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The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  3,500 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
With a postscript describing SEAL efforts in Afghanistan, The Warrior Elite takes you into the toughest, longest, and most relentless military
training in the world.

What does it take to become a Navy SEAL? What makes talented, intelligent young men volunteer for physical punishment, cold water, and days without sleep? In The Warrior Elite, former Navy SEAL Dick Couch docum
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 28th 2003 by Three Rivers Press (first published 2001)
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This account of the travails of a group of naval officers and sailors, starting with nearly a hundred who want to become SEALs and ending with ten or so actually making it through the initial training - the SEAL version of boot camp, really, although they've all been through either Navy boot camp or the Naval Academy already - is a grinding read. I saw SEALs a few times during my own 20 years in the Marine Corps, and I'd read some things about them, but I didn't know this much about them before ...more
Jan 08, 2013 Neil rated it it was amazing
The Warrior Elite shows the SEAL's training up close and personal, including all the struggles and obstacles that these men have to overcome.
This book starts off at the basic BUD/S training of students and what kind of exercises they have to proceed threw and each exercise has a requirement. These SEAL's in training have only a short period of time to comprehend and preform the skills that they are being taught by their instructors. As time goes on the amount of people they are surrounded by van
Mar 09, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it
This is a study of US Navy Seal training, following the progress of a particular class. There is a lot of talk about how training has changed since the author was an active duty Navy Seal in Vietnam. I am no expert AT ALL and am definitely not a military person. But Class 228 is special as they are a good example of those who were undergoing the beginning of their training before and around the time of 9/11. The fact that Marc Luttrell,(author of Lone Survivor), is among the graduates of class 2 ...more
Jon Swanson
Jul 21, 2015 Jon Swanson rated it really liked it
Shelves: military
Educates while weaving in engaging stories.

It's written by a former SEAL who shadowed this particular class. There's a strong bias there, but the account feels very real. Well written and easy to read, with the Author making the training very personal by giving stories of individual recruits, their backgrounds, and some of the challenges they overcame (or didn't).

The book corrected a lot of misconceptions I had about SEALs in general, especially their training, and left me with even more respec
Oct 22, 2014 Brennan rated it really liked it
I think I enjoyed this book a lot mainly because of the fact that I could relate to a lot of what these men had to go through as a team. Obviously what I could relate to was not the fact that what I do is on the same difficulty level, but the fact that what I do focuses on a lot of the same concepts. One good example is that to accomplish something big you have to come together with a group, and work together as one, and if one person is dragging everybody down by not doing his own individual pa ...more
Sarah Eiseman
May 18, 2013 Sarah Eiseman rated it really liked it
Shelves: military-memoir
This book was really interesting. It's very much a guide to the BUD/S indoctrination and first phase, with very specific details about the process. It's less about strategy, and more about some of the challenges faced by individuals trying to become SEALs. A great book for those interested in learning more about the actual nuts and bolts of BUD/S, and a little more general information on becoming a SEAL. I had hoped this book was more of a memoir but it really isn't, although Couch was a SEAL hi ...more
Jim Fox, Ed.D.
May 17, 2016 Jim Fox, Ed.D. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reality-textbook
Dick Couch follows a class of Navy Seals as they go from Indoctrination to Graduation. It not just about "hell week" or 40 other weeks of intensive training for these promising warriors. It is about making them into warriors for life. They have to want to live in this high intensity, high-performance warrior culture until they quit. Lots quit LONG before graduation. Some get hurt in training. Servicemen (there are no women - that is only in the movies) from all branches of the service will come ...more
Tim Brosnan
Sep 14, 2014 Tim Brosnan rated it it was amazing
The warrior elite is a phenomenal book about an extraordinary class of me who are willing to go to incredible lengths to acomplish their goals. It is a truly comprehensive and in depth guide to BUD/S and the road to becoming a Navy S.E.A.L. The book is well written and interesting it doesn't get dull or become a chore to read at any point the author does a fantastic job of immersing you in the world of pain and constant struggle that the recruits experience. Couch does a fantastic job explaining ...more
May 22, 2014 Ru rated it really liked it
An incredble account of Class 228 and what they endure through the Basic Underwater Demolition SEALs training initiative. This book is written with so much realism, you feel as though the recruits undergoing training are people you know. I purposely didn't say "you feel as though you're there," because the opposite is true -- you _know_ you're not there. And that's kind of the point. It is a program that is not meant to pass everyone, and in fact, senior officers regularly encourage officers and ...more
Jan 26, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone considering joining the military
Shelves: nonfiction, 4-star
Author Dick Crouch follows the training of future Navy Seals. For most people the training would be torture, but a few amazing individuals excel and make it through to join the Special Forces.
I was intrigued by the endurance of the men that continued training while others dropped out. This is a fascinating book that anyone considering the military or Special Forces training should read.
Aug 24, 2016 Saman rated it it was ok
A step by step explanation of the BUD/S training process, including Hell Week, as seen by former SEAL Dick Couch in class 228.
BUD/S is the 16 week training which SEAL candidates have to go through in order to "secure" their way to the 18 month SEAL tactical and operational training.
Interesting book if you like special operations forces and their training.
Benjamin Harris
Oct 07, 2014 Benjamin Harris rated it really liked it
I liked it for what it was. A book about SEAL training. Couch did a great job of setting the stage and describing the evolutions each trainee went through. At the end I skimmed through the last couple of chapters. I had lost interest at this point. Couch stopped using names (for security reasons) and just explained where each guy was at by pronouns. Nothing really caught my attention after training besides where each guy ended up and how the ones who DOR'ed (drop on request) wound up.

