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Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy Seal

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  1,603 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
“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.â€

Warrior Soul
is a book about the warrior spirit, and it takes the reader all over the world. Former
Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Published December 28th 2004 by Presidio Press (first published 2003)
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Unusual among military memoirs - the author is more introspective and frank than the average person, and he makes himself quite vulnerable emotionally in looking back over his past. The result is a story that is gripping in some places and poignant in others.
Much more than a lot of "there I was ..." memoirs, this gave me a feel for the author's character and inner life as much as his career and military experiences, and his psychological and emotional growth over time. Of course, as a SEAL, he c
Jess Haines
Sep 04, 2010 Jess Haines rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
Funny story, but I never would have read this book if people at my second job hadn’t started calling each other “Chuck” around the office. It became a thing—“Hey, Chuck, I need _____!” “Chuck, can you get this for me?” “Chuck!”

Turns out that this book is behind that silly bit of office shennanigans. It’s the memoir of a Navy SEAL, and Chuck Pfarrer pulls no punches as he tells the tale of how he graduated from a surfer dude to one bad-ass mo-fo. It made the rounds at the office, and I finally go
C.H. Cobb
Jan 25, 2014 C.H. Cobb rated it really liked it
Warrior Soul is the memoir of Navy SEAL Chuck Pfarrer, a true account of his training, experiences and exploits. I read it as research for my own novel, Falcon Strike. It’s always difficult to review a book whose content concerns a matter the reviewer has never personally experienced. I believe the book is authentic and honest, but only another SEAL is really qualified to make such judgments.

I grew to like the author as I got to know him through his own words. Pfarrer is a man with clay feet, bu
Oct 05, 2015 Dawn rated it really liked it
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 t ...more
Barnard Madsen
Jul 08, 2017 Barnard Madsen rated it it was amazing
Not a glamorous tale, but full of grit and fog of war. Glad America has SEALS (and other special forces) at the tip of the spear.
Sarah Eiseman
Mar 23, 2013 Sarah Eiseman rated it really liked it
Shelves: military-memoir
Originally posted on

This book, written by retired Navy SEAL Chuck Pfarrer, was a very interesting read. As you know, I enjoy reading memoirs from members of our military. Navy SEAL memoirs are of particular interest because their experiences are so much more intense than other branches of the military. They have more autonomy than other special operations forces and go on much more unpredictable missions, some that end successfully and some that do not.

Many memoirs are writt
I cannot believe I failed to write a review of "Warrior Soul" when I first read it last summer! And now that I do, I fail to remember what it was exactly that I liked about it so much,

You should know this, however: Warrior Soul was the book that started my recent bout of reading military-themed books. I read it on vacation (yes, southern France, thanks for asking, and no, I don't think you need to be there in order to enjoy the book, but you would surely enjoy being in Southern France for other
Ford Prior
Aug 03, 2014 Ford Prior rated it really liked it
This is an honest and well-written account of one of the most interesting occupations out there, the SEALs, who I would summarize as extremely well-trained pirates who double as stunt artists and spies. As for the literature itself, Pfrarer is the most well-written surfer dude you've ever read. The prose is lean and poetic, the dialogue is realistic, and Pfrarer manages to walk this amusing line between being a thoughtful writer and a bad ass commando. But aside from all the Hollywood hype aroun ...more
Sashank Mohan
Jun 15, 2013 Sashank Mohan rated it it was amazing
A terrific tale of what it takes to be a SEAL and most importantly what it actually takes to live every second of your life in the way of the warrior.An epic biography of a former U.S.Navy SEAL having his own fair share of tragedies,triumphs and near-death experiences.I have been trailing this book for a really long time till I got my hands on it.There have been sections where I almost cried and sometimes did and also incidents which made me spread a grin and some which just engage you till you ...more
Sep 04, 2009 Greg rated it it was amazing
Warrior Soul is an autobiographical account of the experiences of Chuck Pfarrer as he endures application to, training, and later experiences in the Navy SEAL units. He lived the life, and has a unique insider's perspective on some of the best training and teambuilding in the world. He also has a writer's ear and eye, and is able to accurately describe and comment on his experiences and the events in which he participated as a member of this elite military organization. At the end, as he describ ...more
John Devlin
Nov 29, 2011 John Devlin rated it it was ok
A book that takes you into the already well trod world of the navy seal. From the brutal Hell week to the endless evolution Ops the writer does a good job of making these practices interesting. However, much of what's related is just practice, which leeches the drama from any scene. Even the bookend story of his escape from a faulty parachute comes from a training mission. Nevertheless, Pfarrer can write and he does an excellent job of detailing what went wrong in Lebanon that resulted in the bo ...more
May 04, 2011 Amy rated it it was ok
I thought this book was okay. Though the topic is interesting, I found the book's tone to be a back-slapping, frat-boy, research paper approach rather than a memoir that revealed a tremendous amount of personal growth. There was one exception - when the author describes his experience of being Beirut when the Marine barracks were bombed, you are transported to that terrible scene and can feel his pain. I just wish Mr. Pfarrer had brought more of that approach to the rest of his book. Even his ad ...more
Joe Griswold
Dec 16, 2016 Joe Griswold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding book written by a warrior.

