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The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest Marksmen
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The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest Marksmen

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  3,332 Ratings  ·  188 Reviews
The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest Marksmen
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by St. Martin's Press (first published April 1st 2012)
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Jakon Hays
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book just for pages 9-167. These pages give a decent account of Webb's upbringing and SEAL training through his (ORE) Operational Readiness Exam which concluded his 18 month workup which is a series of training blocks after he earned his Trident. Honestly, I wasn't really interested in the second half of the book which detailed his time at sniper school and his deployments (full disclosure, I skimmed the pages after 167).
I was more interested in a character study of Webb (I've a
Steven Jr.
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellence matters.

Brandon Webb's experiences as a SEAL are masterfully recounted in his memoir, THE RED CIRCLE. From page one, he grips you with a tale of stumbling upon enemy contact during the opening days of Operation Enduring Freedom and it becomes nigh impossible to put down from there.

I personally cannot find a flaw with the book. It begins with background on his childhood (which is important--it provides an idea of what shapes the kind of men who become SEALs), goes into his days in sear
Sarah Eiseman
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military-memoir
Originally posted on
I am a big-time fan of Navy SEAL books, although if you met me you’d probably wonder why–-I’m definitely not the stereotypical reader of the genre. That being said, it’s books like this one by Brandon Webb that really cement why I enjoy these books so much. Webb’s message is simple: Excellence Matters. And his words are more than just military-speak.

As with most SEAL memoirs, Webb walks the reader through his time at BUD/S, as well as a few deployments, b
Sahr Joe
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I belive that there is a book for every kind of problem, whether that problem be specific or broad. Reading a book is always a good idea. In this case, my problem began with me wanting to join Seal Team Six or just a normal Seal team to begin with. Now, I know hollywood can lie, but death, PTSD, and other fears are terrifyingly real in the military. To help put these fears to ease, I did the best research: read non fiction novels by people who have shared my fears. Since then, I've rad about 5 S ...more
Dave TN
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, 2012
I rarely read non-fiction, but after seeing Brandon Webb on FOX News discussing the theater massacre in Colorado, and the mention of his book, I thought I'd check it out. The reviews were mostly 5 stars, and I've always been curious about the Navy SEALs, so I downloaded the free sample.

Many of the reviewers on Amazon mentioned that once they started the book, they couldn't put it down, and I found that to be very true for me too. I read the sample and immediately purchased the book. I just finis
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I just finished this book after reading nothing else for the past two days. Brandon Webb gives a rare look into the depth of training our Navy SEALs go through and the early days of Afghanistan. His life experiences are simply astounding, from being left on an island in the Pacific, to a four day patrol in Afghanistan.

This is a fast read and well paced. The writing is good and clear, easily giving you the facts and setting the scenes. He also never comes across as "look at how freaking awes
This is not a book about what life in the Navy SEALs is like. This is not a flash-bang book about killing the enemy or the life of dangerous heroics.

This book is simply about Leadership and Excellence. Two qualities that the Military excels in teaching, but not everyone excels in learning. Chief Webb has done a remarkable job in detailing the qualities of Leadership, good and bad. In short, he has achieved excellence in this book, which was his only mission.

That said, his writing style is simila
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll keep this review short and sweet-- I really liked this book, but not necessarily for the usual reasons.

Aside from the stories of Webb's experiences in training and in life, which I found to be enjoyable, what I appreciated most was the distinction of what makes for good leadership. The book's main theme of striving for excellence rang throughout, and it was a great message to carry along.
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
While it ends abruptly and is lacking in certain areas description wise, this book is a great read and is full of interesting ballistic facts.
The Red Circle is an interesting account of the SEAL and SEAL Sniper training programs and, especially, of Webb's missions overseas. However, my enjoyment of the book was marred by the author's constant bragging and know-it-all attitude. I also hated his regular plugging of books written by other SEALs; I truly do not appreciate advertisements in the middle of my books.
Lacey Michael
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Honestly, this book came as a refreshing breath of air after reading American Sniper. I enjoyed A.S. by Chris Kyle but reading Webb's account of his Navy SEAL training, time in the war and subsequent life I realized that I just liked Webb better. Shallow as that sounds. I'll explain more...

Brandon Webb was a Navy SEAL and a head instructor in the sniper corps before heading to the private sector. He has many accomplishments including helping revamp the SEAL sniper training course and thus helpin
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I don't usually read non-fiction military books, so this is the first for me. I read it with the intent to understand how the minds of highly trained soldiers work, more than I wanted to know about SEAL training. I was really impressed on how well written this book is. Its informative, well organized and was narrated in a riveting way. I found myself enjoying it and not just once remarking to myself how it was more exciting than most fiction I've read ( I am a big fan of heroic fantasy ). Rememb ...more
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book took me SO incredibly long to read...
Which is really strange for me, if I had to be honest... Because I really enjoyed every piece of the book. It was generally interesting for me to read this book and Webb's experiences, particularly because my father used to be a member of the U.S. Air Force... So in that case, it made it easy to create a lot of connections (Even if this focuses on the Navy SEALS), which helped the book get my attention even more.

In general, I don't think there is
An interesting, well-written memoir. It's about, as the title says, the author's life as a Navy SEAL sniper and sniper instructor. It's a vivid picture of the life and challenges faced by that very small community of strong, smart, driven people.

I gave this three stars instead of five because of one thing, a homophobic joke that really left a bad taste in my mouth. It was ironic that around the time I read this, I saw a news story about the coming out of a transgender woman who, as a man, had re
Laura Florand
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military, non-fiction
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Excellence matters. That’s the message of Brandon Webb’s book and life as a U.S. Navy SEAL. No matter what your occupation is, no matter what your hobby is, excellence matters. This belief can propel individuals or groups to accomplish outstanding things. Accomplishing outstanding things gives purpose to the limited time we have. Webb’s accomplishments in the military are fascinating and impressive to me.

