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The Making of a Navy SEAL

Cover of The Making of a Navy SEAL

The Making of a Navy SEAL

My Story of Surviving the Toughest Challenge and Training the Best
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BEFORE HE COULD FORGE A BAND OF ELITE WARRIORS... HE HAD TO BECOME ONE HIMSELF.

Brandon Webb's experiences in the world's most elite sniper corps are the stuff of legend. From his grueling years of training in Naval Special Operations to his combat tours in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan, The Making of a Navy SEAL provides a rare and riveting look at the inner workings of the U.S. military through the eyes of a covert operations specialist.

Yet it is Webb's distinguished second career as a lead instructor for the shadowy "sniper cell" and Course Manager of the Navy SEAL Sniper Program that trained some of America's finest and deadliest warriors—including Marcus Luttrell and Chris Kyle—that makes his story so compelling. Luttrell credits Webb's training with his own survival during the ill-fated 2005 Operation Redwing in Afghanistan. Kyle went on to become the U.S. military's top marksman, with more than 150 confirmed kills.

From a candid chronicle of his student days, going through the sniper course himself, to his hair-raising close calls with Taliban and al Qaeda forces in the northern Afghanistan wilderness, to his vivid account of designing new sniper standards and training some of the most accomplished snipers of the twenty-first century, Webb provides a rare look at the making of the Special Operations warriors who are at the forefront of today's military.

Explosive, revealing, and intelligent, The Making of a Navy SEAL provides a uniquely personal glimpse into one of the most challenging and secretive military training courses in the world.

BEFORE HE COULD FORGE A BAND OF ELITE WARRIORS... HE HAD TO BECOME ONE HIMSELF.

Brandon Webb's experiences in the world's most elite sniper corps are the stuff of legend. From his grueling years of training in Naval Special Operations to his combat tours in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan, The Making of a Navy SEAL provides a rare and riveting look at the inner workings of the U.S. military through the eyes of a covert operations specialist.

Yet it is Webb's distinguished second career as a lead instructor for the shadowy "sniper cell" and Course Manager of the Navy SEAL Sniper Program that trained some of America's finest and deadliest warriors—including Marcus Luttrell and Chris Kyle—that makes his story so compelling. Luttrell credits Webb's training with his own survival during the ill-fated 2005 Operation Redwing in Afghanistan. Kyle went on to become the U.S. military's top marksman, with more than 150 confirmed kills.

From a candid chronicle of his student days, going through the sniper course himself, to his hair-raising close calls with Taliban and al Qaeda forces in the northern Afghanistan wilderness, to his vivid account of designing new sniper standards and training some of the most accomplished snipers of the twenty-first century, Webb provides a rare look at the making of the Special Operations warriors who are at the forefront of today's military.

Explosive, revealing, and intelligent, The Making of a Navy SEAL provides a uniquely personal glimpse into one of the most challenging and secretive military training courses in the world.

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  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    7.1
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    MG+
  • Text Difficulty:
    6

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Excerpts-
  • Copyright © 2012 by Brandon Webb

