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Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  2,696 ratings  ·  212 reviews
From leadership expert, former Navy SEAL, "American Grit" feature player, and author of Worth Dying For: A Navy SEAL's Call to a Nation, Rorke Denver, the bestselling account of how he helped create the U.S. Navy SEALS of today. Rorke Denver trains the men who become Navy SEALs--the most creative problem solvers on the modern battlefield, ideal warriors for the kinds of wa ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by Hachette Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Vince Smith
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this book because I wanted to know how manhood can be defined for men who choose this field and how that may differ from the population at large. This book is more than a book about seals but a calling to all men to be the best they can possibly be. I still go over a few chapters in the book.
Joan Reeves
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Damn Good

(Hyperion's Marketing Department sent me an advance reading copy of this book. If you want to read my full review, check out my blog SlingWords.)

Some may wonder why I, a romance novelist, am reviewing Damn Few, a book about training America's elite warriors, the Navy SEALs. That's easy to answer. It's because I am a romance novelist. I write books wherein the male lead is always a hero: a man who does the right thing for the right reasons.

Actually, My Cup of Tea

I've read and reviewed qu
Joanne Brown
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have been reading everything I can find on SEALS. Most of the books are about their experiences on the battlefield. I wanted more. I want to understand what kind of man can even get to be a SEAL. This is the book I have been waiting for; this is a personal accounting of one amazing man's journey to and through this process and back. This man then takes on the recruiting and training of other SEALs, excels at that and then through his extraordinary character, charismatic personality and talent, ...more
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite military books! Rorke is a military historian, and the book is full of classic military themes. He re-tells several "work" stories that are entertaining and amazing. It really gets to the mindset of becoming an elite warrior, and all the responsibilities that entails. I like reading these type of books, because it relates to my jab as well.

My favorite part of the book has to be when Rorke and the community are struggling with whether or not to allow Hollywood access in
May 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: military-history
Setting this book in the context of other recent books by/about Navy SEALS, it is distinctive in several ways.

First, it lacks the "rah rah," unreflective, world in black-and-white viewpoint of books such as "American Sniper" (by the late Chris Kyle), which was appreciated.

Second, it covers *a lot* of territory, perhaps too much. Everything is included, from Denver's childhood, to his SEAL training, his experiences at war, his work as a SEAL trainer, discussions of recent SEAL missions (such as t
Scott  Fletcher
Not written as well as 'No Easy Day' but still entertaining none the less. Gives one more of an appreciation of how well trained the SEALs are and how difficult it is to graduate the BUD/S training. Denver, who obviously went through the training himself and has been an instructor for several years, gives a detailed account of the strenuous physical training tests prospective SEALs have to undergo. But that pretty much sums up the book; Denver talks a little bit about his deployment in Iraq but ...more
Mitchell Dietrich
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I gave it 3 stars so that Jordan would get mad. I'm sure it worked.
Mar 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Brian by: nytimes book review
Shelves: grbpp
(3.5) The early sections on BUD/S training was great, wish it occupied more of the book

I wish he'd spent more on the training. The ops sections likely had to be cleaned of anything classified and thus felt a little light on details, rushed, less powerful. He could've also woven the training and the ops a little closer together: show how specific training prepared him and his SEAL brothers for specific ops.

I really appreciated the candid discussion of tension between bigwigs' desire for expansion
Andy Hartwig
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
(audible audio book)

this story blew me away. rorke is an elite modern american warrior in all the best ways.
he is well read, he is a gentleman. he is a freaking killing machine... but only to serve
our best interests. truly.

while i cannot personally relate to being elated to being in combat in Iraq, i appreciate
who he is and what he is doing for our country and frankly for the planet.

