Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin. Seal Team Six: Memoirs of An Elite Navy Seal Sniper. New York, NY:
St. Martin’s Griffin, 2012. 331 pp.
This is a memoir of a member of the Navy Seals counterterrorism team called DEVGRU or popularly known as Seal Team Six. The author served pre-9/11 during the 80s and 90s. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to be interested but I was surprised as I was read through the book with how much action and real world operations that the author did participate in. Like most books of the SEAL autobiography genre the book tells us about the author’s childhood and then entrance into the Navy. As a pastor I thought it was interesting to read of the author’s account of the role of strong men in his life as an influence from the church he attended. The book goes on to have stories about BUD/S, the rigorous six months selection program a candidate must past before they are accepted into the Seals operational teams. What set this book apart from the others is the fact that the author gives us an account of the Navy Seals Team Six during the years after its founding by its first commander Richard Marcinko and the post-9/11 era. Unlike the two eras before and after it, the time period of the 90s is not the subject of most books.
The author participated in the First Gulf War and gave his account of missions infiltrating deep into Iraq. He was also involved with a take down of a vessel in the Persian Gulf. Because of his experience and involvement more than other Seals including those in his teams the author Howard Wasdin was able to enter Seal Team Six even though he was much younger and has less years under his belt compare to the typical Seal that applied for this special team. Wasdin later became one of the top snipers in Seal Team Six. I love his many stories of training missions and also training with other forces including the Australians and the competition between other US special operation forces.
The most harrowing part of the book is Wasdin’s account of combat in Somalia. Any readers who have read Black Hawk Down would appreciate the first hand account by Wasdin of the Battle of Mogadishu. In the book Black Hawk Down the four Seals in that operation was only mentioned briefly in the beginning of the book with the funny account of how one of the Seal’s bowie knife stopped a bullet. Wasdin’s account gives us more of a picture of how intense the fighting was that day. Wasdin’s sniping operation helped protected the lives of Delta Force operators and Army Rangers. Unfortunately Wasdin was seriously wounded during the battle. The book’s other sad moment was when the author’s marriage ended up in a divorce. I can’t help but to think of how many Special Operation Forces operators’ marriage often become a casualty due to their husband’s training and deployment schedules. It prompted me to pray for the marriages of those serving our country. It also made me prayed for these men to know the Lord Jesus Christ as they emulate Jesus’ example of willingness to lay down their lives for others.