Again, I e
Feb 23, 2014 Mike rated it really liked it
This book reveals the strict line separating those who make and those who do not. Striking is the portrayal of one BUD/S trainee who led the class in just about every competition up until the first pool training when his eardrums nearly burst underwater; he came up to relieve the pain and the trainers commanded him to do the activity again successfully or drop out of training. He simply could not complete the exercise and was released from training. It doesn't matter how successful you are or wh ...more
Aug 15, 2015 DC rated it really liked it
This is my go-to book on tactical success. I've read and re-read it many times, as I competed for openings.

Dick Couch is a retired Navy SEAL Commander, who graduated from BUDS Class #45 in 1969. He was one of the original pioneers of Spec-Ops. In this book, he follows BUDS Class #228 through their journey. He has access to the trainees as they try to survive and excel during training.

An amazing insight into the Spec-Ops community; what it takes to survive and succeed. This is one of my books tha
Chris Ross
Jan 13, 2015 Chris Ross rated it it was amazing
I listened to the audio book and was not aware of this book until I read The Finishing School also by Dick Couch which is the sequel (really 2nd book) on this subject. I wish I had listened to this one first.

The narrator is an amazing choice for this book with a great military, commanding voice with great annunciation.

This is a great book that is really funny at times, had me in tears at times, and had me sad at times. I nearly cried when the guy from Class 228 found out his father passed away
Michael Beck
Mar 07, 2014 Michael Beck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book The Warrior Elite by Dick Couch is a very interesting story about the creation of a United States Navy SEAL. It goes into great deal about some of the six month training that Navy SEAL candidates go through called BUDs training, the boot camp of Navy SEALs.

It talks about first phase, second phase, and third phase of BUDs training. In first phase, the trainees have to endure extreme physical exercise. This phase causes most trainees to drop out. Second phase is the dive phase, where trai
Jul 29, 2011 Mike rated it it was amazing
Wondering what it takes to become a U.S. Navy SEAL? This book was written by DIck Couch, a graduate of BUD/S class 45 in 1969 (top of his class) and he follows class 228 through 6 months of some of the most brutal training int he world. The author describes finishing BUD/S training as analogous to child birth, i.e. the pain is quickly pushed aside by the joy of finally having it behind you. Mealtime is described as "a dreamy hiatus in a relentless existence of cold and pain."

In my constant atte
May 05, 2013 Sam rated it really liked it
The book Warrior Elite follows BUD/S Class 228 in there training for the Navy SEAL Trident. Dick Couch follows and writes about the struggles and turmoils that Class 228, and the previous classes before him had to endure. In the first few chapters they are in First Phase, which is designed to weed out the weak and the trainees who are not at there peak physical condition. The true test of this is hell week in which the trainees go through 5 and 1/2 days of non stop training; during this they wil ...more
Dec 03, 2012 Alex added it

A. The Warrior Elite- Dick Couch- Non Fiction- training- anyone that likes war books.
B. In the book, "the warrior elite", a group of guys come together to go through basic training to become a navy seal. There are some challenging obstacles that these men face. For example: the men had to go in freezing cold water and float for 30 minutes. Another thing that these men had to do was run 4 miles and they had to get within the time range. Only 18 of the 25 men that trained, made it out and gradu
John Merson
Dec 03, 2012 John Merson rated it did not like it
Title- The Warrior Elite
Author-Dick Couch
Genre- Nonfiction
Content overview- Navy Seals Training
Intended Audience Anybody that likes war books.

Book Summary- My book starts out with a huge war scene. A small group of Navy Seals go into a radio tower and lock it down. They then defend off the tower from a Militia. My book then breaks off into the training the Navy Seals go though in becoming a Navy Seal. First is phase one. This is the physical and learning part, the instructors make the trainees
Jacob Hunt
Dec 03, 2012 Jacob Hunt rated it really liked it

Title: The Warrior Elite
Author: Dick Couch
Genre: non- fiction
Content overview: Navy seal training
Intended audience: Anybody who likes war books

B.Book summary
The book starts out as the navy seals going into war. When you read on it goes into many chapters of the navy seals training. They start out easy then when the commander thinks there ready to advance into training, they put the navy seals into what they call " Hell week". They would have to roll through mud and train in the water. The p
Mar 13, 2010 Alanna rated it liked it
This should really be 3 and a half stars. It was fascinating to read about the training that Navy SEALs go through-- I am in complete awe of these men (including my little cousin-- who I guess isn't so little any more!).