    ONE

    RITE OF PASSAGE


    Every culture has its rites of passage.
    Native American adolescents journeyed into the wilderness for days on end in vision quests aimed at gaining life direction from an animal spirit, or totem, through a fast-induced dream. For Australian aborigines it was the walkabout, young males trekking the outback for as long as six months to trace the ceremonial paths, or dreaming tracks, taken by their ancestors. Mormon boys ages nineteen to twenty-five are sent around the world for two years to do full-time mission work.
    For me, it was shorter and simpler. My rite of passage came when I was thrown off a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean by my dad, a few weeks past my sixteenth birthday. I had to find my own path home from that oceanic wilderness, and it turned out to be a path that ultimately led to the most elite sniper corps in the world.
    I don't know if you'd call that a dreaming track, exactly, but you could say it was a path taken by my ancestors, at least in one sense: My father was thrown out of the house at age sixteen by his father, too. And I suppose the only way to make sense out of my story is to start with him.
    * * *
    Jack Webb grew up in Toronto, short, strong, and stocky. A talented hockey player and avid drummer, he was always a bit of a wild man. A true child of the sixties, Jack grew out his full black beard as soon as his hormones would cooperate. His father hewed to old-fashioned values and threatened to kick Jack out if he didn't cut his beard and long hair. When my father refused, out he went.
    My grandfather may have thrown his son out, but he didn't succeed in changing his mind. To this day my dad still sports a full beard, though its black is now flecked with gray.
    Now on his own, Jack made his way from Toronto to Malibu, where he picked up landscaping jobs and soon had his own company. Driving home from a job one day, he picked up three young hippie girls hitchhiking. One of them, a free spirit named Lynn, became his wife.
    After they married, my parents moved up to British Columbia to the little ski town of Kimberley, just north of Vancouver, where he took a job as a guide at a hunting lodge, despite the fact that he knew absolutely nothing about hunting. The guy who hired him said, "Look, don't worry about it. Stay on the trail, and you'll be fine." He was. His first time out, he took a small group into the Canadian Rockies, pointing out all sorts of wildlife along the way. When they got back, the group told my dad's boss he'd hired the greatest guide in the world. They didn't know he was flat-out winging it.
    Soon Jack was working construction, and on the job he taught himself everything there was to know about building houses. In those days, if you were a builder you did it all—pouring the foundation, framing, wiring, drywall, plumbing, roofing, everything from A to Z. Jack had never graduated high school, but he was a resourceful man with a big appetite for learning, and he soon became an accomplished builder with his own company, High Country Construction.
    It was about this time that I came into the picture, followed a few years later by my sister, Rhiannon, and once I arrived on the scene my mother's life became considerably more complicated.
    Free spirit though she may be, my mother has always been fiercely loyal to me and my sister, and to my dad, too, as far as that was possible. I always felt completely loved and supported by her, even through the difficulties to come.
    My mother has also always been very entrepreneurial. She opened up a restaurant with my dad's sister, and later, when we lived in Washington for a while,...

About the Author-
  • BRANDON WEBB is a former U.S. Navy SEAL; his last assignment with the SEALs was Course Manager for the elite SEAL Sniper Course, where he was instrumental in developing new curricula that trained some of the most accomplished snipers of the twenty-first century. Webb has received numerous distinguished service awards, including the Presidential Unit Citation and the Navy Commendation Medal with a "V" for "Valor," for his platoon's deployment to Afghanistan following the September 11 attacks. He is editor for Military.com's blog Kit Up, SOFREP's Editor in Chief, and a frequent national media commentator on snipers and related Special Operations Forces military issues.
Reviews-
  • DOGO Books rilsaw - The Making Of A Navy SEAL - My story of surviving the toughest challenge and training the best By Brandon Webb. Do you want to follow what others think is an impossible dream? That is what Brandon does in this amazing auto-biography. He faces unbelievable odds from a young age. There are several settings, because he lived on a boat for some time and was in the military. Brandon Webb is the protagonist, the path to being a Navy SEAL - the antagonist - is in his way. One major conflict is trying not to get washed out -fail- SEAL training. Another is trying to redesign the SEAL sniper training course. The turning point is when he finds out the imperfections of the sniper course when he was training in it, and then fixes them as soon as possible. A cool thing that happened was that Brandon trained elite snipers such as Chris Kyle (American Sniper) and Marcus Luttrell (Lone Survivor). I thought this book was one of the greatest that I have read in a long time because this book has so much detail and it tells you what life in the military is like.
  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2015

    Gr 7-10-"A few weeks past my sixteenth birthday, my dad threw me off a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean." So begins a fast-paced autobiography of a young man who would eventually become a U.S. Navy SEAL. A product of a dysfunctional family (his parents had a difficult marriage, and his father was physically abusive), Webb tells his life's story. His parents kept their often-rambunctious son out of trouble by encouraging him to get involved with athletics. That came to an abrupt end when the boy was diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter disease, which is caused by overtraining, resulting in a painful lump below the kneecap. Braces were put on his knees in order to give them a chance to grow properly. By age 13, Webb was working on a dive boat. A chance encounter with a group of SEALs who visited the boat turned his life around and gave him a new goal. The rest of the book is a description of the experiences he had on his way to successfully realizing that dream: he became a SEAL and even became an instructor for other SEALs in training. This engaging narrative is informative and will speak to teens. VERDICT A fine choice for memoir collections.-Eldon Younce, Anthony Public Library, KS

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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