ONE PERFECT OP: An Insider's Account of the Navy SEALs' Top-Secret Special Warfare Teams

Dennis C. Chalker, Author, Kevin Dockery, With, Richard Marcinko, Introduction by with Kevin Dockery. Morrow $25.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-380-97804-5

Command Master Chief Chalker, a former Navy SEAL, tells the story of his personal involvement with one of the U.S.'s most secretive military organizations, formed to counter terrorism and perform operations in hostile territory. Writing with Dockery (Free Fire Zones), Chalker guides the reader through a three-year stint with the army's 82nd Airborne in the early '70s and a college football injury, quickly moving to his navy career, from getting himself into BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition, SEAL) training to hazing rituals and continued training to ensure that each mission can be a "perfect op"—pulled off without discovery by the opponent. In the early 1980s, Chalker became a founding member of SEAL Team Six, which played a prominent role, described in riveting detail, in the U.S. invasion of Grenada. Readers who find the following sort of sentence poetic will not be able to put the book down: "If I had to dump the M4 and switch to my secondary weapon, I would be well served by my SIG P226 loaded with a full fifteen-round magazine of hot copper-jacketed serrated 9mm hollowpoints." But the perfect op is one where the SEALs do not have to fire a round, which is clearly Chalker's preference. After serving with Team Six, Chalker volunteered for one of the new Red Cell units, formed to test American bases for security—often entering and leaving a facility without being spotted, which a base commander does not want to happen. Those looking for a larger-scale history of this secret branch of the service should turn to Orr Kelly's Brave Men, Dark Waters, but by the time Chalker's 20 years are up, he has indoctrinated quite a few of his own "enswines," and special ops buffs will be satisfied. (Apr. 1)

Forecast:Our current operations in Afghanistan will cultivate interest in this title, of course, but Tom Clancy's Shadow Warriors, an overview of special forces due out in February, may steal many of Chalker's potential readers.

Reviewed on: 12/03/2001
Release date: 03/01/2002
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-117987-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 368 pages - 978-0-380-80920-2
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 368 pages - 978-0-06-050459-5
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-175129-5
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