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Chosen Soldier: The Making of a Special Forces Warrior

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,316 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
IN combating terror, America can no longer depend on its conventional military superiority and the use of sophisticated technology. We are fighting guerrilla wars, against insurgents hidden in remote regions, often deep among the local population. In battles such as these, squadrons of billion-dollar bombers and naval fleets mean much less than on-the-ground intelligence a ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Crown (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,446)
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John Brown
Jan 24, 2012 John Brown rated it it was amazing
Couch, a former Navy SEAL and CIA case officer, is the only writer ever given the privilege to attend the many months of Special Forces pre-selection, preparation, selection, and qualification training from start to finish. He was given “full access to all training, venues, students, and training cadres.” Couch did not merely interview. He and his wife moved to one of the few residential structures on base at Camp Mackall in North Carolina. Couch went out with the SF candidates to observe first ...more
Eric
Nov 10, 2009 Eric rated it it was ok
This book was pretty interesting as it described the training that Army Special Forces (aka Green Berets) go through. The fact that it was written by a Navy SEAL added to it because even he was surprised at the amount of training they receive in such a short amount of time. Aside from all the walking with 100+ pounds of gear, the amount of material they learn in extremely compressed schedules is astounding.

What *really* bothered me about this book was the quotes from the candidates in the progr
...more
Travis Starnes
Sep 27, 2013 Travis Starnes rated it really liked it
This book takes that sub-genre and makes it even more focused, and is all the better because of that. Dick Couch’s choice, with the exception of the first chapter, of focusing solely on the training of Green Berets rather than on the whole history of the outfit as a whole really lets him go into details that broader texts miss.

As a former SEAL Couch defiantly knows about Special Forces and is able to translate that into really detailed and clear explanation of what these men go through. He gives
...more
Steven Elwood
Special forces

I found this to be very educational however I would to have liked to read more about the physical feats or special forces have to go through in training. I know some things just can't be written about but it was a very summarized book about the training. I would have to give this a marginal rating because I prefer books written with first hand accounts like lone survivor or american sniper. there was more detail on the torture endured during training.
C 4Ashen
Chosen Soldier
Chosen Soldier is about the life, dedication and lineage of an American Special Forces officer. Special force officers must go through many vigorous years of training before getting the honor of being an American Special Forces officer. “Army Special Forces soldier is a unique warrior, and the requirements of this special individual are like no other military professional”, it takes many years and countless hours of hard work to create this special warrior (Dick Couch). After the
...more
4Campbell J
In this book, Dick Couch, a former Navy Seal gives an in depth description and story of what it takes to become a Navy Seal. Less than 25% of people will make it past PT (Physical Training). From there the numbers go down until they have the ones who can withstand the hardships and challenges you have to go through. There are plenty of different kinds of stories Couch tells as these are true stories from when he was a Navy Seal. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good adventure. It walk ...more
Ktownyoyo
Jan 03, 2015 Ktownyoyo rated it it was ok
three stars if your into military SF reading. Two stars if your not. This book is extremely....almost too technical. Of course inside knowledge is what we are looking for, but unless your in the military now or are a hard core military enthusiast a lot of what your reading will go over your head.

The glossary is useless. It contains 50% of the appropriate definitions and spelled out acronyms. The publisher dropped the ball here.