The actual writing of this book was sort of hit or miss, and I couldn't ever tell if this was because there's a lot of classified information that can't be conveyed, or if Couch is assuming that his audience knows a lot more about the military than I know. Or possibly both. But
Scott Pogatetz
Nov 11, 2014 Scott Pogatetz rated it really liked it
This book follows class 228 through their training to be US Navy SEALS. First they have to complete their indoctrination course which is very easy when compared to the rest of training. Here they learn the basic rules of the training base. After that they go to first phase but first they have to watch the senior class graduate which makes them feel jealous. After this they go to second phase which is all about scuba diving and water activities, they don't want you to drown in combat. Finally the ...more
Jul 17, 2007 Reader rated it really liked it
Shelves: from_the_library
The Warrior Elite by Dick Couch serves two purposes. By chronicling the BUD/S training/screening for SEAL hopefuls, Mr. Couch instills 1) a deep appreciation for the determination and skill of these warriors and 2) a profound sense of inadequacy in my own manhood.

I don't suspect him of doing this intentionally, but as I read what these military mend endured during the 29 weeks of BUD/S, I couldn't help but to question my ability to endure the same treatment. I think we would all like to consider
Robert Laffoday
Jul 14, 2014 Robert Laffoday rated it it was amazing
I've long sense read the Marcus Lutrell books, but this takes you back to when he was rolled back and finally graduated with class 228. It's not about fact, it was written on 2001, before any of the events on Robert's Ridge (originating site for Lone Survivor) even took place. I kept looking for Murphy to show up, but no mention of him in the book. AWESOME read!
Jan 04, 2014 Robert rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Over the past couple of years I've seen several bestsellers about (and by) Navy SEALs, but none really jumped out at me as something I really wanted to read. Still, I was interested and spent some time looking around for what I thought would be a good book about the SEALs.
The Warrior Elite does not detail how the SEALs work, what their missions are, or any of the things many of these other books go into. Instead, this book details all the training new SEAL recruits go through in order to become
ติ่ง สมศักดิ์
Very good descriptive detailed-orient non-fiction about prestigious warrior SEAL I have ever read. Highly recommended for prospect SEAL.

Elucidated writing style with lots valuable detail. Great guide for the prospect SEAL.

Thanks for your meticulous work. Will continue to read other books from him.
Dennis Osborne
Sep 03, 2014 Dennis Osborne rated it really liked it
This is a very interesting book about the training that Seals undertake , which is quite gruelling . Hell week in particular is fascinating, as to what these trainees have to endure. Only 1 in 5 get through this training , which is a testament to its difficulty. Highly recommend this book.
Feb 11, 2016 Katharine rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure I ever would have picked up this book on my own had it not been recommended to me, but it is the most important book I've read in a long time (most of the people in my life are tired of hearing about it).

A phenomenal piece not just about Navy SEALs but on the nature of excellence and perseverance. For anyone in a challenging field, this book is a must read about what makes people one of the best.
Keith Johnson
Dec 04, 2015 Keith Johnson rated it liked it
Shelves: military
Same issues I had with his look at the Army Rangers. Interesting information but extremely repetitive. Also, this one I would knock even further down for undertones of misogyny and racism. I'm not interested in reading any more of Dick Couch.
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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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“Now, I’ve got a few things to say. You’re on your way to First Phase, so make me proud of you. After Hell Week, those of you who survive will still have to face the scuba pool comps in Second Phase and weapons practicals in Third Phase. I’ll want to shake your hand at graduation. When you get there, I want to think of you as one of Reno’s warriors.” There’s another roar from the class. Reno is very popular with Class 228. While he has frequently made them suffer, the trainees know that Reno and the other Indoc instructors have tried to give them what they need to survive in First Phase. “Be on time. Be alert. Be accountable for your actions in and out of uniform. You officers, look out for your men and your men will look out for you. Your reputation is everything in the teams. Remember this if you remember nothing else. For each of you, a chance to build on that reputation begins on Monday morning at zero five hundred in First Phase.” He looks around the class; every eye is on him. “For those of you who do get to the teams, I want you to take this on board. The guys in the teams are a brotherhood. You’ll be closer to them than you ever were to your friends in high school or college. You’ll live with them on deployment and some of you may even die with them in combat. But never, ever forget your family. Family comes before teammates. Most of us will grow old and die in bed, and the only people who will be there to help us die will be our family. Put your family first. I want you to never forget that.” 0 likes
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