A New York Times Extended eBook Bestseller and a Washington Post Political Bestseller
By Old Toadman
I’ll admit from the beginning of this review that I know the author. I was in the Teams before Don graduated from BUD/S Training, and we served together before Don went to ST-6. Don is “the real deal” and this book gives a brutally honest account of what it takes to make it to the Teams and to be selected and serve at ST-6. As you read the book, you really get the feel of how motivated and driven Don Mann was (and still is)! He was the toughest and most motivated operator I ever met in my more than 20 years in the Teams. If you have any doubt, you only have to read the first chapter — “Somalia, 1985.” Don came to the Teams as a Hospital Corpsman; but as you can tell from the book, there was nothing involving Naval Special Operations that Don didn’t want to know inside and out. I knew a lot of Team Corpsman that never wanted to learn anything outside of the Medical Department. Don never stopped learning and mastering everything he could in Special Operations — whether it was shooting, demolitions, air ops, communications, intelligence, as well as medicine! As the book also illustrates, he was an outstanding instructor! The book also gives an honest account of the toll that a career in Special Operations can take on your personal life.
I’m not an editor or publisher, but I don’t think I would have left the redactions (black bars) in print. It was distracting while reading some of the chapters — for example, Chapter 17 – “ST-6 Today.” I’m also of the belief that guys in the Teams should be “quiet professionals.” That was just how I was trained from BUD/S Training and throughout my career in the Naval Special Warfare. I don’t begrudge guys telling their stories; but if they’re going to do it, I’d like to see the kind of honesty Don Mann exemplifies in “Inside Seal Team Six!” These days there are so many books, movies, and games about special forces and ex-special forces operators that glorify war and make special forces operations appear easy and without casualties (except to the “bad guys”). Nothing could be further from the truth! Like Don repeats in the book: “The only easy day was yesterday!”
A Thrilling Read by a Real Operator
By Rule 556 (New England)
I’ll admit something in line one, I know Don Mann and it was my privilege to serve with him at the Naval Special Warfare Development Unit (DEVGRU). Don has seen things and done things few people can even imagine–and has served his country in the shadow places of the world. Inside SEAL Team Six takes readers on a rare inside view of the Team that took out Osama bin Laden, and gives us a picture of how arduous that service is. Don Details some of the missions he has participated in,– and they are amazing. His clear, clipped prose puts you on the line with the shooters at Six . Don’s book is a tribute to the operators who daily put their lives on the line for the country that they love. Highly recommended for its no BS depiction of the life of an operator.
A review of Don Mann’s book, “Inside SEAL Team Six, My Life and Missions with America’s Elite Warriors”
By ZyzzxGV (St. Petersburg, FL USA)
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.
– Mike B.
INSIDE SEAL TEAM SIX: My Life and Missions with America’s Elite Warriors
By Michael Ostrolnk “Michael Ostrolenk” (Washington DC)
Mr Mann’s book “Inside SEAL Team Six: My Life and Mission with America’s Elite Warriors” is a must read especially for anyone interested in going into Naval Special Warfare or other special mission units. I could not put it down, actually, I could not take stop listening to it. I first bought it on audio via audible.com. I was so impressed by the book in audio format, that I also ordered it in hardcover and on my kindle. It will also be on my short list for Christmas and Hanukkah gifts this year. A few things really intrigued me about the book. The first person accounts of the intense training SEAL’s go through as well as mission specific stories grabbed my attention. Mr. Mann’s almost insane drive for optimal levels of athleticism as well as extreme sports inspired me and wore me out just from reading about them. He’s not just superman but a real man as well and that comes through in the book quite clearly. The inspiration and insanity were balanced by heartache and the suffering of real life. He tells stories about his friends and family that can bring one to tears as well as open one’s heart. Mr. Mann is a warrior in the true sense of the word and makes me proud to be an American. I hope to see the book turned into a movie in the near future.
Best SEAL Team Book there is
By Wanna Be
I have trained with SEAL/s and SEAL candidates and read every book on the topic over the past 10 years. The Inside SEAL Team Six book is far and away the very best book Ive read. The life of Don Mann and the things he has done is simply amazing. He seems to be the real life version of Chuck Norris, Arnold Swartzneggar and Sylvester Stalone all in one. This book was a real page turner. Simply loved it!!
A leader earns his position, Don is a LEADER
By S. Boardman (Milwaukee wi)
Don Mann is not only one of the kindest people I know he truly exemplifies what it means to serve. Thrilled to pieces to get the word the book was coming out. It exceeds my expectations. If anyone has spent anytime with Don, he is the quiet riot that loves you and in the same breath takes you beyond what you ever thought was possible.
Don found his calling, keeping us safe while forever becoming the Leader he is. Thank you for giving your heart, your unwavering generous spirit and then somehow sharing that with us.
The SEALS put special in special forces.