Thursday, June 13, 2013

LONE SURVIVOR -- The eyewitness account of Operation Redwing and the lost heroes of SEAL team 10.

Book Review By Chandler Godfrey

Lone Survivor is by far one of the most impressive books I have ever read. I was instantly amazed in the life long dedication, desire, commitment, and sacrifice on behalf of Marcus Luttrell and all U.S Navy Seals – past, present, and further.  These men answer to a different call of life that very few will ever know and possibly understand.   A call that I feel only on my best day’s, I can only have a glimpse of understanding. Marcus’s account of the small, majestic brotherhood of SEALs, that is very romantic.  He portrays the path of himself and his brothers to become true warriors and the world’s finest combat weapon.

It is important to recognize that I do not use the term warrior lightly.  Our great country has many amazing soldiers and operators.  These men and woman put their lives on the line and some have even laid them down for the better good of the United States of America.  Even though many have given this ultimate sacrifice, I would say only a select few ever reach the level of warriors such as Marcus portrays in a seal journey.  A journey that appears almost predestines.  A journey that almost seems impossible.

Marcus’ story starts off by him recalling of being on a flight headed to an unforgettable mission.  During this flight Marcus explains how as a boy he started the long journey to end up on this unforgettable flight and becoming the US finest combat team ever, NAVY SEAL.

Marcus started as a young boy in East Texas where he began training long before enlisting in the military at age 14.  A highly respected retired Green Beret Sergeant Billy Shelton took Marcus and other boys in the neighborhood on Saturday mornings and began training for the elite brotherhood that untimely led Marcus to the Navy SEALS.

Marcus goes on to tell the long psychical and mental training that has an attrition rate of over 90% of the toughest solders that this country has to offer.  He takes you through the pain of hell week along with the non-stop abuse.  I found it very interesting that in the history of hell week.  Anyone who has dropped on request (DOR), is given a second chance to reconsider if that is truly what they want.  Some candidates reverse their decision and continue in the evaluation.  No one that has ever reversed his decision to stay has ever passed hell week.   They say a true SEAL does not waiver if it’s for him or not.  Most would rather die then to quit.   Marcus and his class of 226 later becoming the heights trained, most skilled combat professional that have ever been produced in the history of this world.

The plane that Marcus and three other SEALs are now flying on arrive in a savage land where Operation Red Wing will soon take place.   The scene is set in the desert of Afghanistan were a Taliban leader has been targeted for capuche.  During the operation SEAL team 10 was ambushed killing Marcus entire team and only leaving him to defend for his life and evading capuche.  Marcus finds him self using all of his training to safe his own life while he takes refuge in a small village awaiting rescue from Army Rangers.

I truly enjoyed reading this book.  As I read it, I felt the intensity, sadness, and heartache that Marcus endured.  The book if filled with many different styles of leadership and the influences this has had on Marcus life.  Note that I said leader and not manager.  This book never uses that term and never gives examples of managers, only leaders.  It becomes clear that a manager manages people and resources alike.  Where a leader leads people by inspiration and guides while manages recourse.  

It is well explained what one must do to reach the unreachable.  Many leaders were part of Marcus life and played a major roll in his survival.  Marcus goes on to tell in different ways how he wished he hadn't survived.  How the rules of engagement affected the out come of SEAL team 10.  This book is an excellent read and teaching leadership, ethics, and courage – which are all traits of a good leader.

Luttrell, M. (2007). Lone Survivor. New York: Little, Brown and Company. DOI:

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