highly recommended... if you have just a touch of interest - GET IT!! you won't be let down.
This is about preparing for battle as a citizen, combat soldier, or SEAL team member. The theme is not just for spec ops, but for everyone interested in living a valiant life. Excellence is the goal. I enjoyed this, but not everyone will. War is awful.
Rich Matney
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great book. Really makes you appreciate the things we take for granted. Rorke is a good writer and this is a quick read. Would recommend to anyone who is interested in military and military history.
Louis Alexander
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Damn Few” is about a man named Rorke Denver and the things he was faced with and dealt with while becoming a SEAL and after. He goes into great detail about the men that were around him and the thing they were put through during training. He dives deep into the lessons he learned and the stuff he noticed. For example, the mental and physically trauma the men are put through, like hell week, where the men could not sleep for 5 days straight while rowing a boat in challenges and races plus many m ...more
Griselda Trevino
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patrick Bartin
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Book Review:
Damn Few - Rorke Denver

Damn Few by Rorke Denver is a firsthand account of Denver’s journey through the Navy SEALs training program and beyond. As you follow him on this journey throughout the book, you begin to understand the strenuous and extremely challenging requirements of becoming a member of this elite group of individuals. Rorke begins the book by describing his experience in the BUD/S training program, recounting every mental and physical challenge that was posed to him and
Jack Campbell
Jan 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Rorke Denver, a lacrosse star from Syracuse, has wanted to be a Navy SEAL since he was a teen. When Denver was in his early twenties, he showed up to SEAL camp to try to become part of an elite military branch. Six months later, Denver received his trident and officially became a Navy SEAL. Denver participates in crazy missions throughout his career and becomes a great leader in the process. Damn Few reveals the trials and tribulations of Denver’s Navy SEAL career through chronological order fr ...more
Samantha Brooks
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
In a Damn Few: The Making of a Modern Seal by Rork Denver, the author embellishes on his journey of adventures of becoming a navy seal. He recalls on how every academic class, extracurriculars, and life's challenges have mentally prepared him for the rigorous training program needed to take the step to becoming a seal. A series of inspiring and heartbreaking stories and experiences give us the true essence of what makes the modern American deal. Denver unravels the myths of how and who a deal s ...more
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a particularly good military memoir of a SEAL officer who also ran the training (BUD/S and Advanced Individual) for the SEALs. I was expecting the standard somewhat-mindless rah rah about how elite the SEALs are, but this actually went into the methodology of their training, some of the internal debates about it being too hard vs. not selective enough, and some of their other internal thinking. The officer (who was also involved in the Act of Valor movie, playing himself) is much more i ...more
John Wiltshire
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I saw Rorke Denver first on a YouTube vid, being interviewed by Piers Morgan about gun control. It's one of those iconic "Piers Morgan Owned" vids that cheer you up when you can't find any funny cat ones. Denver came over as such a rational, intelligent person (mind you, not much competition in that debate) that I sought out this book to find out more about him.
This was one of the most engaging, interesting reads I've had for ages. Denver writes in a totally honest way about Seal training and it
Jack Bandy
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good explanation of the life of a Navy Seal. I especially enjoyed the chapter where he talks about the impact on the family.
Mary Blye Kramer
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I read between 60 and 70 books a year and this is one of the best I’ve read in years.

But let me back up.

