Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations
Authored and Narrated by William H. McRaven
Audiobook, 10 hours and 14 minutes
Published by Hatchette Audio
William McRaven was a military brat, his father was an Air Force Colonel who had flown Spitfires during the Second World War. He went through ROTC at the University of Texas, and upon commissioning completed BUDS and became a SEAL. His career in Special Operations spanned 37 years, he retired as an Admiral in 2014.
Sea Stories is a re-cap of ADM Raven’s career, in his own words. He tells of his formative years before entering the Navy, plus his training and experiences as he worked his way up through the ranks. This is not a “shoot ‘em up” story of SEAL missions, there are many, many books like those for any who are interested. What makes ADM McRaven’s story different are the details of his contributions within the Special Warfare community after making Flag rank. These are high profile, headline-grabbing missions, requiring consultation with and authorization by the Joint Chiefs, Secretary of State, and Presidents. He provides unique insights into the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Phillips, and the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound. If you want to know why these operations were conducted the way they were and the various alternatives which were considered, this is your book.
This story is interesting throughout. ADM McRaven’s style is direct, and it is a major plus that he reads for the audiobook himself. The book really shines when he explains the coordination involved at the national command level, there is so much more to a successful operation than showing a strike team a map and turning them loose. An engaging story from start to finish, I can highly recommend this book.