I highly recommend American Sniper. That book has the right balance
...more
Brad Vance
Jan 25, 2014 Brad Vance rated it it was amazing
I read this as part of my research for my "Sam's Reluctant Submission" series. A really fascinating look at what it takes to be a Special Forces soldier. There are no "Rambo/Lone Wolf" types here; gung-ho, go-it-alone types are considered a threat to the rest of the team. It's a great risk for these guys to even "try out" for SF; commanders of their current units sometimes hold it against them when they wash out (as most do) and return to their old posts. The physical requirements are grueling, ...more
Chris
Aug 04, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Captain Couch (USNR retired) brings exceptional attention to detail, a passion for interacting with the current generation of special operations personnel, and his own perspective as a retired US Navy SEAL officer & CIA case officer to his observations of Special Forces training. He thanks the chain of command for the exceptional access that he was granted, and draws the reader into the story by going beyond the details of the training evolutions & military hardware into the personal liv ...more
Kevin Goldsmith
Jul 16, 2013 Kevin Goldsmith rated it it was amazing
This is a hands-down enthralling read. Everybody and their dog knows of Navy SEALs and, if they're fairly attuned, has heard of BUD/S. Comparing special operator groups (Green Berets, SEALs, Rangers, Special Tactics Teams)by training time is a horrible yardstick to measure capability and lethality. This book focuses on the U.S. Army's Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets. They are an elite bunch who specialize in counterinsurgency and can thrive autonomously from base for an extended a ...more
Oceana2602
Feb 22, 2011 Oceana2602 rated it it was ok
There is a lot of interesting information about the training of special forces soldiers in "Chosen Soldier". Most of it is rather technical and dry, but if you are doing any research on the subject, the book will undoubtedly be helpful.

The problem with the book is more that Couch apparently can't decide if he wants to focus on the technical part of the training or on the people who go through that training in order to become special forces soldiers. Sometimes his descriptions of the training see
...more
Jack
Feb 20, 2008 Jack rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, war
A really interesting look into the making of special force soldiers. The author, Dick Couch, is a former SEAL himself, so he knows what it takes to make our toughest military members. He was, I think, given unprecedented access to Green Beret recruit training, and Couch offers a fine first-person, memoir-like description of all he saw as the recruits arrived at Fort Bragg, NC for what was a grueling training process. After reading Couch’s book, I’m convinced of a few things: 1) that US Army Spec ...more
Mark
Sep 20, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it
This was an in depth look at the training of a Special Forces Soldier, a Green Beret. The author gave a good representation of what it takes, both physically and mentally, to get through. The extent of the training is impressive and the hints at how the Special Forces are used in the real world today is very interesting. The tone of the book is straight forward observations on the part of the author, there is no Tom Clancy type of embellishment which, I think, is how it should be. There is enoug ...more
Paul Muller
Mar 22, 2014 Paul Muller rated it liked it
This book started out very well. I enjoyed learning about the process of creating a Green Beret. As some others have stated, the dialogue did seem a little too polished and unnatural, which was distracting. The second part of the book seemed to be bogged down with details that detracted from the overall impact of the book. It could be that I am going through the Army Staff College right now and the last thing I wanted to do was read about the military decision making process, but I felt that the ...more
Nikki
Jul 04, 2014 Nikki rated it liked it
Not nearly as good as his Navy SEAL books. Less human, fewer interviews made it harder to follow individual soldier's stories and experiences.
Devin Partlow
May 15, 2014 Devin Partlow rated it really liked it
Not quite a 4-star book but its a pretty informative behind-the-scenes look at the making of Green Berets. I'm glad that I can check a few more misconceptions off of my list.

3.5 stars
Julie
Jun 11, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it
Not sure what other people expected, but I liked it.

I enjoyed how the author mixed the technical and the personal. You could tell he had respect for and felt brotherhood with these men.

It had some of the best quotes! "He has a mother?" was my favorite. I also realized early on that I was going to have to take notes because he gave me so many things I wanted to know more about.

