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From a civilian perspective, stories of the valour in uniform are lionised and rightly so. This book is not so much about the heroism itself, it gives an inside peek into the mental aspect of the way of working. The story portrays a positive picture of the mechanism of operations. All the chapters are well written. The beginning is a bit slow and for a civilian it could be a drag. But the true ‘project management’, i.e. the coordination of operations is the biggest takeaway. I’d recommend this book just for chapters on rescue of Captain Phillips and capture of Bin Laden.
I wanted to learn more about a book I had heard reviewed on PBS News Hour. I was saddened by McMaster's lack of empathy to his victims, even Bin Laden. McMaster claims to be a Christian, yet he seems to reject the commandant "Thou shalt not kill". To me, this is not the way we can reclaim the world from sadness and destruction.
Obviously a strong leader and a good sailor. I enjoyed reading his book very much. I am sure the classified aspects of these missions make them even greater. Maybe in 50 years. BTW I do not believe the Pakis have ever had F-15’s, only F-16’s, which likely explains McRavin’s confidence in his helos not being located before they could slip out of the country.
McRaven provides a linear account from his dare-devil childhood through his rigorous training to become a Navy Seal to his experiences as a Seal around the globe. The importance of the team and the dependence of the Seals on each other for mission success was most striking. As the longest serving Navy Seal (37 years), Admiral McRaven is a model as a leader and patriot. Now that women can serve in the Seals, this reviewer awaits a similar accounting of their experience. Hooyah!
Enjoyed the book. McRaven was definitely around for some of the more public military operations in the last forty years. My only real criticism of the book is that I did tire a bit of the "action" sequences. Also, it became a little redundant to have every SEAL described as the basically the toughest son of a bitch in the world. McRaven himself almost had his legs shredded on a parachute drop, so I think he has confronted some pretty horrifying situations himself. McRaven mentions a period in the 1980's when apparently he did have a fall from grace. I think it would have been helpful if he had covered that, and how he made it back. You learn more from failure than you do from success, and it would have been helpful for him to share that with the reader.
This is, as the description does say, about Admiral McRaven’s personal experiences. When I purchased the book, however, it was in hopeful anticipation that there would be more about special operations missions—as was touted. After reading most of the book I was ready to rate it at three stars, but the last stories contained enough new information of interest to me to bump it to four. I just wish, however, that people who want to mention that they had access to the highest levels of classified information in a “SCIF” would learn what the letters actually stand for and which a quick Internet search will reveal, rather than guessing at what they vaguely remember and therefore get wrong.
From the delight of a young boy almost getting away with a secret mission to a hot chocolate on the beach to a broken bone, this book rings true with description. You feel the itch of the sawdust left in his cramped office near the battlefield and when this warrior comes home and expresses his concerns in the current day, you know his word is good.