Make Your Bed

Book #12: Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life …And Maybe the World, William McRaven (U.S. Navy Retired)

It is commencement season.  And on campuses nationwide, thousands of speeches are given to countless graduates seeking to impart pearls of wisdom for the new post-scholastic life to come.  On May 17, 2014 Admiral William McRaven addressed the graduating students at the University of Texas.  In his speech he drew 10 life lessons from his experience in SEAL training.  This book is based on that speech.  It is full lessons that will change your life… and maybe the world.  It is a short but excellent read.

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100 Deadly Skills: A SEAL Operative’s Guide to Eluding Puruers, Evading Capture and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation

b00udci5fc-01-lBook #2: 100 Deadly Skills: A SEAL Operative’s Guide to Eluding Puruers, Evading Capture and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation, Clint Emerson

In a world that is becoming more and more dangerous, the best defense against being a victim is to have a basic knowledge of self defense and survival skills.  In this book, Clint Emerson draws on his skills gained as a Navy SEAL operator and adapts them to a civilian audience.  I was initially drawn to this book given its mission to teach self defense and survival skills.  While there are many important skills in this book and I agree with the premise (civilians need to be prepared to face hostile people and situations) I found that many of the skills were beyond anything I will likely ever encounter.

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Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life

51sq7g5xwalBook #16: Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life, Eric Greitens

Resilience is the virtue of “moving through hardship and becoming better.”  In this book, former U.S. Navy SEAL, Eric Greitens draws upon the wisdom of ancient philosophers and his experience as a humanitarian worker and Navy SEAL in this series of letters to a fellow SEAL struggling with the loss of a brother, PTSD and alcoholism.  It is a must read for anyone seeking to live a virtuous life and remain strong in the midst of life’s difficulties.

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Kidnapped by the Taliban: A Story of Terror, Hope and Rescue by SEAL Team Six

b00kq2g37g-01-lBook #12: Kidnapped by the Taliban: A Story of Terror, Hope and Rescue by SEAL Team Six, Dilip Joseph

Compelled by his desire to bring health and healing to the people of Afghanistan, Dilip Joseph joined Morning Star (an NGO designed to bring economic and community development to the people of Afghanistan) as their medical director.  While serving there, he was captured by the Taliban.  This book is the fascinating story of his captivity and his interaction with his Taliban captors.

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No Hero: The Evolution of a Navy SEAL

b00g3l7ynq-01-lBook #7: No Hero: The Evolution of a Navy SEAL, Mark Owen

In this book, Mark Owen provides an intimate account of his time working with the Navy SEALs and the lessons learned along the way.  He weaves the experience he gained in BUD/S and on deployment with life lessons that undergird the skills.  It is a fascinating read on topics such as fear, stress, trust, relationships, and accountability.

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No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden

b008mg1e4a-01-lBook #19: No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden, Mark Owen

In the wake of 9/11, one of the most defining moments in the past decade of American military activity was the killing of Osama Bin Laden during a raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  In this narrative, Mark Owen recounts the training and raid performed he and his teammates of SEAL team six.

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Code Name: Johnny Walker: The Extraordinary Story of the Iraqi Who Risked Everything to Fight with the U.S. Navy SEALs

b00db3a0cq-01-lBook #14: Code Name: Johnny Walker: The Extraordinary Story of the Iraqi Who Risked Everything to Fight with the U.S. Navy SEALs, Johnny Walker & Jim DeFelice

Much has been written about Iraq by U.S. service men/women.  This book is the memoir of an Iraqi man who worked as an interpreter for the U.S. Navy SEALs in Iraq between 2003 and 2009.  He describes growing up in Iraq, the rich history of the middle east, ethnic and religious tensions and ultimately an Iraqi’s perspective on the war.  It is a fascinating story of a man and his family’s quest to live and work in war-torn Iraq and ultimately for the freedom he found in the United States.

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American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History

512bw41lr2b5lBook #7: American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, Chris Kyle

This book documents the career of the most prolific sniper in American military history.  It explores the passion and motivation driving US Navy SEAL Chris Kyle while documenting the contrast between triumphs on the battlefield with the struggles of deployment at home.  What We Were Soldiers does in movie form, this book does by showing the battle front and the home front.

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Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10

b000qriglc-01-lBook #2: Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, Marcus Luttrell

Afghanistan raid gone bad, Marcus Luttrell and his fellow SEALs find themselves in a position where it is kill or be killed.  This book discusses the virtue and strength of SEAL warriors and the struggle that would change the life of a man and a village.

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