I have no idea what possessed me to buy this book because I’m repulsed by war, think that the US is invasive and selfish (stay with me, I’m about to tell you how this book changed me), remain flabbergasted that we invaded Iraq when it was the Saudis (supported by their government) who were responsible for 911, and am disgusted by how we depose leaders and pull back while far worse leaders
Josiah Robbins
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Damn Few by Rorke Denver is a book about his adventure from a childhood to adulthood, and his desire to be a Navy SEAL. Like everyone, Denver knew the SEALs were the best of the best no questions about it. His first real interaction with the SEALs was through his uncle, trying to dissuade him but Denver persisted through the battle to be accepted, and then through his rigorous training to earn his Trident. After defeating these battles the book goes on to describe some of his missions and other ...more
Jeffrey Stone
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The beginning of Damn Few starts with Rorke Denver’s, the author himself, telling the audience about his time that he was deployed in Habbaniyah, Iraq. He tells us how the Sunni fighters fought against invaders, and how their operations worked. Then explains the SEALs history and what they were made to do; the SEALs are small, highly trained warriors. Rorke also tells us about the rigorous training that he and all SEALs have to go through called BUD/S. Towards the middle of the book and all the ...more
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have read a few books about Navy SEALs recently and though this is not the best one I have read it is still a highly informative book that I enjoyed. Rorke really gives an inside look at the Navy SEALs including getting through Hell Week, the bonds of brotherhood that are formed with fellow SEALs, the bravery and loyalty of these men, how they train, how they fight, and how they take care of each other. I really never get tired of reading about Navy SEALs, these men sacrifice so much for our c ...more
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Damn Few by Rorke Denver is a truly inspiring book. Lt. Denver takes readers on an adventure through the life of a SEAL. However it is not just the life of a SEAL we learn about, it’s the strong force of the brotherhood that has withstood many trials. Through training at BUD/S to the battlefield their faith in each other, from the beginning, has strengthened the bond of this brotherhood. The book reveals that these men are an inspiration to men around the world to be their very best self.
At ev
Brad Johnson
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Lt. Commander Denver's book is an outstanding insight to the leadership of some of the worlds most driven and elite warriors. This book will take you from the early days of his life, to BUDs as an officer, to war, to his experience of overseeing all three phases BUDs, and eventually his assistance and roll in the movie "Act of Valor" where he played the roll of Lt. Rorke (the one who jumped on the grenade).

Commander Denver provides his personal experiences and mindset which he feels attributes t
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
I read this book because of the author's interview with Hugh Hewitt. But in the interview Mr. Denver was down to earth and reflective and in the book comes across as more jingoistic and adrenaline-pumped. I wonder if the co-writer had something to do with that.

This book suffers from too many anti-climactic moments. The authors build suspense about forays into enemy territory that fizzle with an uneventful capture or the near miss of something that might have happened like steering clear of a tra
Oct 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: military
Overall I enjoyed it. I needed a quick read between beastly books so I took my chances with this one. It was gripping enough to keep my attention and thus I finished in 2 days. I especially enjoyed the authors commentary on grit and perseverance and how when you look at someone from the outside it is impossible to tell who has it and who does not. I think the book offers some valid advice for those who are interested in achieving anything difficult. When one decides on achieving a challenging ob ...more
Colin Bracken
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The book Damn Few by Rorke Denver is a very good autobiography. This book is about Rorke Denvers life from his college career to his time in the military. Some if the other characters are his parents and his friends through seal school. I enjoyed this because of the way Rorke Denver described the details of his life. I also liked the language that he used he was able to use bigger words when needed. The only complaint that I had with this book I wish that Rorke Denver had included more on his li ...more
Taylor Patterson
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you are a fan of modern warfare books, as I am, then you will definitely enjoy this book. Rorke Denver's account of what it takes to become a Navy SEAL is incredibly compelling, and makes me marvel at the capacity of each SEAL. Learning about the training at BUDS was my favorite part of the book. The school to become a SEAL is outrageous, and the people that make it through truly are incredible.

"Damn Few" is certainly a great read. It is entertaining, action packed, and a very cool true story
An incredible read and a book that made it to my very short list of favorite reads of all time. Rorke Denver examines what it means to be a leaders of warriors - physically and psychologically - while telling his story of being a Navy SEAL. For anyone interested in professional leadership, modern military or special operations this is a must read.
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You’d think that with, well, everything this year has had in store for us, readers would flock to sweet stories with happy endings. But as...
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“Read. You can always talk with another reader.” 20 likes
“What we teach is pure SEAL. The lessons are simple, clear, and well-defined: They come right out of our basic values. Winning pays. Losing has consequences. Nothing substitutes for preparation. Life isn’t fair and neither is the battlefield. Even the smallest detail matters. We are a brotherhood. Our success depends on our team performance. And we will not fail.” 5 likes
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