The Finishing School: Earning the Navy SEAL Trident
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The Finishing School: Earning the Navy SEAL Trident

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  651 ratings  ·  33 reviews
In America's new war, the first guns in the fight are special operations forces, including the Navy SEALs, specially trained warriors who operate with precision, swiftness, and lethal force. In the constantly shifting war on terror, SEAL units--small
in number, flexible, stealthy, and efficient--are more vital than ever to America’s security as they take the battle to an e...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published February 4th 2009 by Three Rivers Press (first published 2004)
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This is the followup to "The Warrior Elite" which is a great description of the training of Navy SEALs. What I love about this book is the sections on leadership and the description of the attitudes of the officers and the people who train them. The author was a very early Navy SEAL and he brings a lot of wisdom and clarity to the narrative. This is not a blood and guts, "kill 'em all" book, or a rah-rah book, it's a description of the depth of training required to create these guys and what lea...more
Riley Holzman
This great book that describes the pain and hardship these men go through just to face more pain and hard ship in the next step of their training. SEALs are some the United States most diversely talented and greatest soldiers we have. If you ever thought about taking this challenge yourself it will make you rethink that a little bit.
Couch follows these men all the way through their training and takes you through in such detail you understand that these men are truly doing this for more than the...more
Cristy Rey
I enjoyed this book. It's the necessary sequel to The Warrior Elite, Couch's nonfiction account of BUD/S SEAL training and, as such, answers a lot of the logical questions consequential with the former book: What happens after a SEAL-wannabe "passes" BUD/S? What does a SEAL's operational duty actually entail? What are the SEAL teams like? Why are there SEAL teams? What is a SEAL's career - enlisted or officer? And, in some way, what is the life of a SEAL like during war-time, i.e. right now? Tha...more
Jeffrey Belcher
We are all very well aware of the superior elite band of warriors of the Navy SEALs, but most don’t know about their training other than the highly glorified “Hell Week.” Movies such as Navy SEALs and GI Jane have risen to show a hyped up Hollywood version of such training, however in The Finishing School, we follow Dick Couch, former Navy SEAL himself, through the modern day training of America’s top Special Warfare professional.
Couch picks up where he leaves off with The Warrior Elite: The For...more
This book is a bit more technical than I expected, nevertheless, it's a good one. If you had any questions regarding what the Advanced SEAL training is like, then this is what you are looking for. It relates technical aspects of the Advanced SEAL training, weapons used, the kind of situation the students have to put up with, what are the instructors advices etc. I was actually hoping this book was going to be a little bit more "hands on". I mean, not so focused on the tech aspects, but in the st...more
Captain Couch (USN retired) had full access to several SEAL classes as they completed every step of training that the Navy requires for a SEAL to earn the Trident and then (after even more training) become a member of an operational SEAL platoon that is fully prepared to deploy into potential combat zones. As a Marine Veteran, I really enjoyed reading this book! It begins with a review of BUD/S training (the subject of a previous book by Mr. Couch), and continues to detail SEAL Qualification Tra...more
Diana H.
I gave this book 5 stars for the simple reason that it deserves that kind of recognition. It is laid out is a logical way, the content while intense and perhaps difficult to understand it made clear by the author, and the reason for the advanced training is explained.

The men and women who make up and support the SEAL teams are a special bunch of people. Not everyone has the capability, drive, and desire to purposefully put themselves in harm’s way, but these people do; and they do it on a regula...more
Noah W
When it comes to learning about Navy SEAL's look no further than Dick Couch. I read his previous book The Warrior Elite which chronicled SEAL Class 228's journey through BUD/S Phases 1 though 3.

This book goes through SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) that comprises rest of the training pipeline required to become a full-fledged SEAL. Most SEAL books focus on BUD/S and "Hell Week" and so it was refreshing to learn more about the advanced training.

Topics include: Officer leadership training, hand-...more
Overall, well written. A bit more technical than I wanted and with less information about how Seals are actually trained, but gave a good overview of the 18 months leading up to deployment. Covers every little school and course that a Seal might go through. Author was a Seal in the early days and this seems like his way of keeping in touch with the community. Best for those wishing to geek out on special forces.
Dick Couch did another great job on another Navy SEAL book. The focus of this book was to look at what BUD/S graduates had to do in order to obtain their Trident. This book had a lot more information than I thought it would have in it. If you have ever been interested in just what it takes to become a NAVY Seal and all of the training they have to complete, then this is a must read for you.
Tim Gillen
Although a very procedural narrative, and written like a documentary, I did find this book engaging, and gave me a strong appreciate for the extent to which our Special Forces train, and the selection process that they go through to even earn the title.

Recommended reading through Wasdin's book: Seal Team SIx.

I listened to the audiobook version read by Arthur Morey.

White Rabbit
The Finishing School picks up where The Warrior Elite leaves off, albeit with a different group of men. This book covers SQT and cold weather training and offers insight into weapons and close quarters combat training unique to the SEAL teams. It's well written and makes the reader feel like they're part of the class as it moves through the different training evolutions.
Although tiresome at times, what with the tiresome "warrior elite" mantra repeated ad nauseum, this book did lend an interesting perspective on the training of SEALs that you do not normally see or hear about. You are given an intimate look at not just how much pain is involved in becoming a SEAL, but also how much preparation, instruction, and training.
An excellent, in depth account of what it takes to become and live as Navy SEALs. The only drawback for me was the occasional organizational/administrative details involved with Naval Special Warfare Command- my eyes kind of glazed over during those parts. Apart from that, Mr. Couch did a fantastic job! I will definitely be reading more of his books.
This was an interesting book on a look at Navy SEAL training, done by an ex-SEAL. The tone of the book is very type A, but it had to be expected with a person who could be a Navy SEAL.
If you want to read about the training a SEAL goes through it is a great book, just a little to "I am man, hear me roar" type of feeling for me.
i think the author wrote this book better than The Warrior Elite. in The Warrior Elite, he sort of expected you to have some understanding of SEAL training before reading the book, which i didn't have, so yeah. in this book he actually described like what the things were so that the reader could understand it better.
Darren Sapp
Everything you ever wanted to know about Navy Seal training. For those that have watched the Discovery Channel special on BUD/S training, this book details what happens the next eighteen months.
Hugh Vail
This is the sequel, if you will, to The Warrior Elite. This is the detail and information about the second phase of SEAL training, those who have surpassed BUDS
If you want a good idea of what these guys go through, this is the book you read. Very well written but I would caution the reader to keep the author's bias in mind.
J. Harvey
Another awesome, indepth project by Capt. Couch; gives great insight into the technical aspects of SEAL training that comes after BUD/S.
a decent book about the continuing process for navy seals to earn their tridents and finish out their training. definitely interesting.
Great book. Gives you a new level of respect for the Navy Seals. Also some great learning on leadership and philosophies to live by.
loved this one esp since my step sons are in it! the author is a friend of Bob's.
Roy Petitfils
Not as good as Warrior Elite, but Couch is a great observer and writer
I thought it was absolutely amazing what those guys do to earn a deployment.
Mark Rendahl
Unbelievable read. Just when you thought you new everything about SEAL training
Jane Bigham
Informative and very fast paced about how our Navy Seals train to protect us!!
Andrew Spangler
Excellent. A must-read follow up to The Warrior Elite.
Rick Fulton
very good book , a lot of info on today's SEAL training.
interesting read, but also pretty scary...
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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...
The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor Chosen Soldier: The Making of a Special Forces Warrior Down Range: Navy Seals in the War on Terrorism Sua Sponte: The Forging of a Modern American Ranger

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