Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Chosen Soldier: The Making of a Special Forces Warrior” as Want to Read:
Chosen Soldier: The Making of a Special Forces Warrior
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Chosen Soldier: The Making of a Special Forces Warrior

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,643 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
IN combating terror, America can no longer depend on its conventional military superiority and the use of sophisticated technology. We are fighting guerrilla wars, against insurgents hidden in remote regions, often deep among the local population. In battles such as these, squadrons of billion-dollar bombers and naval fleets mean much less than on-the-ground intelligence a ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Crown (first published January 1st 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Chosen Soldier, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Chosen Soldier

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Bob Mayer
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As one of the committee members who helped evolve SFAS and the updated Q-Course, this book was an interesting read. For anyone who wants to know how Special Forces (aka Green Berets) are chosen, selected and trained, this book is an excellent read.
Dick Couch is a legend in the Spec Ops community so it's refreshing to get his take on things.
One thing that he focuses on is the mental challenges and requirements. I found Robin Sage to be an extraordinary test of leadership and thinking on my feet
...more
John Brown
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Couch, a former Navy SEAL and CIA case officer, is the only writer ever given the privilege to attend the many months of Special Forces pre-selection, preparation, selection, and qualification training from start to finish. He was given “full access to all training, venues, students, and training cadres.” Couch did not merely interview. He and his wife moved to one of the few residential structures on base at Camp Mackall in North Carolina. Couch went out with the SF candidates to observe first ...more
Eric
Nov 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book was pretty interesting as it described the training that Army Special Forces (aka Green Berets) go through. The fact that it was written by a Navy SEAL added to it because even he was surprised at the amount of training they receive in such a short amount of time. Aside from all the walking with 100+ pounds of gear, the amount of material they learn in extremely compressed schedules is astounding.

What *really* bothered me about this book was the quotes from the candidates in the progr
...more
David Readmont-Walker
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Just a bit boring.
Travis Starnes
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book takes that sub-genre and makes it even more focused, and is all the better because of that. Dick Couch’s choice, with the exception of the first chapter, of focusing solely on the training of Green Berets rather than on the whole history of the outfit as a whole really lets him go into details that broader texts miss.

As a former SEAL Couch defiantly knows about Special Forces and is able to translate that into really detailed and clear explanation of what these men go through. He gives
...more
Steven Elwood
Special forces

I found this to be very educational however I would to have liked to read more about the physical feats or special forces have to go through in training. I know some things just can't be written about but it was a very summarized book about the training. I would have to give this a marginal rating because I prefer books written with first hand accounts like lone survivor or american sniper. there was more detail on the torture endured during training.
Matt
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: military-history
I've read a fair amount of books on special forces now, and this one was unique. First, it focused on the Green Berets, or Army Special Forces, whom you seem to hear less about these days than Seals or Army Rangers, for some reason. Second, this book took a deep dive into the training methods of the Green Berets, far more than other books I have read. It's amazing the depth of training--physical, technical, tactical, linguistic, cultural, etc.--that these folks go through. Lastly, I was very imp ...more
Melly
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a Twitter recommendation, and I am so glad I took it! I am very unfamiliar with military and special forces, and that just made it even more fascinating. It started out a bit slow, with background on special forces in general. It was mildly interesting, but things really got fired up when the author started in on the actual premise of the book - following special forces trainees through their training.

The reading was phenomenal, and thoroughly enjoyed. It's nonfiction, but read a like f
...more
Nathan Ward
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A look behind the curtain

A thorough and complete visualization of the demanding and complex training our SOF personnel willingly undertake. These true hero's are a special mix of toughness and compassion to compete their missions.
Robert Bowman
Dec 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
Skip the book, its a slow read and never get better. It reminds me of trying to walk in the ocean.
Wes F
Oct 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A detailed look into the training of a Green Beret in the Special Forces.
Oceana2602
Feb 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
There is a lot of interesting information about the training of special forces soldiers in "Chosen Soldier". Most of it is rather technical and dry, but if you are doing any research on the subject, the book will undoubtedly be helpful.