SEALS & Rangers seem to get most of the media attention but Green berets are pretty bad ass. Their lifetime commit
...more
Larry H.
Jun 06, 2016 Larry H. rated it really liked it
Shelves: dick-couch, military
Brilliant read and eye-opening about the special forces.
Amanda Jessen
Apr 17, 2015 Amanda Jessen rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. If you want to get down to the nitty gritty details of what it really takes to become a Special Forces soldier, read this. Very eye opening and an attention keeper.
David Cano
Mar 19, 2012 David Cano rated it it was amazing
Several of my brothers were special forces. Over the years I've really come to appreciate, respect, and follow the advise they've given me over the years regarding how to analyze scenarios and make good strategic decisions, how to win the hearts and minds of people, and how to build and grow teams and organizations. After reading this book, I understood why these men are so extraordinary. And why they will save our country should society ever collapse.
Robert Smith
Apr 03, 2012 Robert Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: misc
This is a great book about what it takes to become one of the best of the best in the United States Army. Arguably the Green Berets are the best special forces group in the world because it not only does direct action but also foreign internal defense operations that focus on teaching the locals to do what they do. It is a very interesting read for people who are curious about the military or are thinking about becoming a special forces soldier.
Andrew P
Dec 30, 2008 Andrew P rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. The author is an excellent story teller and does a fantastic job of showing the sacrifice and courage it takes for a solider to become a Green Beret. This book will make you feel better about the war on terror knowing the kind of men that are on the front lines defending our country.

Hell, this book made me want to join the Army and become a Green Beret. If only I wasn't old, bald and fat!
Michael York
Apr 12, 2011 Michael York rated it it was amazing
Absolute must read for those interested in what it takes to earn the coveted Green Beret. Mr. Couch (an outstanding military writer, in my opinion) brilliantly details the struggles the men face as the 18 X-Rays (Special Forces Candidates) meander their way through the difficult Pre-Selection course and ultimately the daunting Q-course.

Again, a must read for those interested in Special Operations.
Justin Harrison
Another great work by Couch! I'll be honest, this "type" of special operations training does not tug at me the way his other works have, but I believe that is not due in any way to Couch's writing. Highly recommend this book, and any other of Couch's fact-based works targeting the training of our special operations warrior class.
John Lago
Sep 04, 2011 John Lago rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone with interest in military reading
This was a very well written and easy to follow account of what it takes for a U.S. Army soldier to become a Green Beret, or Special Forces soldier. Dick Couch takes you step-by-step through the application and selection processes, and all of the phases of the lengthy and arduous training of America's most elite fighting force. One of my favorite books this year!

Hedry
Jul 07, 2010 Hedry rated it really liked it
Shelves: military
I enjoyed this book very much. In fact, it turns out I enjoy most books written in a journalistic style. The caliber of training given, and the culling process to be inducted into the army special forces is an amazingly difficult and demanding training.

That being said, did anyone else find the chapter on Phse IV officer training to be kinda tedious?
Jennie
Jan 07, 2011 Jennie rated it liked it
An interesting view into the training of a Special Forces soldier. I knew very little about the process, so this was neat to read. Got to congratulate the guys who make it through the grueling training. I also like how he followed up with some of the guys from the class he shadowed at the end, it was nice to see what they ended up doing.
Melissa
Feb 28, 2013 Melissa rated it really liked it
Interesting read and I learned quite a bit. I simply wish Couch had given us an in-depth look of all the different types of personalities that made up the soldiers who received their Green Berets, their motivations, their thoughts, what they all seemed to have in common (ex: highly motivated individuals, thrill-seekers, adrenaline junkies), etc.
Debbie
Sep 06, 2009 Debbie rated it liked it
This was a great education on how Green Berets are chosen and trained and what their peace-keeping missions look like once they are in place, although the book dragged and was a little difficult to get through.
Charles
Nov 23, 2010 Charles rated it really liked it
A retired US Navy SEAL follows a class of US Army Special Forces soldiers over the span of their training and eventual deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. Great read if you're interested in SPEC OPS
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Mr. Couch graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1967. He graduated from BUD/S training in Class 45 in 1969. He was a case officer for the CIA.
More about Dick Couch...

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“Muzzle control has to be a religion. You cannot point that weapon at one of your brothers-or yourself. Know where you barrel is at all times, and know the condition of your weapon-loaded or unloaded, bolt forward or to the rear, round in the chamber or not, safety on or off. Keep your finger off the trigger unless you're going to kill something.” 4 likes
“We are an impatient culture and an impatient electorate.” 3 likes
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