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Posts Tagged ‘Navy Seals’

A weekend reading review…because sometimes Pastors need a break from heavy reading also.

Brandon Webb.  Mastering Fear: A Navy SEAL’s Guide. New York, NY: Penguin Group, August 7th 2018. 221 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

How do you handle fear?  If you want to learn about handling fear from someone who has had a career of dealing with risky situations and fear then this book would be for you.  The author of this book is Brandon Webb.  Webb is a former Navy SEAL.  He’s not only a Navy SEAL, a combat veteran (one tour in Iraq, one tour in Afghanistan) but also a sniper instructor for the SEALs who have trained famous SEAL warriors such as Chris Kyle (the top American sniper in history) and Marcus Luttrell, the lone survivor of Operation Redwing in 2005.  From his experience and also his reflection he’s written this book about handling fear.

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In light of Memorial Day.

Jocko Willink.  Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win.  New York, NY: Saint Martin’s Press, October 20th 2015. 320 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

How well do you own up to your own fault and flaws?  Do you often blame other people and your circumstance when you should be admitting your own fault?  This was a good book on leadership by a combat leader in the Navy SEALS.  It wasn’t only just a good book on leadership; it was also a good book of how to be under leaders as well.  The title of the book captures the subject of the material well; it is a book on taking personal responsibility of what you do.  Taking responsibility is a big important mark of a good leader versus a bad leader.

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I know for many summer vacation is around the corner so here’s my review of two military books for your summer travel…and also because Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading!

For other suggestions check out also our previous post “2017 Memorial Day Weekend Lists of Recommended Readings.”

Robert O’Neill.  The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior. New York, NY: Scribner, April 3rd 2018. 368 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is a book by the Navy SEAL who shot Osama Bin Laden.  This book not only tell the story of the mission to go after Bin Laden but also Robert O’Neill’s upbringing in Montana, how he joined the Navy and made it into the SEALs.  A fascinating book of a fascinating individual.

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Fearless

 Eric Blehm.  Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown. Chrstianaudio.com, 2012.  10 hours and 19 minutes.

There have been a myriad of books under the category of biographies.  Biographies are great.  They are educational.  You get educated about the life of the person.  Disclosing their life requires that one enters into an excursion.  I remember Charles Spurgeon mentioning from his book, Lectures to My Students, in the section: “To Workers with Slender Apparatus,” that you can learn much by reading from others; especially experienced saints.  Spurgeon’s wisdom rings true.  This book grabs your heart. Unlike most war biographies on Navy Seals, whereby BUD/S is one of the main scenes in the early stages of the book, this book does not do that; rather the pendulum swings the other direction by taking you into a panoramic picture of Adam Brown.

This biographical work documents Brown who is from Hot Springs, Arkansas.  Hot Springs, Arkansas is where Brown spent most of his life.  A life that spans his successes and failures as a young boy and man.  A life that portrays his descent into drugs and his remarkable climb into not only the Navy SEALs, but the most elite of the SEALs: DEVGRU (aka SEAL Team 6).  Joining the SEALs was not a childhood dream for Brown, but it would be a crucible that would forge him into a better man.  He was sick and tired of his drug addiction.  He needed a challenge that would help him purge out the dirt in his life.  And joining the SEALs would be one instrument in this journey.

This biographical work documents the grace of God in Brown’s life.  Fearless reveals the importance of God in His life.  God conquered his heart.  Brown had this void in His life.  As a result, he turned to drugs.  But want he really needed was a supernatural power that would quench his thirst.  He needed the Living Water.  Christ was important to him.  Christ patched his life together.  He made him a whole person because He found forgiveness in Christ.  In Christ, and via His grace, Brown became a better husband, father, and SEAL. As a man devoted to Christ, He lived the Gospel both in word and in deed.  That is verified by those around him.  His life impacted many.

This biographical work reveals the fearless characteristics in many ways.  You see it with his fight against drug addiction and his climb to being in the most elite fighting force in the world.  You see it will his physical protection of his family and SEAL brothers. Brown’s last fearlessness was seen in Komar Province of Afghanistan in March 17, 2010.  In that foreign land, he faced evil by going into the heart of it.  He placed himself in the line of fire in order to protect other members of his unit so they can live. Tragically, Brown lost his life.  He died a hero.  He showed the warrior spirit.  He laid down his life for others.  Even though he injured his dominant hand and suffered a injury to one of his eyes that caused blindness he still made it through SEAL sniper school and became one of the most elite operators

This biographical work reveals how one’s sanctification is tested.  Although Brown was no longer enslaved to cocaine as demonstrated in the past, there were a few times where he relapsed.  It took the help of others like his wife and friends and the power of God to wake him up from his dismal fall into relapse.  He made war against sin.  He revealed his identification in Christ by taking sanctification seriously.  Brown wanted others to see not only the bright side of his life, but also his dark side.  His life is like a sparkling diamond that is placed in the middle upon a black velvet.  His life shines brightly when seen against the backdrop of his sin.  It is where you see the hand of God, the grace of God, moving in his life for His glory.