Webb grew up in Canada and California. He was always athletic and played sports constantly.
Michael Thompson
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Brandon Webb's has definitely led a most unusual and interesting life. How many teens take a year off school to sail the Pacific in a sailboat only to get kicked off the boat by their pissed off father and have to find their own way back to the States? I will say that I enjoyed both , "American Sniper," and, "Lone Survivor," more than this book (they were both more compelling although they both got politically preachy at times). That said, I'm glad I read it. The training program for snipers was ...more
Webb served as a Navy SEAL sniper before training others to do the same.

Why I started this book: I love SEAL autobiographies and biographies because they start with the premise that anyone can be tough and then spend the rest of the book talking about how many men were cut or washed out of their training programs, and then end with the belief that you can be just as tough as them...

Why I finished it: Webb had the humble brag down but I had to laugh at the my good friend, so and so, who just wrot
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-firsttime, kindle, 2017
Interesting look at the life of Brandon Webb and his movements through the Navy Seals (and his long journey to actually get there. Really enjoyed reading about the craziness of some of the things that Webb went through and how he left his mark on the force later.
Feb 16, 2017 rated it liked it
An interesting insight into the world of the Seal Sniper community. The narrative was largely engaging although the writing itself is not excellent. I'm glad I read it.
Jul 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting facts about training. Writing was compelling but not beautiful.
Gabriel Valjan
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I picked up the book with some reservations. I expected a lot of bravado and testosterone, but quickly realized that the story went a lot deeper. My bias: the majority of SEAL books hammer home the physical capabilities of these men, and how they dance on the edge of a card (on and off the battlefield), and it gets tedious quick because how does the mouse relate to the cool cat with nine lives?

SEALs would have you believe that any person with the right mental perspective can do what they do, if
Nikolis Allen
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent autobiography about a mans transition from a troubled child into one of the worlds most elite worriers. Brandon webb is a now retired navy seal sniper who trained chris kyle, a famous sniper. overall awesome book has an awesome storyline with exciting stories from his deployment.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a book whose theme is the theme of Brandon Webb's life: "Excellence Matters".

But Webb shows us that the path to excellence is affected mostly by stubborn determination, a refusal to quit, but even more, a refusal to be sidetracked or distracted by adverse circumstances, whether physical, emotional or financial.

Webb is a man who simply did not fail at anything that he tried. He is also a man who, although he respected authority and the chain of command, which is important in the military,
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brandon Webb put together an amazing piece with with The Red Circle, a non fiction novel about his time in the SEAL teams. Webb was a SEAL Sniper when 9/11 happened and was one of the first to be deployed into action in Afghanistan. Over the course of the novel Webb covers everything in his life, from his abnormal upbringing to his work as a contractor later on in Iraq. Unlike Most men who give being a SEAL a shot Webb was not in top physical condition when he tried out. This meant he was in the ...more
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In the book "The Innovator's Dilemma," written by Clayton Christensen, the author speaks of the need to change or be obsolete as competitive circumstances change. This Harvard professor's theory has proven true time and time again in the steel, tech, and even the U.S. military. Consider how the military was structured to fight the Soviets during the age of the Cold War. It has had to change to fight the global war on terror. No longer do the strategies and tactics of the Cold War apply to how sm ...more
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
The Red Circle was on my to-read list because of my interest for the SOF community and sniper-related topics, as well as my involvement with the sofrep website, of which author Brandon Webb is a founder. I couldn't get hold of a decent paper copy or e-book, but I did find the audio-edition. It became my first e-book, which I listened to when driving to my work.

I must say the reading voice was sometimes a bit funny and it made me chuckle now and then. But every chapter is introduced by Brandon We
Elena Ose
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs, military
I can't believe that I finished this one.
The book is ridiculous. Completely all ranges of emotions appear while getting through this creation - fear, thrill, frustration, confusion, anger, joy, happiness, excitement etc.

There is way too much to say about what one can go through with this book. But some things are for sure. The book is a micro psychological example for mental toughness.

For the simple people living in urban areas, spoiled by the comforts of daily life there are at least two resou
Jungho L.
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was about Navy Seal sniper and instructor Brandon Webb. He was born in Canada and he quickly moved to the U.S. because of his father could not support their family. The family rented a boat to live in. In his teens, Webb worked on giving people diving tours and he learned to hold his breath for a long time and he also learned more about the ocean and swimming. His grades thought, was terrible. One day, a man told him that he should try out to be a Navy Seal. He was very eager to join ...more
Jean Poulos
Dec 21, 2015 rated it liked it
This memoir is Brandon Webb’s experiences as a Navy SEAL and sniper. He says that he belonged to the most elite sniper corp. in the world. He tells of his grueling years of training in the Navy SEAL’s and the Naval Special Operations. He tells of combat tours in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan. Later he was the lead instructor in the Navy Seal Sniper Program.

The book is well written and it appears that Webb is very honest and straight forward with his evaluation of himself and others. It is ama
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“Whatever it is that you do, you are making a stand, either for excellence or for mediocrity.” 5 likes
“You may never shoot a sniper rifle. You may never serve as part of an assault team, or stand security in combat, or board a hostile ship at midnight on the high seas. You may never wear a uniform; hell, you may never even throw a punch in the name of freedom. I’ll tell you what, though. Whatever it is that you do, you are making a stand, either for excellence or for mediocrity. This is what I learned about being a Navy SEAL: it is all about excellence, and about never giving up on yourself. And that is the red circle I will continue to hold, no matter what.” 5 likes
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