The problem with the book is more that Couch apparently can't decide if he wants to focus on the technical part of the training or on the people who go through that training in order to become special forces soldiers. Sometimes his descriptions of the training see
...more
Kevin Goldsmith
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a hands-down enthralling read. Everybody and their dog knows of Navy SEALs and, if they're fairly attuned, has heard of BUD/S. Comparing special operator groups (Green Berets, SEALs, Rangers, Special Tactics Teams)by training time is a horrible yardstick to measure capability and lethality. This book focuses on the U.S. Army's Special Forces, also known as the Green Berets. They are an elite bunch who specialize in counterinsurgency and can thrive autonomously from base for an extended a ...more
C 4Ashen
Chosen Soldier
Chosen Soldier is about the life, dedication and lineage of an American Special Forces officer. Special force officers must go through many vigorous years of training before getting the honor of being an American Special Forces officer. “Army Special Forces soldier is a unique warrior, and the requirements of this special individual are like no other military professional”, it takes many years and countless hours of hard work to create this special warrior (Dick Couch). After the
...more
Jack
Feb 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, war
A really interesting look into the making of special force soldiers. The author, Dick Couch, is a former SEAL himself, so he knows what it takes to make our toughest military members. He was, I think, given unprecedented access to Green Beret recruit training, and Couch offers a fine first-person, memoir-like description of all he saw as the recruits arrived at Fort Bragg, NC for what was a grueling training process. After reading Couch’s book, I’m convinced of a few things: 1) that US Army Spec ...more
Dalton
Jan 04, 2017 added it
After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, United States Army Special Forces (SF) became our nation’s premier weapon of choice across the globe in the War on Terror. Army Special Forces, as during the 1960’s, captured the imagination of the public, as muscular, bearded, heavily armed men, occasionally on horseback, were seen in the wilds of Afghanistan and Iraq pursuing their enemies. Many recent books have been written and published detailing the heroic service of the “Green Berets,” a term not usual ...more
Chris
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Captain Couch (USNR retired) brings exceptional attention to detail, a passion for interacting with the current generation of special operations personnel, and his own perspective as a retired US Navy SEAL officer & CIA case officer to his observations of Special Forces training. He thanks the chain of command for the exceptional access that he was granted, and draws the reader into the story by going beyond the details of the training evolutions & military hardware into the personal liv ...more
4Campbell J
In this book, Dick Couch, a former Navy Seal gives an in depth description and story of what it takes to become a Navy Seal. Less than 25% of people will make it past PT (Physical Training). From there the numbers go down until they have the ones who can withstand the hardships and challenges you have to go through. There are plenty of different kinds of stories Couch tells as these are true stories from when he was a Navy Seal. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good adventure. It walk ...more
Mark
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was an in depth look at the training of a Special Forces Soldier, a Green Beret. The author gave a good representation of what it takes, both physically and mentally, to get through. The extent of the training is impressive and the hints at how the Special Forces are used in the real world today is very interesting. The tone of the book is straight forward observations on the part of the author, there is no Tom Clancy type of embellishment which, I think, is how it should be. There is enoug ...more
Brad Vance
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read this as part of my research for my "Sam's Reluctant Submission" series. A really fascinating look at what it takes to be a Special Forces soldier. There are no "Rambo/Lone Wolf" types here; gung-ho, go-it-alone types are considered a threat to the rest of the team. It's a great risk for these guys to even "try out" for SF; commanders of their current units sometimes hold it against them when they wash out (as most do) and return to their old posts. The physical requirements are grueling, ...more
Paul Muller
Sep 15, 2013 rated it liked it
This book started out very well. I enjoyed learning about the process of creating a Green Beret. As some others have stated, the dialogue did seem a little too polished and unnatural, which was distracting. The second part of the book seemed to be bogged down with details that detracted from the overall impact of the book. It could be that I am going through the Army Staff College right now and the last thing I wanted to do was read about the military decision making process, but I felt that the ...more
Julie
Jan 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Not sure what other people expected, but I liked it.

