- Published: 2017
- Number of pages: 368 pages
- Format: Epub
- File Size: 16.32 MB
- Authors: Robert O’Neill
Review “Harrowing . . . In frank and vivid detail and blunt and plain language, Mr. O’Neill describes some of the 400 counterterrorism operations and close quarter combat he experienced in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere through his career as a SEAL . . . An interesting and insightful book about some of the most historic moments in modern American military history.” —Washington Times”A jaw-dropping, fast-paced account.” —New York Post”Enlightening about military special forces, especially the SEAL component . . . A fast-paced account quite likely to engender strong reactions among readers concerned with the U.S. military’s roles in foreign conflicts.” —Kirkus Reviews”O’Neill absorbingly relates the 2011 attack on bin Laden’s Pakistan compound . . . [Other] fascinating stories include his role in the successful 2009 mission to free Capt. Richard Phillips from Somali pirates, and those of too many fellow SEALs who were killed in battle. Fans of battlefield narratives, such as Michael Golembesky’s Level Zero Heroes, will relish this gripping perspective on 21st-century warfare.” —Library Journal“A riveting, unvarnished and wholly unforgettable portrait of America’s most storied commandos at war.” —Joby Warrick, author of Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction “Intensely moving and awe-inspiring, The Operator captures as few other books have the essence of being a frogman: utterly unimaginable fatigue followed by intense exhilaration followed by a weary emptiness—and then back for more. As this book shows, SEALs regularly travel to an emotional place that few men will ever visit. O’Neill wrote himself into American history with the three shots he fired into Osama bin Laden, but if you think that operation was intense wait till you read about the ones that preceded it. There is a saying, ‘Great battles are only given to great warriors.’ Rob was repeatedly given great battles, and he represented accordingly.” —Marcus Luttrell, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Lone Survivor and Service“Impossible to put down . . . What O’Neill has written is unique, surprising, a kind of counternarrative, and certainly the other half of the story of one of the world’s most famous military operations . . . In the larger sense, this book is about how to be alive—how to be human while in the very same moment dealing with death, destruction, combat.” —Doug Stanton, New York Times bestselling author of In Harm’s Way and Horse Soldiers
Reviews from Amazon users, collected at the time the book is getting published on UniedVRG. It can be related to shiping or paper quality instead of the book content:
⭐ It was the summer of 2014, and my wife and I were passing through Butte, Montana, on a long-distance road-trip from Arizona to Banff. At the same time, we said why would anyone want to live here. Well, as it turns out, a whole lot of good people live there, including one young man who had an incredible journey from Butte to Abbottabad, Pakistan.The Operator is the recently published book by Navy Seal Robert J. O’Neill, who is best known for firing the shots that killed Osama Bin Laden. This is a fascinating and well written story of men doing difficult things from their initial training to missions abroad and the challenges they face with their families, their friends and with their fellow operators.While O’Neill participated in 400 missions during his career, it was surprising the number of historically significant missions he was involved with. Previously, this reader did not know that he was involved with the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, when Somali pirates had taken over the Maersk Alabama. He was also in Paktika Province (Afghanistan), when Bowe Bergdahl deserted. O’Neill and his team hunted for Bergdahl as did my paratrooper son. When my son mentioned that Seals would go on missions with his team, I wondered if it could have been O’Neill and his guys.While the world knows about the killing of Bin Laden, O’Neill fills in the details on what actually went on inside that compound, and the tenseness of the operation. This story also makes one realize that war is a young man’s game, and this reader remains thankful that there still are Americans who serve a purpose that is greater than themselves. Read this book and be inspired!
