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Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy SEAL
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Product Description

“Since the first navy frogmen crawled onto the beaches of Normandy, no SEAL has ever surrendered,” writes Chuck Pfarrer. “No SEAL has ever been captured, and not one teammate or body has ever been left in the field. This legacy of valor is unmatched in modern warfare.”


Warrior Soul
is a book about the warrior spirit, and it takes the reader all over the world. Former Navy SEAL Chuck Pfarrer recounts some of his most dangerous assignments: On a clandestine reconnaissance mission on the Mosquito Coast, his recon team plays a deadly game of cat and mouse with a Nicaraguan patrol boat. Cut off on the streets of Beirut, the author’s SEAL detachment must battle snipers on the Green Line. In the mid-Atlantic, Pfarrer’s unit attempts to retrieve—or destroy—the booster section of a Trident ballistic missile before it can be recovered by a Russian spy trawler. On a runway in Sicily, his assault element surrounds an Egyptian airliner carrying the Achille Lauro hijackers.

These are only a few of the riveting stories of combat patrol, reconnaissance missions, counter-terrorist operations, tragedies, and victories in Warrior Soul that illustrate the SEAL maxim “The person who will not be defeated cannot be defeated.”


From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews:

  • A vivid and gripping personal testimony of fighting
    A welcome and highly recommended addition to the growing library of military autobiographies, Warrior Soul: The Memoir Of A Navy Seal is Chuck Pfarrer's personal memoir of training and participating in an elite fighting unit, one that was renowned for never surrendering, never being captured, and never leaving a teammate or a fallen comrade in field. A vivid and gripping personal testimony of fighting with every tool at one's disposal and never giving up, as well as the heightened awareness and the skills that keep one alive in the midst of a war zone, Warrior Soul is an utterly unforgettable true-life read that lives up to its title....more info
  • Forrest Gump's younger brother?
    Seriously, this was an AWESOME BOOK. Reading the stories I was amazed at what kind of sh.. Mr. Pfarrer got himself into. From BUD/S to Beirut to Banana Republics to Cancer.. he's been at the front row of many key world events, as well as personal ones. (And I'm sure there's a few more that haven't been reported)

    The book was very compelling. And he did a great job writing. I really had a tough time putting it down. I always wanted to read "just one more story".

    I also enjoyed how it didn't glamorize, but also wasn't falsely modest. Chuck seems like a solid human being--and certainly went above and beyond in his service and in life. And he shares much of his experiences through the book.

    Anyhow, thank you Mr. Pfarrer!

    ps: and remember, it's "air-BORNE!!"...more info
  • Our Hero's
    Warrior Soul is not a book I would normaly read , I do however enjoy learning about people and the back ground in which they come , this book has so much in it , it can make you laugh one minute ,scared the next and ,and then to a good cry .. I think it's important for people to read books like this with the way our world is today .I believe it's important for people to understand what all of our troops go through to protect all of us and that it does not end for them when they come home , there is many long lasting effects that they live with that as an outsider looking in would not see but with books like this one it truely helps us to understand .....more info
  • Incredible Story , Well Written

    The author's oddosey from deliquent highschooler, to military school, through college, ocs, BUDS training/elimination and then advanced training is facinating. The book profides a sustained view inside the soul of a true band of warriors. Young MBA's could learn a lot from study of leadership and organizational structure in the teams.

    The operations were interesting although obviously limited in their selection and description due to restrictions. Others have complained of the lack of discussions of many operations, however, my feeling is that the author more than makes up for that in the depth of the detail and of the many sub operations as part of the long deployment in the middle east.

    The discussion of the transformation of Seal Team 6 from its original personality cult into something close to the other teams was enlightening.

    Where Pfarrer really distinguishes himself is the weaving of the story of his personal life into the book. His transformation from near dropout to military school and the associated change in his behavior was great. His descriptions of his loves and breakups are told with real time passion. He cuts himself no slack as to his personal failings although one wonders how much can be attritubted to living a random, high adrenalin life, often alone, far from home and surrounded by women seeking adventure with the worlds few true warriors.