I enjoyed how the author mixed the technical and the personal. You could tell he had respect for and felt brotherhood with these men.

It had some of the best quotes! "He has a mother?" was my favorite. I also realized early on that I was going to have to take notes because he gave me so many things I wanted to know more about.

SEALS & Rangers seem to get most of the media attention but Green berets are pretty bad ass. Their lifetime commit
...more
Ktownyoyo
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
three stars if your into military SF reading. Two stars if your not. This book is extremely....almost too technical. Of course inside knowledge is what we are looking for, but unless your in the military now or are a hard core military enthusiast a lot of what your reading will go over your head.

The glossary is useless. It contains 50% of the appropriate definitions and spelled out acronyms. The publisher dropped the ball here.

I highly recommend American Sniper. That book has the right balance
...more
David Cano
Mar 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Several of my brothers were special forces. Over the years I've really come to appreciate, respect, and follow the advise they've given me over the years regarding how to analyze scenarios and make good strategic decisions, how to win the hearts and minds of people, and how to build and grow teams and organizations. After reading this book, I understood why these men are so extraordinary. And why they will save our country should society ever collapse.
Andrew P
Dec 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. The author is an excellent story teller and does a fantastic job of showing the sacrifice and courage it takes for a solider to become a Green Beret. This book will make you feel better about the war on terror knowing the kind of men that are on the front lines defending our country.

Hell, this book made me want to join the Army and become a Green Beret. If only I wasn't old, bald and fat!
Robert Smith
Jan 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: misc
This is a great book about what it takes to become one of the best of the best in the United States Army. Arguably the Green Berets are the best special forces group in the world because it not only does direct action but also foreign internal defense operations that focus on teaching the locals to do what they do. It is a very interesting read for people who are curious about the military or are thinking about becoming a special forces soldier.
Michael York
Apr 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Absolute must read for those interested in what it takes to earn the coveted Green Beret. Mr. Couch (an outstanding military writer, in my opinion) brilliantly details the struggles the men face as the 18 X-Rays (Special Forces Candidates) meander their way through the difficult Pre-Selection course and ultimately the daunting Q-course.

Again, a must read for those interested in Special Operations.
Hedry
Jul 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: military
I enjoyed this book very much. In fact, it turns out I enjoy most books written in a journalistic style. The caliber of training given, and the culling process to be inducted into the army special forces is an amazingly difficult and demanding training.

That being said, did anyone else find the chapter on Phse IV officer training to be kinda tedious?
Melissa
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Interesting read and I learned quite a bit. I simply wish Couch had given us an in-depth look of all the different types of personalities that made up the soldiers who received their Green Berets, their motivations, their thoughts, what they all seemed to have in common (ex: highly motivated individuals, thrill-seekers, adrenaline junkies), etc.
John Lago
Aug 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone with interest in military reading
This was a very well written and easy to follow account of what it takes for a U.S. Army soldier to become a Green Beret, or Special Forces soldier. Dick Couch takes you step-by-step through the application and selection processes, and all of the phases of the lengthy and arduous training of America's most elite fighting force. One of my favorite books this year!

