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Inside Delta Force: The Story of America's Elite Counterterrorist Unit

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  8,991 ratings  ·  376 reviews
Now the inspiration for the CBS Television drama, "The Unit."

Delta Force. They are the U.S. Army's most elite top-secret strike force. They dominate the modern battlefield, but you won't hear about their heroics on CNN. No headlines can reveal their top-secret missions, and no book has ever taken readers inside—until now. Here, a founding member of Delta Force takes us beh
Paperback, 324 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by Delta (first published May 14th 2002)
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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  8,991 ratings  ·  376 reviews

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Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It humbles me to tears, that while most Americans attend movies, shop for new cars, sleep, and have barbecues in the backyard, there is a group of men and women who voluntarily spend time away from family, endure brutal tests of physical and mental endurance, risk injury, and even sacrifice their own lives, so that we can continue on in blissful ignorance of the dangers we face. "Inside Delta Force" is one man's account of the birth of one of our military's elite fighting units, and it is captiv ...more
May 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is quite simply the greatest SpecOps book written and probably the greatest autobiography of a soldier written on top of that. Eric Haney's humanity is the key. The operations and experiences are just utterly visceral and you'll find yourself frozen, jaw slightly open, while reading them. But it's Haney's own internal commentary that lifts the book from being a series of intense action pieces to something greater. When Haney writes about cradling the head of a Cuban-trained guerilla leader ...more
Jeffrey Belcher
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
For me, this book began by watching the television show "The Unit". Before every show, there was a credit that the show was based on this book. In turn, it was only a matter of time before I read it.

The first half of this book, I loved. Though there is not much known or confirmed about DELTA Force, this book gives an amazing insight into the creation and establishment of the unit. Haney brings you into the "club" as he describes the circumstances leading to the creation of DELTA, as well as the
Bob Mayer
Oct 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
As a former member of Special Forces I found this book very realistic and insightful. I think the way the narrative comes full circle in the end, with the left hand fighting the right hand, is the sad truth of the world of covert operations.
If you want the real deal, this book is it. I'd also recommend The Commandos which covers the training of Special Operations and Blackhawk Down, which I'll post a review on shortly.
Jan 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Elite forces have a certain mystique that attracts the military buff. They are about action. Eric Haney's "Inside Delta Force" will certainly deliver action, but the reader must be careful never to overlook what the action must deliver: a possible solution to an impossible situation. Conventional military units were useless in thwarting terrorism. Perhaps an unconventional unit devoted to anti-terrorism could do the trick.

Haney obeys the first law of authorship: write what you know. He takes the
Brian Eshleman
Mar 16, 2013 rated it liked it
As good as Eric Haney was as a warrior, and he was a founding member of Delta Force, he might have missed his less strenuous calling as a writer. In particular, he had the gift for being able to objectively narrate his own inner life while still moving forward the action briskly. Thus, the final product really gifts the reader the mental and the physical experience of being in the special forces. His anecdotes are well chosen and is likely to be self-deprecating and self-serving. Adding another ...more
Justin Levy
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military
This was an incredible book to read from one of the first members of Delta Force, including how the team was formed, the initial selection process, missions, and more. While there are dozens of Navy SEAL books, including those about SEAL Team 6, this is one of the only books on Delta Force. Listening to the stories have been interesting especially if you’re a fan of counterterrorist shows.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
there was some interesting information in the book and the author is hard as nails. sadly the book loses steam in the second half where it lacks any sort of decent cohesion to hold the narrative together. There are about 3 keys missions talked about in enough details to keep you interested , the rest felt too scattered.

It's a hard recommend unless you have a deep interest in special forces.

The author and the unit he was attached to undoubtedly deserve the respect and Fame attached to the units
Feb 09, 2012 rated it liked it
I first heard of this book when I came about it in the footnotes of Kill Bin Laden: A Delta Force Commander's Account of the Hunt for the World's Most Wanted Man.
A very interesting account of how Delta Force came into being and the rigorous selection and training courses, as well as Delta tactics and how the Unit operates in a combat zone.
Unfortunately, Haney is very opinionated and full of himself.
On his account of the 1980 Desert One/Eagle Claw mission in Iran, he claims that he was the last p
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Men
My hero. When ever I'm slacking on something I should do I think of Haney and those like him, put my head down and move!
Tekes Kochteeyni
Feb 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
No mention of Chuck Norris, just a ton of discussion about real American patriots who spend their lives defending our great nation as an elite group of dedicated warriors.

Super disappointing.
Stuart Berman
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, innovation
This book brings back plenty of memories of training and missions. It also brings back memories of the turbulence we lived through in the 1960’s-1970’s where the world seemed to be burning making today look very peaceful. As a modern commentator recently said, ‘the world is struggling to keep up with its prosperity surrounding it.’

Not only is it an intimate read of one of the world’s most elite forces, Eric Haney shares his wisdom learned from experience in shaping world events. His final afterw
Nov 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Command Sergeant Major Eric L. Haney's INSIDE DELTA FORCE is a real eye-opener, which makes the reader appreciate what the men and women of our country's armed forces sacrifice to keep us safe in our beds on a day-to-day basis.

I found the selection process while Delta Force was being formed to be particularly interesting. Haney made the reader step into his shoes and want to press on: he on the field and us by the page.

Having said that, some parts of the book after Delta Force was formed were
Feb 15, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military
First you have to become a special ops soldier, which means that you can live in the forest with a broken leg, survive by eating bugs, and still achieve your mission of killing a platoon of soldiers with a spoon. As a special ops soldier, you are now eligible to become a Delta Force member, but you have to pass a series of tests. For example, you have to take that same broken leg, hike 55 miles through the MOUNTAINS and kill a platoon of special ops soldiers using only your left thumb. About 7% ...more
Jul 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book for two main reasons. First being that I am a huge fan of the show The Unit and it was based on this book by Eric Haney. A lot of the experiences Haney had are seen on screen in The Unit which raises it from entertainment to something more.