    The Seals must train like tomorrow might bring the Super Bowl, Olympic High Diving Finals, mother of all marathons or shootout at the OK corral in some randomly selected place from Holidays In Hell. However, with the addition of Roman tradition that the loosers are eaten by the lions. Team 6 required further separation from his "brothers" in the other teams. Further adding to the adrenalin shocks is the randomly jerked leash associated with the micro management of war by the flotsam and jetsam found high in the halls of power in DC.

    The book is well written although some editing errors still remain. It is written as a first person account, not a top down history of the events. It excells in achieving its goal, telling the life of a warrior soul in today's world. ...more info
  • Auwesome Cover Photo
    The jacket photo is awesome-a real attention getter. Would make a great poster. The photo looks rough and ready, every bit a credit to and an excellent example of a Navy SEAL and what they stand for. Would love to have an autographed copy of the photo. I give 5 stars for the jacket photo, alone....more info
  • Spec-Ops Triumvirate
    These were my recent when-reading-does-not-otherwise-require-serious-concentration books. I'll review them together since they have considerable overlap and then cross post this review.

    Why one might want to read these books together, or in quick succession, is that they cover Spec Ops, particularly counter terrorism, from the late 1970's to about 2004 and do so in a complimentary manner. For example:
    - Mr. Pfarrer did 7 months in Lebanon and covers some of the complexity on the ground there. While Mr. Haney only did one (successful) counter sniper mission there, Mr. Smith gives a detailed account of the politics behind the whole mess.
    - Mr. Haney did combat time during the invasion of Grenada, Mr. Pfarrer only heard about it from others and Mr. Smith again gives us the politics behind this operation.


    Warrior Soul by Chuck Pfarrer - 4 stars

    At first I was having feelings of regret over purchasing this book. The cover has a cheesy Hollywood photo of a Rambo wanna-be and the opening chapters have all the hallmarks of "military jock blows sunshine in ego inflating tall tale telling". Certain facts are a bit suspect. Take the following quote from the Author's Note, first page; "No SEAL has ever been captured, and not one teammate or body has ever been left in the field". I used to work with a guy who completed two combat tours in the Vietnam War as a Navy SEAL. He talked about the war on perhaps two occasions. The one I remember is the comment he made to another coworker about mining Haiphong Harbor at night and there was a relatively small but deadly explosive mishap underwater. Two SEALs were left in the water that night after the effort was made to recover the bodies. Given the extreme danger and great number of missions performed by SEALs I simply cannot believe others have not been unwillingly left behind under equally distressing circumstances.

    By about chapter 4 ("Operator 156") Mr. Pfarrer gets into his own as a writer and the book flows rather seamlessly from then on. The author does a great job of relating the attitude/culture and abilities of the SEALs. Unfortunately, but by necessity I think, the facts not involving the author's personal life have a high degree of gloss. Operationally we get a good idea of what SEALs are capable of but not really how they go about fulfilling those capabilities.

    One criticism of BUD/S comes to mind and if anyone reading this has an answer please feel free to leave a comment on this review. Training, particularly Hell Week, it seems to me, weeds out those less willing to suffer but also takes out a fair number of perfectly capable men. Sure training needs to be harder than combat but as the author himself points out some of the training crosses over the line from hard utility to plain stupidity. Washing out an entire boat crew because one or two members ring-out ends up removing one or more men who would otherwise have made a fully competent member(s) of the Teams. I guess maybe these guys are superstitious and if one is "unlucky" enough to get assigned to a wash-out prone boat crew then they don't want you or your bad luck on the Teams. To say the current system works well enough is to say `lets not find out if it can work better'.


    Inside Delta Force by Eric Haney - 3 Stars

    One thing I'll say for Delta Force members is that the mental stability of the men who are accepted into Delta is unrivaled. The SEALs are mostly crazy but have one redeeming mental quality - they can shut off the craziness to get the job done. Off hours there is no such restraint. And SEAL Team 6, the direct counterpart of Delta, is by far the craziest. Mr. Marcinko (founder of SEAL 6, known as "Mob Six" under his command) was Class-A egotistical bonkers and an insatiable thrill seeker. Just read his books if you don't believe me.

    Because the war on terror (war against extremists) is ongoing, neither of these first two books gives us much insight into specific techniques and/or training. I suppose that is a necessary element since, even though much of that can be found out on the web, one can never be sure about the accuracy of strictly web-based information sources.

