For the first time in trade paperback-a classic memoir of Navy SEALs in action.
In gripping prose, Captain Robert A. Gormly tells about his days as a leader in the Navy SEALs- taking readers into the night, into the water, and into battle on some of the most hair-raising missions ever assigned.
Trained to a fine fighting edge just in time for Vietnam, Gormly served two tours of duty and engaged in top-secret missions in the Persian Gulf. Here, he shares his viewpoint and his experience-including what is perhaps the most graphic description ever of SEAL action in the invasion of Grenada. Gormly takes readers behind the myth of this awesome team, revealing how their lives depend on their unprecedented expertise and unparalleled courage.
This book is at once a memoir, a history and a warning. Gormly has been part of the SEAL community virtually since its emergence. In Vietnam as a junior officer, he met the absence of strategic policy with a tactical approach: killing as many Viet Cong as possible. Even in retrospect, Gormly concludes that the most effective U.S. approach might have been attacking the enemy's infrastructure by eliminating the "cadres" who spread and enforced Communist ideology by terrorist means. The limited political sophistication of this approach is suggestive, particularly in the context of Gormly's progress through the Navy's special operations system from 1968 to his assignment as commander of SEAL Team 6 in 1983. When Gormly relieved the notorious Richard Marcinko, he inherited a unit that had made a policy of pushing envelopes and ignoring rules. His description of the intraservice politics involved in taming the organization without breaking its morale is as good as anything in print on the challenge of maintaining effective special operations forces in the contexts of a democratic system. His account of the 1985 capture of the Achille Lauro's hijackers reveals a delicate balance of roles and responsibilities in managing doctrine and training considerations, tactical issues and policy questions. Gormly is no knight without fear and reproach in the mold of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan. He is a warrior for the working day, not always right and not always wise. But in a harsh world, it will comfort many to know that men with Gormly's spirit, character and patriotism wear this country's uniform. 8 pages of b&w photos, not seen by PW.