared the winner, and the next two guys take their place and have a go. It was a great stress-reliever. We had some fun down there in the butts—but it was not without its hazards. Those metal target frames were huge, and the pulley system that raised and lowered them used fifty-pound concrete counter-weights. One day, as I stepped up to get into the bench seating area where we controlled the targets, someone yanked on a target.
Between my inattention and his carelessness, the metal frame whacked me right in the head. This happened to be the day we were first sighting our. I could not miss that day. Within a few hours of the incident I was back on the range, sighting in my new weapon. My head was pounding with every shot, and it felt like someone was nailing a steel spike into my skull.
Along with the shooting drills, which kept us busy for up to eight hours a day, we also had extensive classroom work, which we did mostly during the heat of the day, sandwiched in between sessions on the range. We would get up early and shoot all morning, then do our classroom and practical exercises during the early afternoon hours, when the heat was at its height. One of our classes consisted of a series of drills called keep in memory exercises, or KIMs.
As a sniper, there are times when you have only a brief glance at a situation, and you have to be able to fix it all in your memory almost instantaneously. These exercises were designed to hone our capacity for accurate snapshot memory. They would lay a tarp over an array of objects, then bring us in and stand us in front of the covered array—then yank off the tarp, giving us thirty seconds to look at everything and memorize it all before the tarp went back to cover everything.
We also did very detailed target sketches, which was similar to the KIMs: They would set up a target, and then in a given amount of time we would have to sketch the target in detail and also record all sorts of data. From which direction was the sun shining? What were the weather patterns? Where were possible help insertion points? Exactly what was happening right around the area of the target?
The remainder of his time in HS-7 revealed him to be an extremely confident and capable junior petty officer. He was well liked among his peers. Later he was selected to join the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group in November and completed an eight month training and selection course.
For his heroic actions on 3 and 4 October he was awarded the Silver Star. The book also covers aspects of his personal life, including his marriages, his childhood,  and life after leaving the Navy. The book was a New York Times bestseller  and received positive reviews. This resulted in a great deal of publicity for both Wasdin and his book which was amended to include a Preface in which Wasdin speculates how the operation might have gone.
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