    On the negative side Mr. Haney does not have the writing acumen of Mr. Pfarrer which interrupts the flow of his book. In his defense Mr. Haney has far less popular writing experience than Mr. Pfarrer (several major movie scripts) and, relatedly, may also not have had access to as talented an editorial group as someone with Tinsel Town connections. For example when Mr. Haney describes his encounter with an Army shrink; "`Haney,' he began in a sibilant voice". Seriously now, who, besides a parseltongued adept at Hogwarts, can reasonably be described as using a sibilant voice? People whisper when they talk sometimes but sibilance went out of the common parlance shortly after the days of Jane Austin. This type of airy language is used in conjunction with; "How dare that fat bastard speak to me that way" and the contrast is a bit distracting.

    However, this book is a quick read and has a useful, if short, epilogue on the war on terror.

    Killer Elite by Michael Smith - 4 Stars

    This book has a dorky (if apt) title and reads like a summary report for a house sub-committee member in DC. The latter is both its strength and weakness. The book is a quick enough read and gives some good insight and back story on SEAL 6 and Delta and an indispensable treatment of the Activity. The authors' background in writing history shows and that's a good thing if you like reading history. Extensively end-noted there is enough ancillary information to keep one reading for quite some time on the subject.

    Mr. Smith goes into more non-technical detail on how Spec-Ops was and is being used. So for instance we get to know just how many members of Delta, SEAL 6, etc there are at any given time (sorry but you'll have to read the book to find that out). His book also gives us some idea of the costs involved. My back of the envelope guess is that the major terrorist targets are costing our government (us taxpayers) somewhere around 5 billion each to track and put out of commission. That adds up to half a trillion dollars in just a few years - not a sustainable pace I think.

    Taken together these books give a good picture of what kind of effort the US and a few allies (most notably the UK and Australia) are throwing at the War On Terror. These books might accomplish the proverbial help in sleeping at night except for one tiny little fact. Osama bin Laden is still a free man. Not as free as he would like to be but still free and he must be the most hunted man on Earth in these days. I find it more than a little disturbing, after reading these books, that we cannot bring him to justice.


    And a couple of after thoughts:

    Another facet of modern Spec-Ops warfare not directly addressed is suicide bombers. While it is clear that the most effective means of combating them is to target and take out the leadership* there does not seem to be anyway to stop the bombers proper except by happenstance. Terrorists that want something can be delayed until taken out but a suicide bomber just has to get close enough to the intended target and (boom) in no time the task is complete (*the leaders aren't too crazy or dumb - that's what the bombers are recruited for because they're too dumb to scratch together a coherent bombing plan or build suicide/homicide vests).

    Lastly, there also seems to be no plan for building economies that breed people of responsible global citizenship. Not that this is a task for Spec-Ops but what good is it to chase and kill the current terrorist mastermind while waiting for the next one to show through some horrendously spectacular event? ...more info
  • Navy SEAL recalls his time in the military
    An excellent account of SEAL training and operations. Chuck Pfarrer is a veteran of the Beirut war and a witness to the car bombing called the first act of terrorism by our current enemies. He is a combat veteran and a former Naval officer. His Navy experience is important because he recalls the beginning of the war on terror , namely the situation in Beirut. This is an important book.
    ...more info
  • Awesome but it misses out on a few things
    Overall, I was pleased with Chuck Pfarrer's autobiography. I felt this is a good book which focused on the man rather than a high profile SEAL. Chuck takes us through his childhood to his combat tour at Beirut and the tragic bombing of the Marines barrack to his short time at Team Six. I felt he explained everything quite well.

    I felt some parts were left blank. For example, he cheated on his wife several times, and even more so I wonder why Chuck did what he did. He explained several times how bad he felt about his cheating, but I didn't felt like he explained it well enough. Also, the part with Sam (I don't think I got that name right) in Beirut and how scared Sam was and how Chuck called him a chicken and how no one liked him. I was surprised by this and even more so, later on after the bombing, Sam actually volunteered to go on the mission to spot for the French fighters who bombed the terrorist's bases. Why did Chuck left out many of the details on him?

    I recommend this book to anyone interested in just Military stuff, not only SEAL stuff. I think the book is well written enough so that you understand the person behind the SEAL, instead of just the SEAL.