Secondly, this book was an eye opener to the men and women who serve our country doing what they do best. Haney has done extraordinary things, but is so human it made for a wonderful read and will have you thinking for years to come.
Thoughtful, articulate, and comprehensive. The author was a founding member of Delta Force and served in that unit for several years. This memoir is a solid record of both his own experience and the larger history of Delta Force.
As a veteran - my service was very ordinary, unlike Sergeant Major Haney's - I am awed by the standards achieved by Delta and by their accomplishments.
Highly recommended for anyone interested in military and political history, the psychology of soldiers in combat, or th
Samantha & Sean
Feb 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
A fast read. Lots of interesting memoirs and history about the beginning of an elite, direct-action combat unit (which doesn't exist). Haney's fluid, straight-forward storytelling is perfect for soldiers aspiring to do black ops. He is honest and open, which I bet stirred controversy in such a tight, secretive community. I got a decent impression of what it really takes to be the best, and the qualities of such men are incredibly admirable. The mantra of this book, especially for the part about ...more
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it
The first half of this book was amazing and was packed full of the exciting history of the dawn of Delta Force. Then I totally lost interest in the book. The second half details a few of the missions which were a complete bore. It could have been exciting if written correctly.
David Briggs
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military
really enjoyed this book about the creation of the famed Delta Force. great to read how far we have come and the guys who have brought us there. very well writen book and hard to put down, finished it in one day
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome book if you like military stories.
John Gronner
Oct 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Great book, especially since I like the TV show "The Unit" that was based on the book.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
-A page-turning military memoir full of action

This non-fiction, behind the scenes novel tells the classified story of America’s counterterrorist unit, Delta Force. The author, Eric Haney, is a retired Command Sergeant Major who was a member of Delta Force. He is an expert combat soldier who is trained to take down terrorists, hijackers, and enemy armies.
Inside Delta force is one of his many novels on the topic of terrorism. Haney’s goal is to have people know what Delta force is, why it was cr
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's always fascinating to learn how much a human being can accomplish and which skills he can develop as long as he is dedicated to the limit and willing to endure stress and pain. This is a book not only about such a man but written by him.

The writing is easy to read, the stories are interesting, sometimes even exciting. And the book delivers insights into the training, tasks and development of an elite military unit.


As a German I oftentimes find myself unable to understand the US-American
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Marcelo by:
I'm not the kind of person that reads non-fiction very often (or at all), so it's incredibly rewarding when I read such a high-quality book like this one. Although I was constantly reminded of Rainbow Six I constantly kept in min that this book is an actual true story! Not only Eric Haney is a great storyteller, conveying all the suffering, elation, friendship, and hardships of his life as member of this elite group of soldiers, he also shows that reality can be more interesting than fiction.

Sandy Williams
Apr 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction, audiobook
(I normally don't post books to GR that I don't like/recommend, but for some reason, I feel okay doing that with nonfiction. Don't know why. Maybe because I'm not criticizing the plot. *shrugs*)

I've listened to a few of the recently published Navy SEAL memoirs (Lone Survivor, No Easy Day, American Sniper) and was gripped by them. I thought I'd mix things up a bit and try out a book on a different group of soldiers: Delta Force.

I started forwarding through the audiobook early on. The story was to
Jan 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: War buffs, people who don't respect what these guys go through
I found this book via the way of the television show, The Unit. While the TV show is excellent, it in no way prepared me for this exciting read.

I don't know what it is about the contents of this book, but, wow, these guys are the best of the best. The Spartans of contemporary times.

Haney brings to life the fortitude, struggles, courage, training, training, and training, that the Delta operator goes through. He was a charter member of this elite counter-terrorist force. His selection class had a
Justin Daniel
Sep 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Delta Force, if you didn't know, is a highly secretive, special operations unit attached to the United States Army. They are one of the premier counter-terrorist organizations (Raiders and SEALs not-withstanding) and have a reputation of being quite, efficient killers.

Eric Haney happened to be part of the first group of Soldiers who were able to try out for Delta. What ensued was a blur. The first part of this book talks about Haney's experience of "trying out" and making it into Delta. He spea
Gina Valdez
Nov 18, 2013 rated it liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this autobiography, of sorts, about Mr. Haney's experience in the Delta Force, from it's inception until his retirement. Mr. Haney writes a vivid story of his training and missions he completed while serving our country in this elite military unit. It was interesting to have an inside look at some of the world's crises; Beirut, Honduras, and Nicaragua to name just a few. Mr. Haney's opinions were honestly written concerning Vietnam and the Middle East. I am awed by t ...more
Jordan Larsen
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
In a complex and volatile geo-political world where deadly threats lurk around every corner, there are an elite few among America’s best and brightest warriors who dare to confront the worst of the worst. Enter the clandestine world of the United States Army’s Special Forces; created to combat the evolving scourge of international terrorism and conduct covert intelligence operations behind enemy lines. When the mission exceeds the capabilities of the bravest conventional soldiers, the venerable ...more
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Command Sergeant Major Eric L. Haney (U.S. Army, Ret.) is a former member of the United States Army's counter-terrorist unit, the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1SFOD-D), more commonly known as Delta Force. In recent years he has been writing on terrorism, guerrilla warfare, and special operations. Haney is the author of Inside Delta Force, a memoir of his time in the elite unit, ...more

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