U.S. Naval Intelligence

Special Operations

A - K

The U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command has a Website at

Boehm, Roy, and Charles W. Sasser. First Seal. New York: Atria, 1997.

It is difficult to verify all the exploits displayed in this book. However, David Del Giudice [CAPT/USN (Ret.)], "Setting the Record Straight," U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, 137, no. 2 (Feb. 2011): 60-64, vehemently rejects Boehm's claims to having created the SEALs and been the commanding officer of the first SEAL team. He says: "These claims are demonstrably false," and then provides a brief history of the establishment of the SEALs.

Burnham, John J. [CAPT/USN] "Adapting the Force to the Fight." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 135, no. 7 (Jul. 2009): 22-27.

Naval Special Warfare's "traditional operations now include even more -- and faster -- irregular warfare. This is not going to change anytime soon."

Clines, Francis X. "Navy SEALs Trade Secrecy for Swagger." New York Times, 6 Nov. 2014. []

"A furious Navy command is asking whatever happened to the professionalism and tight secrecy of SEAL Team Six.... One of the former SEALs has been working as a paid motivational speaker and routinely discusses the raid during his gigs. Now that SEAL, Robert O’Neill, is reportedly ready to out himself in a forthcoming Fox News interview as the actual triggerman who slew the terrorist mastermind of 9/11. Another veteran of the SEAL team, Matt Bissonette, is publishing a second tell-all book even as the Pentagon and Justice Department investigate whether he disclosed classified information in his first best seller."

Couch, Dick [CAPT/USNR (Ret.)].

1. Down Range: Navy SEALs in the War on Terrorism. New York: Crown, 2005. [pb] New York: Three Rivers, 2006.

Keiser, Proceedings 131.12 (Dec. 2005), sees this work as a "selected review of SEAL efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq." The author relates "the details of several combat operations, including insights on the rescue of Army Private First Class Jessica Lynch and the attendant publicity." This is "a fine account of exceptionally qualified and dedicated warriors

2. "Shore Up SOF." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 131, no. 1 (Jan. 2005): 38-40.

"[G]iven the lead time required to train and develop a competent special operator, we are now losing them faster than we can make them.... Bottom line, we are losing our very best at a time when we are trying to grow the force to take the lead in the war on terror."

Dobbs, Michael J. [CDR/USN (Ret.)] "Hype, Hope & Hard Facts: Getting a Fix on SSGN SOF Capabilities." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 134, no. 2 (Feb. 2008): 28-32.

"The obstacles to the SSGN [converted Ohio-class SSBNs] living up to its advertised capability for SOF operations include material, operational, and training.... The advanced SEAL delivery system is the biggest question mark for the SSGN program, because it is essential to the submarine's SOF capability."

Dunne, Martha S. [LT/USN] "SEALs Need Dedicated Helo Support." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, Jun. 2001, 44-47.

"Special warfare forces operate extensively with surface and subsurface assets that deliver them from the sea, but they lack the rotary-wing support ... they need to carry out their littoral missions on land."

Dwyer, John B.

1. Scouts and Raiders: The Navy's First Special Warfare Commandos. New York: Praeger, 1993. [Gibish]

2. Seaborne Deception: The History of U.S. Navy Beach Jumpers. New York: Praeger, 1992.

From publisher: "This book is the history of the highly trained officers and men who went by the cover name Beach Jumpers.... During World War II, their [deception] tactics were extremely successful in Sicily, Salerno, Southern France, and the Philippines. Beach Jumpers later served ashore and afloat in Vietnam. Their descendants, called Fleet Tactical Deception Groups, continue their important, highly classified work today."

Fane, Francis Douglas [CDR/USNR (Ret.)], and Don Moore. The Naked Warriors. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1956. The Naked Warriors: The Story of the U.S. Navy's Frogmen. Rev. ed. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.

From advertisement for the 1995 edition: "Fane, commander of Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) One for 13 years, is credited with contributing more to the development of UDT operations and civilian SCUBA than anyone in the United States. In this long-awaited update of his classic blow-by-blow account of UDT operations in World War II and Korea he offers first-hand information and photographs never before available as well as a new chapter that continues the UDT story after the original book's 1956 publication."

Keith, Thomas H. [MCHF/USN (Ret.)], and J. Terry Riebling. SEAL Warrior: Death in the Dark--Vietnam, 1968-1972. New York: Thomas Dunne, 2009.

Burnham, Proceedings 135.12 (Dec. 2009), notes that this work "is neither autobiography nor sweeping historical essay.... It focuses on Keith's three deployments ... in South Vietnam's Mekong Delta." The book "is a solid read," but it "is not perfect. Though it flows well..., he refers to too few outside events to give the reader context or a sense of what was happening in the combat theater. The lack of dates and maps eventually becomes confusing."

Kelly, Orr.

1. Brave Men -- Dark Waters: The Untold Story of the Navy SEALs. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1992. New York: Pocket, 2003. [pb]

Surveillant 2.6 identifies Kelly as a veteran defense correspondent who has worked for the Washington Star and U.S. News and World Report. Among other things, this work discusses the Marchinko case (see Marchinko and Wiseman, Rogue Warrior) and looks at the past and possible future mission of the SEALs.

According to Yang, FILS 12.5, this work "highlights several intelligence facets of the SEAL story." They "would gather their own intelligence and then act on it.... '[T]he SEALs found they were able to penetrate deep into VC sanctuaries where more conventional forces didn't know enough, or didn't dare, to go.' (p. 136) This ability was tapped" by the CIA, which used "the SEALs special talents through the Provincial Reconnaissance Unit and the Phoenix/Phung Hoang Programs." The book has an "unmistakable air of authenticity." While it "cannot be considered definitive," it is "better than anything else that examines SEAL history before and since the Vietnam War."

2. Never Fight Fair! Navy SEALS' Stories of Combat and Adventure. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1995. Never Fight Fair! Inside the Legendary U.S. Navy Seals. New York: Pocket, 1996. [pb]

This book is primarily interviews/oral history with former (and some active) Navy SEALS.

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