    On a side note, about the cover, I thought I recognized it from somewhere and I think I found it. It was the cover used for a early 1990s computer game called SEAL Teams. I felt that was kind of cool and I believe the front cover is a man during the Vietnam era.
    ...more info
  • A must for military history enthusiasts
    Now this was a great memoir/biography of a Navy SEAL, one that showed what the SEAL went through for selection, training and operations. Pfarrer is an accomplished screenwriter and his account of his SEAL exploits in Warrior Soul definitely make him an accomplished and more rounded writer. Through his writing we are given vivid images that allow us to put ourselves in his shoes and see and experience what he went through. We, of course, will never know how it truly feels and the pain and endurance that they go through, but we at least can understand.

    Pfarrer does wonderfully in the beginning in describing what he went through as a SEAL in Team 4. He painted a picture of his childhood through his college years, letting us track his path in becoming such an elite soldier. We are treated to a brief operation in Latin America before spending the middle of the book on his exploits in Beirut. I for one was not aware of how bad Beirut was and Pfarrer did such a great job in describing his day to day life that I felt as though I could understand what was going on in that war torn city. Pfarrer spent a good deal of time on it, and rightly so, because of the profound affect it had on his life.

    The latter few chapters were devoted to Pfarrer's stint as an officer of SEAL Team 6, the Black Op Team that was even more tough and hard to get in to and performed much more specific and dangerous tasks than the normal SEAL. Through this we get to see some of his training and what he went through before and after, as well as a decent section on some of the history behind Marcinko, Gormly and the formation of Team 6. We don't get to see too much of the action of Team 6 because of the nature of the missions, but we did get to see a few of the more publicized missions they went on, such as the hostage situation on the cruise ship Achille Lauro.

    Despite not seeing too much of what went on in SEAL Team 6 we are treated to a great account of an officer in the SEALs. Where Marcinko's account had a lot of character from the way he wrote, Pfarrer's account is much more polished. I would definitely recommend Warrior Soul to anyone looking for a good military history.

    5 stars.
    ...more info
  • Never of guessed.
    I would never have guessed that this book was written by a purely military man and not an actual writer.

    My son is a navy seal, and though I was in the Marines, I don't know too much about them, so I try to read everything I can when I get the chance to try and understand what they go through. Why a lot of them join, why they go through the training, why the training is they way it is. This book hit all those points spot on. Although I as well as everyone am aware there is nothing in the world like Navy seal training, this book does give us probably the most in depth view into the world that I've come across as of yet. It will leave you with a sense of awe at what a human is capable of physically, mentally and emotionally. These are men amongst men.


    ...more info
  • A Good Read (Kindle Edition)
    A crisp and informative account of one SEAL's career. Authentic and written by a (now) professional writer and screenplay author. So much written about the SpecOps community has been pumped up, selfserving ego tripping (Rogue Warrior et al) that it is refreshing to read an interesting and factual (I believe) account of SEAL operations and training. This book is more than sensational glorification of a violent and dangerous profession; it emphasizes the dedication and self discipline needed to endure physical and mental hardships almost beyond belief. The Kindle edition was well formatted with only a few minor hyphenation mistakes and the included photographs were pretty good. One thing that comes across loud and clear in this account is that SEAL operators are usually intelligent and resourceful, not just tough. We are blessed as Americans to have such men standing between us and evil....more info
  • Another Must-Have for the military enthusiast...
    Anyone interested in learning about the Navy SEALs should read this!...more info
  • Stunning and Powerful
    Sometimes an author's work transcends the genre. Warrior Soul is one of those rare and wonderful surprises. Pfarrer has written the finest memoir to emerge from the SEAL Team experience. At times humorous and tragic, it never fails to grip the reader, and hits the target again and again. Without bravado or conceit, Pfarrer's silky, powerful prose puts the reader into the heart and mind of a SEAL operator on patrol through the streets of Beirut, during the storming of the aircraft containing the Achille Lauro hijackers and off the Mosquito Coast of Honduras in a deadly game of cat and mouse with a Sandinista patrol boat. Warrior Soul stands with its comrades in arms, Jarhead (Anthony Swofford), In Pharaoh's Army (Tobias Wolff) and The Hunters (James Salter), as three of the finest books on men in combat written in the last fifty years. Honest, troubling and emotionally rich. Mark my words: this book will become a classic....more info