I encourage you to check out this biography because Fearless is sobering, emotional, inspirational, and honest concerning this Christian, husband, father, and Navy SEAL Chief.

This audiobook also has a bonus interview section.

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Review: Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor

I have never read a book on the Navy SEALs, but I was glad that I finally read it.  Definitely as a reader, you have to be discerning when reading the book because on various occasions, much profanity was used.  As a result, I filtered out the bad and took in the good.  You read it for what it is worth.  As a footnote, the author claims allegiance to the Christian faith, but his use of language and beliefs contradicts that.  It makes me wonder if the Gospel is understood authentically by some of those in the SEAL community that claim the Christian heritage.

At any rate, what I appreciated about this book was its transparency in terms of the training it takes to be a SEAL, the training during your time as a SEAL, and Operation Redwing that Marcus and the three other SEALs were involved. The author went to great lengths in describing all three foundational key moments that make up most of the bulk of the book.  I encourage readers who do not know much about SEAL life or those who aspire to be SEALs to read this book because Marcus goes to great details describing all three foundational aspects.

In regards to the training it takes to be a SEAL, Marcus takes you to BUD/S, which is a 6-month training course that test not only the physical component, but the mental component as well.  It is very fascinating in terms of the mentality you need in order to get through the training.  Everyday was pain for Marcus and the other men, but it was pain that was necessary in order to mend the men to be ready for SEAL life.  The only easy day was yesterday.

After BUD/S training, the training continues and is still demanding–although it is not like Hell Week, which is excruciating.  Another point to take mental note is the fact that the SEALs are not uneducated men, but they are intelligent men who are educated in other disciplines and men who are also highly trained in the art of war.  The different phases of training is staggering.  No wonder the majority of people fail to make it as SEALs.

The most eye-opening account is Operation Redwing whereby Marcus and three other SEALs are sent out to do a reconnaissance concerning a highly prolific terrorist figure who was responsible for the deaths of many Marines.  As the men go out on a reconnaissance, their mission becomes compromised because they were discovered by goatherds. To make the long story short, the SEALs decide the let the goatherds go freely.  Once they were freed, the goatherds went and told the terrorists; and that is when the hunt begins.  A hunt that led to the death of Michael P. Murphy, Matthew Axelson, Danny Dietz, other SEALs, and special ops personnels who attempted to rescue them, but were shot down while in a helicopter.  There is much that can be said about this book, but I just wanted to provide a brief summary.

If there is one major principle that I learned about this book is this:  courage, loyalty, and commitment.    As a Christian, many of those principles are imbedded in my Christian heritage.  If these men were bold enough to take on death, I as a Christian should be more propelled to go head strong against death because the Lord is with me.  I know where I will be when I take my last breath.  I am glad that I read this book and that I was able to extract some principles that will help me in my Christian walk.

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Want to find a book to read this July Fourth Weekend?

I couldn’t stop putting this book down and finished it in one sitting (one day).

Fearless Adam Brown

Purchase: Amazon

An emotional biography of a SEAL TEAM SIX operator name Adam Brown, who was killed in August 2011. An incredible story: I don’t think I’ve ever read such a real and powerful account of drug addiction than I did in this book (which is worth buying the book in of itself) and how he failed so many times; yet, it’s also a story of faith and how Jesus Christ changed his life around, and through him others as well. Based upon interviews of SEALs, family members and his widowed wife, it is also balanced with official Navy record. Adam Brown was an incredible man of God, American, SEAL and human being. His battle with the inner demons of drugs, his entrance into the SEALs despite his small size is already itself an incredible story in it’s own right: But then we also learned that Adam Brown went on to try out and selected for SEAL SNIPER and a member of DEVGRU/SEAL TEAM 6 (the tier one outfit that got Bin Laden) despite the disadvantage of losing an eye and crushing his dominant hand (which he had to resort to shooting with his weak hand). I appreciated how this book shared so much about the wife’s journey as a NAVY wife, and how it was with the loss of her husbands with her kids. It’s indeed a story of faith but the author does a good job of showing how faith doesn’t sugar coat the harsh realities of this world: from disappointments and failure of kicking a drug addictions, the imperfection of believers, and the mystery of why God allow some to die and others to live. Reading this as a father of a one year old and a three month old, i can’t help tearing up especially towards the end of the book. As I have said in my reviews of other SEALs book, I believe every American ought to read a book like this–especially considering the small percentage today of those who serve. You would get a better picture and a deeper appreciation for the sacrifice of those who served and their families since 9/11. I highly recommend this book.

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