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No Hero: The Evolution of a Navy SEAL

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The second book by former Navy SEAL Mark Owen, following his multimillion-copy classic about the bin Laden missionNo Easy Day, in which he tells the stories from his career that were most personal to him and that made him the operator and the person he is today While Mark Owen’s instant New York Times bestseller No Easy Day focused on the high-profile targets and The second book by former Navy SEAL Mark Owen, following his multimillion-copy classic about the bin Laden mission No Easy Day, in which he tells the stories from his career that were most personal to him and that made him the operator and the person he is today While Mark Owen’s instant New York Times bestseller No Easy Day focused on the high-profile targets and headline-grabbing chapters of the author’s career, No Hero will be an account of the most personally meaningful missions from Owen’s thirteen years as a SEAL, including the moments in which he learned the most about himself and his teammates, in both success and failure. Mark Owen describes his intentions for his second book best: I want No Hero to offer something most books on war don’t: the intimate side of it, the personal struggles and hardships and what I learned from them. The stories in No Hero will be a testament to my teammates and to all the other active and former SEALs who have dedicated their lives to freedom. In our community, we are constantly taught to mentor the younger generation and to pass the lessons and values we’ve learned on to others so that they can do the same to the guys coming up after them. This is what I plan to do for the reader of No Hero.” Every bit as action-packed as No Easy Day, and featuring stories from the training ground to the battlefield, No Hero offers readers an unparalleled close-up view of the experiences and values that make Mark Owen and the men he served with capable of executing the missions we read about in the headlines.


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The second book by former Navy SEAL Mark Owen, following his multimillion-copy classic about the bin Laden missionNo Easy Day, in which he tells the stories from his career that were most personal to him and that made him the operator and the person he is today While Mark Owen’s instant New York Times bestseller No Easy Day focused on the high-profile targets and The second book by former Navy SEAL Mark Owen, following his multimillion-copy classic about the bin Laden mission No Easy Day, in which he tells the stories from his career that were most personal to him and that made him the operator and the person he is today While Mark Owen’s instant New York Times bestseller No Easy Day focused on the high-profile targets and headline-grabbing chapters of the author’s career, No Hero will be an account of the most personally meaningful missions from Owen’s thirteen years as a SEAL, including the moments in which he learned the most about himself and his teammates, in both success and failure. Mark Owen describes his intentions for his second book best: I want No Hero to offer something most books on war don’t: the intimate side of it, the personal struggles and hardships and what I learned from them. The stories in No Hero will be a testament to my teammates and to all the other active and former SEALs who have dedicated their lives to freedom. In our community, we are constantly taught to mentor the younger generation and to pass the lessons and values we’ve learned on to others so that they can do the same to the guys coming up after them. This is what I plan to do for the reader of No Hero.” Every bit as action-packed as No Easy Day, and featuring stories from the training ground to the battlefield, No Hero offers readers an unparalleled close-up view of the experiences and values that make Mark Owen and the men he served with capable of executing the missions we read about in the headlines.

30 review for No Hero: The Evolution of a Navy SEAL

  1. 5 out of 5

    L.A. Starks

    This book is a follow-on to No Easy Day. I recommend it especially for the Orion and the Action and Adventure reading groups. Mark Owen makes clear the physical and mental effort, constant practice, teamwork, and honest follow-up that go into successful SEAL missions. The difficulty of BUD/S qualification and training is legendary; Owen explains why. What I most liked--in addition to the clarity of the book--was Owen's discussion of AAR's, or After-Action Reviews, a no-holds discussion after every This book is a follow-on to No Easy Day. I recommend it especially for the Orion and the Action and Adventure reading groups. Mark Owen makes clear the physical and mental effort, constant practice, teamwork, and honest follow-up that go into successful SEAL missions. The difficulty of BUD/S qualification and training is legendary; Owen explains why. What I most liked--in addition to the clarity of the book--was Owen's discussion of AAR's, or After-Action Reviews, a no-holds discussion after every mission, no matter how tired a team is, of what went well, what went poorly, and how to improve.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Claudia Putnam

