THE TEAMS by Kevin Dockery


An Oral History of the U.S. Navy SEALs


 An oral history of US Navy SEALs, arguably the best elite warriors in the world and trained to fight at sea, in the air, and on land. Editors Dockery and Fawcett (the latter wrote Hunters and Shooters, 1995, a record of SEAL combat in Vietnam) record the hectic ``living on the edge'' experiences of six former SEALs who operated in ``Teams'' of up to 200 officers and men while earning fearsome combat reputations in the jungles and swamps of Vietnam, carrying guerrilla warfare home to the Viet Cong. They penetrated deep into enemy territory, usually at night, with few operations exceeding more than 125 men, yet their missions resulted in a disproportionate number of the highest military decorations and citations given in the war. Evolved from the Under Water Demolition Teams of WW II (the frogmen), the SEALs concentrated on destroying enemy strong points with devastating firepower, shuttling in and out of the lines on hit-and-run missions during the Korean War, and reaching their peak performances (and strength) in Vietnam. The various stories related here stress the incredibly tough and semisecret regimen that eliminates all but a few of the hardiest candidates who sign up for SEAL training. In fact, when not in ``ops'' (combat), SEALs are in constant training, including daily punishing fitness activities. They're expected to master a variety of special skills: jumping, arctic and jungle survival, martial arts, scuba diving, and working with demolitions. These accounts of training and combat show the fierce pride and brotherhood among the SEALs and demonstrate their loyalty to the service. ``You can leave the Navy,'' one says, ``but you can never really leave the Teams.'' A worthy addition to the growing treasury of SEAL lore.

Pub Date: March 4th, 1998
ISBN: 0-688-14964-2
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1998


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