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No Hero
Cover of No Hero
No Hero
The Evolution of a Navy SEAL
by Mark Owen
The companion volume to the multimillion-copy bestseller No Easy Day by former Navy SEAL Mark Owen reveals the evolution of a SEAL Team Six operator.
Mark Owen's instant #1 New York Times bestseller, No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama bin Laden, focused on the high-profile targets and headline-grabbing chapters of the author's thirteen years as a Navy SEAL. His follow-up, No Hero, is an account of Owen's most personally meaningful missions, missions that never made headlines, including the moments in which he learned the most about himself and his teammates in both success and failure.
Featuring stories from the training ground to the battlefield, No Hero offers readers a never-before-seen close-up view of the experiences and values that make Mark Owen and the SEALs he served with capable of executing the missions that make history.
The companion volume to the multimillion-copy bestseller No Easy Day by former Navy SEAL Mark Owen reveals the evolution of a SEAL Team Six operator.
Mark Owen's instant #1 New York Times bestseller, No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama bin Laden, focused on the high-profile targets and headline-grabbing chapters of the author's thirteen years as a Navy SEAL. His follow-up, No Hero, is an account of Owen's most personally meaningful missions, missions that never made headlines, including the moments in which he learned the most about himself and his teammates in both success and failure.
Featuring stories from the training ground to the battlefield, No Hero offers readers a never-before-seen close-up view of the experiences and values that make Mark Owen and the SEALs he served with capable of executing the missions that make history.
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  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    6.5
  • Lexile:
    890
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    4 - 5

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  • From the book

    Publisher’s Note

    The author submitted this manuscript for review by the Defense Office of Prepublication & Security Review (DOPSR) at the United States Department of Defense. Some material not essential to the book was removed or rewritten during the review process. In some cases no agreement between the author and DOPSR could be reached, and in those instances the passages in question have been redacted. The names of all individuals in the book have been changed for their security.

    The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. government.

    PROLOGUE

    Forty Names

    I was home in Virginia Beach on standby when the texts started coming in.

    It was August 2011 and the city was packed with tourists. Every day I drove by people on vacation, heading to the ocean for a day on the beach. I stayed away from the Oceanfront—the area that runs parallel to the beaches—where the T-shirt shops and mini golf courses attract sunburned vacationers. The tourists were in a beach state of mind, but all I could think about was Afghanistan and my upcoming deployment.

    The dog and pony show of dignitaries and political leaders was finally over. Now the prospect of going back overseas had me straining against a leash like a dog, ready to get back to work. But first I had to survive standby.

    Standby was the worst.

    It was one “spin” after another. We got a weekly brief on the latest intelligence from the world’s hot spots, which actually made things worse. We all wanted to be working, conducting actual missions. But during standby, all we could do was plan for missions that would probably never happen. Overseas it was common to get a mission, put together a plan, and execute it a few hours later. But most of the operations we were involved in during standby were spur-of-the-moment contingency operations that would eventually disappear. We’d spin up, plan the operation, only to spin back down as Washington decided on another option, or the hot spot cooled off. Making it worse, we were living at home, but we had very little time actually being at home with family. We had to keep our families at arm’s length because we never knew when we’d suddenly be gone. I’d stick them in the same compartment in my brain that I used during deployments. For me, I was gone during standby, even if my parents could call me on the phone.

    I know it was the same for every teammate. We all just wanted to get into the action.

    It was early evening and I’d just finished dinner. We weren’t supposed to drink or party on standby. The last thing anybody wanted to do was show up drunk for a possible mission. I was looking at a lazy night in front of the TV when I received a series of text messages about a helicopter crash. The messages all read the same.

    “There’s a CH-47 down in Afghanistan. Ours?”

    It was what we call “rumint,” a mix of real news and rumor that oftentimes turned into bullshit. Unfortunately, this time it would turn out to be true.