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Masters of Chaos: The Secret History of the Special Forces
  • The Mission, the Men, and Me: Lessons from a Former Delta Force Commander
  • Killer Elite: The Inside Story of America's Most Secret Special Operations Team
  • The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Forged a New Afghanistan
  • Roughneck Nine-One: The Extraordinary Story of a Special Forces A-Team at War
  • Gentlemen Bastards: On the Ground in Afghanistan with America's Elite Special Forces
  • Delta Force: The Army's Elite Counterterrorist Unit
  • Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy Seal
  • No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah
  • The Night Stalkers: Top Secret Missions of the U.S. Army's Special Operations Aviation Regiment
  • Roberts Ridge: A Story of Courage and Sacrifice on Takur Ghar Mountain, Afghanistan
  • Inside Delta Force: The Story of America's Elite Counterterrorist Unit
  • Lions of Kandahar: The Story of a Fight Against All Odds
  • Not A Good Day To Die: The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda
  • Rogue Warrior (Rogue Warrior, #1)
  • Suffer in Silence
  • Kill Bin Laden: A Delta Force Commander's Account of the Hunt for the World's Most Wanted Man
  • The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest Marksmen

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »
93 followers
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

Nonfiction Deals

  • A Guide to the Present Moment
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Breaks of the Game
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You
    $9.99 $1.99
  • How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Dry
    $9.99 $3.99
  • Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Measure of a Man
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions
    $13.99 $2.99
  • 100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Best Friends: The True Story of the World's Most Beloved Animal Sanctuary
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Let. It. Go.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Earth Shall Weep: A History of Native America
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey
    $17.48 $1.99
  • The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice
    $12.49 $1.99
  • The Noticer Returns: Sometimes You Find Perspective, and Sometimes Perspective Finds You
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Scar Tissue
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Running with Scissors
    $9.99 $3.99
  • The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics
    $9.99 $2.99
  • 1968: The Year That Rocked the World
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love and Manic Depression
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between)
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes
    $9.99 $2.99
  • And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Vegetable Butcher: How to Select, Prep, Slice, Dice, and Masterfully Cook Vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini
    $22.95 $1.99
  • Facing Your Giants: The God Who Made a Miracle Out of David Stands Ready to Make One Out of You
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin...Every Inch of It
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Egg and I
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More
    $12.74 $1.99
  • City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Just Another Kid
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Second World War
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids
    $11.24 $1.99
  • Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8: A Young Man's Voice from the Silence of Autism
    $13.99 $1.99
  • I Am Not Myself These Days (P.S.)
    $13.24 $1.99
  • In the Beginning...Was the Command Line
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Starvation Heights: A True Story of Murder and Malice in the Woods of the Pacific Northwest
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Toltec Art of Life and Death
    $11.49 $1.99
  • Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions to Help You See It and Seize It
    $9.49 $2.99
  • The Diva Rules: Ditch the Drama, Find Your Strength, and Sparkle Your Way to the Top
    $17.99 $2.99
  • A Brief History of Time
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves
    $9.99 $1.99
  • All My Road Before Me: The Diary of C. S. Lewis, 1922-1927
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Penguin Lessons
    $12.99 $1.99
  • What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School: Notes from a Street-smart Executive
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011
    $12.99 $2.99
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About God
    $11.49 $2.99
  • Running with the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Pilgrim's Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier
    $11.99 $1.99
  • No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Seabiscuit: An American Legend
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local - and Helped Save an American Town
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Loudest Voice in the Room: How Roger Ailes and Fox News Remade American Politics
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started theLongest War in American History
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
    $17.99 $1.99
  • French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters
    $12.49 $2.99
  • When the Game Was Ours
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Tomorrowland: Our Staggering Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Art of Power
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Through My Eyes
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley
    $13.99 $1.99
  • A Brief History of Everything
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The World's Religions, Revised and Updated (Plus)
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Leonardo's Notebooks
    $11.99 $2.99
  • An American Childhood
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Making Toast
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN
    $11.99 $2.99
“Muzzle control has to be a religion. You cannot point that weapon at one of your brothers-or yourself. Know where you barrel is at all times, and know the condition of your weapon-loaded or unloaded, bolt forward or to the rear, round in the chamber or not, safety on or off. Keep your finger off the trigger unless you're going to kill something.” 5 likes
“We are an impatient culture and an impatient electorate.” 3 likes
More quotes…