had a long and and interesting carrier.a true warrior I have the utmost respect for him and his team mates.
Jul 02, 2011 Pete rated it it was amazing
I throughly enjoyed this book. It's clear that we are only recieving a glimpse into the author's world, but it was plenty. The book is very well written, and documents the author's career as a Navy SEAL, first with SEAL team 5 in Beruit, then with SEAL Team 4, and finally with the elite SEAL team 6. It talks about the selection process for both becoming a SEAL, and then the selection process for the even more intese SEAL team 6. It does not go into as much detail as other works on the selection ...more
Aug 09, 2011 Kendra rated it really liked it
Fascinating read! Somewhat depressing though, as it rehashes just how out of touch the government big-wigs are to the military men who actually have to function. And no one seems to be learning from it. The info on Beirut was horrifying, though interesting from the author's point of view, since so much of that seems to be lost unless one specifically goes looking. I also liked the other point of view with regards to SEAL Team 6, since I have and have read Marcinko's book.

Very impressive.
Dec 20, 2009 Christina rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Any military enthusiast
Chuck Pfarrer is an undoubtedly heroic and understandably arrogant individual who sacrificed much to provide an invaluable service to America. His account of the 234 Marines who perished during the barracks bombing in Beirut in the early 80s from a SEAL's perspective was very enlightening as I was previously unaware of a special forces presence in that area at the time and the details he provided regarding the environment prior to the incident give a new perspective to the tragic event and the r ...more
Ian Mcenaney
Nov 01, 2009 Ian Mcenaney rated it really liked it
This book was about a navy seal and all of his tours of duty that he goes through in syria and the mid-atlantic. This book also shows how much of a tough ass you have to be to go through the things that happen in war.
Text to world: Thisbook connectes to the world because everything really did happen and people die everyday in Iraq.
Text to Text: This book realets to Tom Clancys Ghost Recon because there both true stories about soilders who risk everything everyday.
I rated this book like this beca
Michelle Ule
Jan 25, 2013 Michelle Ule rated it it was amazing
An excellent, beautifully written account of a difficult and challenging Navy SEAL life. Pfarrer goes into detail about his training and reflects on the many places his career took him over the years. I used this as source material for my novel Bridging Two Hearts-Pfarrer captures the life in a way that makes it understandable for even the most sedentary land lubber.

Highly recommended if you're interested in Navy SEALS.
Mar 14, 2011 Darcy rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011, non-fiction
This was an interesting book. It seemed like Chuck told it like it is within the Navy and the SEAL's. You have to wonder just what screw is loose that makes these men want to do this, but I am glad that there are people out there that do do this. Often things weren't pretty, and even the author didn't paint himself in the best light. If you enjoy reading about the military this book will appeal to you.
This is a real good look at the life and experiences of a Navy SEAL. This shows how these are guys who are somehow extraordinary while still being normal human beings with all the problems that the rest of us have. They just have something inside that makes them just keep going when the rest of us would quit. In my opinion, this is a good introduction to SEALs for thosse who wonder about them. It is very well written, accessible and fast paced.
Jul 26, 2011 Andrew rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Awesome, awesome, awesome.