    I had to see only one text before my mind started turning. If it was true, it didn’t matter if it was SEALs, Delta, or Special Forces. They were teammates in the same fight. I called a good friend of mine who was on the squadron that was overseas. He wasn’t with his team because he was home taking care of his mother, who was sick. I thought he might know something.

    No answer.

    I kept scrolling through my phone, calling anyone who might...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 6, 2014
    This follow up to the pseudonymous Owen’s No Easy Day (2012) appears destined to follow in the first book’s big-selling footsteps, as it is well suited to the public’s almost insatiable appetite for action-filled true stories by former SEALs, Green Berets, and other special forces members. In his previous book, Owen offered a first-person account of the killing of Osama bin Laden. This new work—again told with writer Maurer—describes other SEAL missions in which Owen took part. Owen says this book is not “another navel-gazing battle memoir”; instead, it focuses on “the most important moments” that took place during unnamed missions, “and the lessons from each one that define me.” The book, he says, is a “way to honor my brothers in the SEAL community,” some of whom died in service to the country. After several chapters describing the arduous SEAL training, Owen and Maurer provide fast-paced accounts of a series of missions in Iraq and Afghanistan that took place during Owen’s 13-year career. Owen emphasizes the selflessness and service of his fellow SEALs, along with the lessons he learned, in a book that is sure to appeal the many fans of in-the-trenches special forces memoirs. 


  • Kirkus

    October 1, 2014
    Following up his best-seller No Easy Day (2012), about the killing of Osama bin Laden, former Navy SEAL Owen offers some life lessons drawn from his training and service. Owen has a fear of heights, and he's not all that comfortable a swimmer. Nevertheless, he spent 14 years as a Navy SEAL, where swimming in darkness through icy waters and cutting yourself loose from a malfunctioning parachute are only small parts of the job description. However, the author insists that there's nothing especially wondrous about conquering deficiencies, surviving mistakes and becoming "an asset to the team." Instead, SEAL success stems from a purposeful, hardworking, trained brotherhood committed to excellence. He builds each of his chapters around an especially challenging career episode: climbing a sheer rock face in the Nevada desert, traversing waist-deep snow in a bitterly cold Kabul valley pass on the way to a target, or entering an al-Qaida compound rigged to explode. Each adventure highlights a specific theme: e.g., how to control fear: "Stay in your three-foot world"; how to handle stress and the importance of not rushing, slowing things down; how "to be comfortable being uncomfortable." In other passages, Owen emphasizes the significance of building trust up and down the chain of command, of clear communications, of nurturing relationships to improve teamwork, of ensuring accountability, of improvising and evolving to meet the enemy's constantly shifting tactics and techniques. Near the end of his account, he hints at the personal toll combat inflicts. The image of a kitten lapping the pool of blood from an Iraqi fighter's shattered skull as a petrified, whimpering child looks on will certainly stay with readers, as it has with Owen. Still, he takes solace knowing he protected his mates, "obeyed the rules of engagement and never targeted innocents." Simple, well-told stories that will interest general readers and certainly anyone contemplating a career in special operations.

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    November 1, 2014

    This account is a follow-up to Owen's best-selling No Easy Day, in which the author wrote about his participation in the 2011 Abbottabad raid in northern Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden, among other operations. This volume adds some detail on the author's experiences as a Navy SEAL. As in his first book, Owen recounts some of his influences growing up in Alaska, but the anecdotes are scattered and not altogether informative. He describes the training he received as a new SEAL and to a large degree the mental toughness and determination he developed in training and during operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Perhaps the highlight is that the author successfully portrays combat vignettes, although repetitively, giving awareness to the sense of danger, stress, violence, and camaraderie that soldiers are familiar with. He later explains his decision to leave the navy after 14 years, well short of retirement. While Owen avoids most political issues, it is clear he has little respect for that part of the military equation. VERDICT Covering raids that had much less press attention than that described in his previous book, Owen's latest work may interest avid readers of military action yet is likely to generate less buzz. [See Prepub Alert, 6/2/14.]--Edwin Burgess, U.S. Army Combined Arms Research Lib., Fort Leavenworth, KS

    Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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