“Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy SEAL” by Chuck Pfarrer ★★★★

Intriguing account of what it takes to become a SEAL and how they operate out in the field. I am not from a military family nor have I ever had familiarity or experience in understanding that lifestyle so reading this was a true education for me. I absolutely had no idea what is involved in reaching the level of skill they have and, to be honest, I had no idea people were that skilled. I am absolutely stunned by the level of training they continually undergo. I had heard of “Hell Week” through their BUD/S training, of course, but that is just the beginning. If you make it through that it is wholly impressive, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. They have to keep proving themselves in advanced training or they could still be dropped. And they are not just physically impressive, they are incredibly intelligent. They are truly the best of the best, no doubt. And, yikes, if you are chosen to work with “SEAL Team 6” it is even more challenging training.

Mr. Pfarrer gives us an account of some of his experiences, most notable is his time operating in Beirut before, during and after the bombing of the Marine barracks in 1983. He is an excellent storyteller and brings all of his experiences to life in a way that even a knucklehead like me can follow along.

To a small extent, he also shares some of his personal foibles throughout his life, which is admirable in its honesty, but it does disappoint that someone who is so thoroughly immersed in the credo of valor and courage and loyalty could be so arrogant, self-absorbed and downright cruel to those in his personal life who care about him. He recognizes that about himself, but I never got the sense that he truly felt remorseful other than to be embarrassed by his own bad behavior.

This is obviously going to be my inner Pollyanna coming out here, so bear with me. I know the military is not raising up Boy Scouts but in general I have more respect for the “alpha manliness” when it is accompanied by virtues that show good character. That is neither here nor there, though, because if I’m ever in need of rescuing, feel free to send the SEAL with the worst reputation. Who cares. Just get me out of there!

Warrior Soul by Chuck Pfarrer

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