Like Beetlejuice, if you say those words three times - this book appears on your Kindle (app).

But seriously, this is one of the more engaging memoirs I've ever read for obvious reasons. Detailing his journey through BUD/s, his time in SEAL Team 4 and his stint in SEAL Team 6, Chick Pfarrer weaves a gripping saga of adventure and emotion that is hard to put down.
Alex Clark
Aug 14, 2015 Alex Clark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An awesome story from a great writer

This book had many very interesting stories, written quite well, about notable times in recent history. I enjoyed reading about Mr. Pfarrer's life and experience in the SEAL teams. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the SEAL teams or Mr. Pfarrer's life as a Navy SEAL. Thank you sir, for your service and for sharing your story.
Aug 04, 2010 A rated it really liked it
I picked it out wanting to learn more about the SEALs and I did. Pfarrer is a good story teller, blunt and honest. His writings about Beirut were really mesmerizing. I was reading steadily until Beirut and then I went on a serious binge. Could not put the book down.

I really appreciated how well he explained not only the lifestyle but the details of armor, equipment, and other gear. And the jargon. Really brings the stories into close focus.
Jan 05, 2017 Whitney rated it really liked it
Shelves: military
I was about to say in my review that Chuck Pfarrer has a fall-back career as a writer because this is so well done, looked him up on here, and he actually is a writer now. So I guess he didn't need my advice. That aside, it really is a remarkably well crafted book, worth a read whether you're into military memoirs or not.
Jul 18, 2012 Ammad rated it liked it
This book is nothing short of entertaining. Chuck Pfarrer walks you through his personal experiences as a Navy seal and his entire military career. You begin to see the type of anamalistic nature that one has to acquire in order to become an elite soldier. I appreciate the honesty in his stories and was quite taken back by his indifference toward some of his behaviour. Nevertheless, a great read.
Les Walters
Jan 27, 2012 Les Walters rated it really liked it
Violent and bloodthirsty in many ways, but you'd expect that of such a book. Very readable and even exciting in a perverse way. I have to admire the grit and determination of men like Chuck Pfarrer, not to mention the courage and determination. It's a shame that the job skills he writes about are still so necessary in our world.
Lindsay Ward
Jun 09, 2013 Lindsay Ward rated it really liked it
This wasn't your typical "I am so awesome because I am a Navy SEAL" type of book. He admits his flaws, brings you through the darker side of what this lifestyle brings to his personal life, as well as shares fond memories and happy times!! Definitely worth the read if you want to really understand the person, not the gunfights.
Nov 12, 2011 Zack rated it it was amazing
Pfarrer can tell a story, and keep it interesting through the whole book! Once I started reading this, I could not put this down. Pfarrer talks about many of his personal experiences and missions he had been on, only changing a few details to protect identities. From his training to the Middle East.
Randall Grewe
Jul 21, 2015 Randall Grewe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding book, it gave me unwavering respect for Navy Seals and what they do and how they train.
I have talked about this book to my friends more than most books. Lots of facts and insight into the world of Seals, terrorism and what some of our brave men do to protect.
Jul 29, 2010 blackness rated it it was amazing
loved it. I think this book is significant in the whole "memoir of navy seal" sub-genre because of his transparency and honesty. Not full of blowhard self-aggrandizement that some of the others are.

This felt like it was written by a real guy, and a real writer.
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Goodreads Librari...: Please Combine with Foreign Edition 2 10 Jun 30, 2017 06:51AM  
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Chuck Pfarrer is a former assault element commander of SEAL Team Six. He has written op-eds for The New York Times and the Knight Ridder syndicate, and appeared as an author and counterterrorism expert on C-SPAN2, NPR, Alhurra, IPR, Voice of America, Fox News, and America Tonight. Pfarrer serves presently as an associate editor of The Counter Terrorist, the American Journal of Counterterrorism. Pf ...more
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“Although slothful and ignorant, the enlisted men are cunning and devious and bear watching at all times,’” Doc said.” 0 likes
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