National Best Seller and a Washington Post Political Bestseller
The ultimate story of America’s dominant warriors
When Osama bin Laden was assassinated, the entire world was fascinated by the men who had completed the seemingly impossible mission that had dogged the U.S. government for over a decade. SEAL Team 6 became synonymous with heroism, duty, and justice. Only a handful of the elite men who make up the SEALs, the US Navy’s best and bravest, survive the legendary and grueling selection process that leads to Team 6, a group so classified it technically does not even exist. There are no better warriors on Earth. Don Mann knows what it takes to be a brother of this ultra-selective fraternity. As a member of Seal Team Six for over eight years and a SEAL for over 17 years, he worked in countless covert operations, operating from land, sea, and air, and facing shootings, decapitations, and stabbings. He was captured by the enemy and lived to tell the tale, and he participated in highly classified missions all over the globe, including Somalia, Panama, El Salvador, Colombia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. As a current training coordinator for several civilian SEAL training programs, and as a former Training Officer of SEAL Team 6, he was directly responsible for shaping the bodies and minds of SEALs who carried out the assassination of Osama bin Laden. But to become a SEAL, Mann had to overcome his own troubled childhood and push his body to its breaking point-and beyond. INSIDE SEAL TEAM 6 is a high octane narrative of physical and mental toughness, giving unprecedented insight to the inner workings of the training and secret missions of the world’s most respected and feared combat unit.
About the Author Don Mann (CWO3, USN) has for the last thirty years been associated with the Navy SEALS either as a platoon member, assault team member, boat crew leader, or advanced training officer; and more recently program director preparing civilians to go to BUD/s (SEAL Training). Up until 1998 he was on active duty with SEAL Team 6. Since his retirement, he has deployed to the Middle East on numerous occasions in support of the war against terrorism. Many of the active duty SEALs on SEAL Team 6 are the same guys he taught how to shoot, conduct ship and aircraft takedowns, and trained in urban, arctic, desert, and river and jungle warfare, as well as Close Quarters Battle (CQB) and Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT). He has suffered two broken backs, two cases of high altitude pulmonary edema, and multiple other broken bones, in training or service. He has been captured twice during operations and lived to talk about it. Co-writer Ralph Pezzullo is a New York Times bestselling author and award-winning playwright, screenwriter and journalist. His books include Jawbreaker(with CIA operative Gary Berntsen).
A review of Don Mann’s book, “Inside SEAL Team Six, My Life and Missions with America’s Elite Warriors” by Mike Bitton on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 1:28pm I’m pleased to say I have met Don Mann twice. Once at Primal Quest Utah, and again at Primal Quest Montana. I know him as the guy who heads up the toughest adventure races I’ve ever covered as a journalist. I’d heard he’d been a Navy SEAL, and that was interesting, but not the reason for our relationship. He answered my questions about whether adventure racing teams would climb Utah’s sandstone spires in electrical storms (they would not), or whether he thought the Crazy Mountains in Montana were aptly named (he said they were). He was the guy I interviewed when I wrote about Primal Quest. So to read this new book, “Inside SEAL Team Six,” brought for me revelation after revelation about Don Mann, especially about his personal life. And my respect for him has quadrupled. There’s a co-author on this book, Ralph Pezzullo. I don’t know how much of the wordsmithing was done by Mann vs Pezzullo, and honestly, I don’t care. The pace is brisk, the subject matter fascinating, and the ending satisfactory. I feel more informed about SEALs, but especially about the mindset required to be one, having read this book. Throughout the book there is blacked-out text, or “redactions” of classified material. I found that if I paid close attention, the paragraphs that followed usually revealed what the Department of Defense wanted removed. That was not the case in the book’s final chapter, titled “ST-6 Today,” where the black marks were used to keep secret details of how ST-6 took down Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. I imagine that resourceful readers already know more about the raid than the DOD blacked out of Mann’s manuscript. Any momentum lost by black marks in that final chapter is more than made up for in the touching epilogue, where Mann writes about a visit to his hometown of Methuen, Mass. It is my favorite part of the book. In these final pages, Mann humbly shows instead of tells how a local boy can make good in the big wide world, and it’s a true story. Hollywood tries to write this kind of plot every day and often falls short. Don Mann is no Hollywood production. He is flesh and blood. His character development is real, not fake. And I’m proud to say I read his book.
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