⭐ “The Operator: Firing the Shots that killed Osama Bin Laden” by Robert O’Neill, (publ. Apr. 25, 2017); 358 pp, hardback. (Amazingly, as I write this review while holding the book in hand, one can read almost the entire book as provided for in Amazon Books!)This book regards the experiences of the author in serving as a U.S. Navy SEAL member on some 400+ “missions”, with his account of being the person who actually shot and killed Osama Bin Laden — the Islamist who coordinated the hijacked airplane, suicidal Islamikazi attacks on 9/11/2001 that destroyed several skyscrapers in NYC and damaged the Pentagon.The author recounts growing up in Montana and the road that led to his joining the U.S. Navy to become a SEAL. He recounts his SEAL training — a trying, exhausting experience that one has read in many other SEAL-training books written by other SEAL-school graduates. Following SEAL training, he discusses other combat-oriented training that he undertook during his 16 years as a SEAL.What, of course, is of primary interest here is his account as to how his SEAL team trained for their mission to “neutralize” Osama Bin Laden at his secretive Abbottabad, Pakistan compound. I’m not going to recount the author’s entire 25-page raid of rappelling from a helicopter into Osama’s high-walled “fortress”, but will quote the author as claiming that as he climbed up a stairwell to Osama’s third floor: “Osama bin Laden stood near the entrance at the foot of the bed, taller and thinner than I’d expected, his beard shorter and hair whiter….In less than a second, I aimed above the woman’s right shoulder [who was standing in front of Osama] and pulled the trigger twice. Bin Laden’s head split open, and he dropped” (p. 310). Well, there’s more to the author’s account as to how his team searched through the building for documents and computers for intelligence data, and their escape back to their Afghanistan base.About a year-and-a-half after shooting bin Laden, the author decided to retire — but still about 3 years short of being able to retire from the military and qualify for a monthly pension. Towards the end of his SEAL career, he came under criticism from other SEALs that he was planning on quitting early in order to “cash in” on writing a book such as this. The author was bothered by such criticism, and he pondered in his concluding paragraph: “I’ve had many moments when I’ve wondered if being the one who killed Osama bin Laden was the best thing that ever happened to me, or the worst. I’m still trying to figure that out” (p. 336).Even if the author hadn’t been the SEAL who downed Osama, his recounting of his other combat experiences would still make this book an interesting read. I highly recommend it.
⭐ I read this book almost entirely straight through, finishing it in one day. Like Rob, I grew up in small-town Montana and joined the military straight after high school, so I found his early chapters both very interesting but also very relatable. He manages to break down his journey through BUD/S in a way that’s easy for us to understand and digest yet also remain awestruck at what those guys have to go through to earn their title. The action is non-stop and reveals a lot of information that we previously didn’t know.And through all of it, Rob remains completely humble.By far my favorite book and I plan on buying it again through Audible to listen while running.
⭐ This was a very good book by an engaging author. Most Seal books are formulaic and this one was to, the first couple of chapters describe an idyllic childhood in Montana. This is followed by several chapters of detailed description of BUDs training. He relates the training stories with great comedic timing, and reflective passages which reveal what it takes to pass the military’s hardest training and why he was able to pass. In fact as I reflected on his story , just his BUDs performance showed he was in the best of the best. He made it through with no roll backs, no injuries, no failures. In addition he was a young 20 year old new to the Navy. It was obvious that he was destined to go to “tier 1″After BUDs he recounts his very busy career in the SEAL teams. He was selected for SEAL Team 6 and passed that course putting him into the most elite unit in the Navy. He recounts his combat deployments culminating in the mission that killed Bin Laden.Two things occur to me when I read of his exploits. First off it is uncanny how many of the high profile missions that even a casual observer of military operations in the 21st century , that this man was involved in . The hunt of Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrell, the search for Bowe Bergdahl, the killing of the pirates that were holding Captain Phillips and of course the mission that killed Bin Laden. My connection with the military is over 23 years old (retired in 94) so it’s not like I track this stuff every day, but just being in the culture you aware of these high profile missions and it is remarkable that he was on so many of them. It points out what a small subset of Americans have borne the brunt of the war on terror. As Churchill said “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”.Second off from this book I like this guy. He seems humble, he has great sense of humor and gives good advice. From the little I have read about him, it seems as though people on the teams did not like how he handled the post mission attention. He eludes to this in the final chapter and his decision to leave the Navy 4 years short of retirement. (Another reason to switch the military to a 401K system). I don’t know if his teammates opprobrium was justified, I’ve seen him on FOX news now and then but never really sat and listened to him. Like I said , from this book he seems like a solid guy. He was critisized by “cashing in” on his part in the mission. Yet no one blinks an eye when 3 or 4 star generals and admirals retire from the service and go straight to vice president jobs with defense contractors. Why are officers allowed to “cash in” but not an enlisted guy who arguably achieved one of the most public war on terror milestones? I say kudos to him.Good quick read, the editing was pretty good, once or twice he lost continuity and could have explained things a little better but for the most part, well written, interesting book from a likable heroic guy.
⭐ This is an amazing book and a must read for any patriot. What these patriots do to keep us safe from terrorists is told in great detail in this book. There are many stories of the missions that this hero or heroes went on, not just the Osama bin Laden raid, where he was the “man who shot Osama bin Laden. Robert O’Neill was a member of the great Seal Team 6, the ones that the military called to do the most difficult tasks, and they were successful. Included in this book are the missions to save Captain Philips from the Somali pirates, missions to take out al Quaida groups in Afghanistan and Iraq. There is one story where the Seal Team 6 operatives wipe out an al Quaida group forted up in a island and terrorizing the local Iraquis. After the mission is complete, the local Iraquis came out and had a party in the streets. There are a lot of interesting human interest stories in this book. The ones that really tore at my heart where when he had to leave in short notice from his children, one time with one hour notice while having an Easter celebration with his four year old daughter. What these heroes went through for us is well documented and this is a fantastic, amazing book. I highly recommend it.
⭐ A very readable, enjoyable tale told by a humble warrior. It’s a basic outline of the authors life from childhood up until the famous shots are fired. He doesn’t get too bogged down in cool sounding military lingo, nor does he delve deeply into tactics or gear (He did, however, catch my attention when he revealed he only carried 4 rifle mags and no handgun. Dang. Talk about going light). Having read “No Easy Day” and this book, I would say that if you want the deeper stuff read the former. If you want to hear a regular guy relay how he saw the war, his comrades, and himself read this one. I would recommend both.If you read through some of the reviews, you will see that some folks are really giving Rob a hard time about his supposed affinity for fame and fortune. How long ago was Bin Laden killed and the book came out when? What about other warriors who have made a few bucks on their experience by writing about it? You want to bad mouth U.S. Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, or Audie Murphy? They wrote books too, along with numerous other lesser known warriors. I have the deepest respect for Rob and I hope he makes a million bucks.
⭐ Rob tskes the reader through his initial training, BUD/S, in becoming a SEAL. Grueling, physically demanding months .learning to be a team member, figuring how to be drown-proof. Constant yelling and harassment from instructors. But the SEAL training was just beginning. Jump school was on his agenda, static line and free fall jumps, many from his altitudes. And sniper school, another SEAL skill. On and on. Rob rose to the rank of Chief Petty Officer (E-7). In his many years with the SRALs, he was on 400 missions. He was very highly decorated, with, for instance, two Silver Stars and four Bronze Stars with valor.He was involved in the rescue of Captain Phillips, although Rob was not one of the SRAL snipers who killed the Somali pirates who were holding Phillips, of the Maersk Alabama, hostage.Hr is famous of course for being the one who shot bin Laden to death. He and his SEAL mates figured they wouldn’t make it out alive as they readied for the mission to helicopter in to where bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan. There were concerns that Pskisysn would deploy its antiaircraft defenses against the incoming helicopters. Or that Pakistan police or military, might show up at the compound where bin Laden stayed and that they would try to arrest the SEALs. Lots of risk. But the mission came off beautifully. A textbook commando operation.Rob left the Navy before he had served enough time to earn a pension. Maybe he was burned out, though he loved the comeraderie and the physical training and the missions. But it was time to move on to another phase in his life.
⭐ My daughter dated a Navy SEAL while he went through BUD/s. They would meet every weekend at our house (halfway between daughter’s house and Coronado) through the entire program. Also had the opportunity to attend his graduation ceremony in the grinder (Class 244). I learned more in O’Neill’s book about the program, the pain, the stories, the traditions and the mental fortitude required to complete than I ever heard from the boyfriend or any of the other SEAL books I have read.This book is extremely well written, provides great detail while sharing the emotions of various experiences. I found myself laughing, tearing up and just pausing to think. I would recommend “The Operator” to anyone, not just military buffs.
⭐ Rob O’Neill is a true American hero. This book details his experiences in the Navy SEALs and the elite SEAL team 6. It is mindblowing to read about the missions these guys routinely perform. They seem to be straight out of movies, but are in fact real stories (which incidentally make great movies). This book is fast paced and is easily readable in one sitting.The Osama bin Laden raid is captivating and shows the immense amount of effort required to get to the point where Rob could put three rounds in his head. It encompasses all of the intelligence and superior technology that was required to hunt down a savage brute responsible for murdering thousands of innocent people.This book should be read by all- it shows the amount of hard work and dedication that is undertaken by the elite special forces who are out there killing the enemies of America. The story of Rob O’Neill is profoundly admirable.
⭐ Most of this book is a slog. Yes the parts about the training are good, because it’s interesting to hear the perspective of the person who completed it.But most of the book (admittedly I am only at 70%) is just about all the minutiae of all his missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.Even what should be an interesting part (he was part of the team that rescued the captain of the Maersk Alabama) is filled up with uninteresting none sense from when he got the alert (2+ pages of his stop at the ATM and convenience store on the way to responding to the alert.) Please. Again I am only about 70% into this book and we are nowhere near Neptune Spear.
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