    The writing is terrible, even with the ghost writer, who I presume wanted to preserve Owen's down-home style, or pretend he had one. The content is sociologically interesting. I mean if you want to know what goes on in the mind of one Navy SEAL, especially one who protesteth far too much, here you go. Definitely no hero. Some things that stood out for me: A little pocket of Americana I never personally had any experience with: "I purchased my first assault rifle at school from my [high school] The writing is terrible, even with the ghost writer, who I presume wanted to preserve Owen's down-home style, or pretend he had one. The content is sociologically interesting. I mean if you want to know what goes on in the mind of one Navy SEAL, especially one who protesteth far too much, here you go. Definitely no hero. Some things that stood out for me: A little pocket of Americana I never personally had any experience with: "I purchased my first assault rifle at school from my [high school] history teacher. It was an AR-15, a civilian version of the military's M-4. I'd earned the money for the rifle doing odd jobs for people in the village and working construction in the summer. Between classes, I paid my teacher seven hundred dollars, then took the rifle and locked it in my locker until the end of school. When the bell rang, I put it on the back of my snowmobile and rode home." The video game nature of war to him: "The fighters tried to skid to a stop and raise their rifles in a weak-ass attempt to get some shots off. Before they even had a chance to level their AK-47s, Bert and the PJ fired multiple rounds into each fighter. They went down in a heap at the mouth of the alley... Both fighters were killed in action. I felt instant gratification. We'd gotten them. We'd missed on the first try, but didn't get discouraged." "The drone's sensor operator fired an infrared laser, like a giant laser pointer, at the fighters' location. Under our night vision, it looked like a giant finger pointing to the fighters' exact location. It was something out of a video game." But remember: "Everyone moved as quietly as we we possibly could... After all, this wasn't a video game. You can't just get shot and re-spawn in place." The way that "assaults," which the military seems to curiously use in place of "attack" (we "assaulted" the compound, we went on "assault," the "assaulters" were in position) seemed to turn him on: "As I watched the footage, I could make out the assaulters moving silently toward the target compound. I had done the same thing a million time, so I knew exactly how those guys felt. I was still getting excited just watching them. I knew their senses were on fire..." As often happens in war, the enemy is dehumanized. In this case, just completely disregarded as human beings. In one chapter, the After Action Review, an interesting process in which every mission is completely dissected with the aim of improving the next one, is discussed. Mistakes were made. As a result of such a review, two escaped Taliban commanders are caught and killed and will "never be a threat again." However, he says, "many AARs and the lessons learned in them aren't so simple. Sometimes people die because we haven't clearly communicated and learned from our mistakes." Semantics: who are people, and who are not-people? Man, there are a lot of drones flying around out there. In any movie, we would kind of be the bad guys, right? The evil empire with all the technology hunting down the ragtag rebels hiding in the hills and caves? Just saying. Strangely inverted iconography. Anyhow, it just goes to show that despite huge technological advantages, you can't "win" a war/struggle if you don't put the right political strategies in place--eg, if you are going to kiss Pakistan's ass (Owen doesn't speak to this, so you have to go read other books to get this, such as The Wrong Enemy by Carlotta Gall) and let the Taliban take refuge there. I disagree with Owen's discussion about how the enemy manipulates the rules of engagement--or rather, I don't disagree that they do, but I think the cost of us ignoring them is too high. Still, clearly these rules put sometimes unreasonable constraints on getting the job done and I wonder if a more workable balance can't be found. There was a curious disrespect for the abilities of the Afghan fighters the SEALs were supposed to be training. The SEALs did not seem to want to be doing this--the Afghans were thought to be slowing the SEALs down. Shouldn't there be more enthusiasm for teaching these guys and helping them become better fighters so the Americans can leave? There was almost a scorn that they didn't speak English, too, as if they should, rather than any consideration that the SEALs should be speaking Afghan. Kind of funny. Plus, I wondered why the Afghans would be such terrible fighters when many Afghans on our side had fought alongside the Taliban against the Soviets back in the day and were pretty tough fighters... why weren't the Afghan commandos recruited from those ranks? Basically, this book went some distance to confirm my suspicion that despite his talk of sacrifice, these guys aren't especially patriotic. They may think they are, but if they'd been born in Russia or China or Saudi Arabia, they'd be loyal THERE, and probably members of THEIR elite forces. They're the same guys all over the world. They're in these roles because of the challenge, because of the nature of the work, because they see being a SEAL, or whatever branch of special forces they've chosen, as being the best of the best, kind of like how people who go to Harvard Law think THEY are the best of the best. ("I never wanted to be normal. I can't be average." Me either.) It's not that I don't believe that they feel some connection to American ideology, but I'd bet if they were born in another country they'd connect to that ideology, because they're just that kind of person--a person who is born loyal. Born to excel but also born to serve. As for sacrifice, yes, there's a lot of it, but Olympic athletes also sacrifice, as do Himalayan climbers, and even elite scientists, doctors, and lawyers make sacrifices in favor of their careers at the expense of families and social lives. Not everyone lays their life on the line (climbers do). I suspect that for these SEAL guys that's a lot of the rush, and therefore not as much of a sacrifice as it might seem. I actually don't get the sense that these guys mind risking their lives so much. You can't simultaneously say you're no hero and be miffed when you're not getting a medal. I do think the families make sacrifices, but maybe that's the issue--is it irresponsible for a commando to have a family? I think that about elite climbers, sometimes. Owen argues that SEAL training insulates them from PTSD. Some might beg to differ, but perhaps there are re-entry difficulties all the same, and perhaps some of this is due to the intense experience of team identity he describes. I wonder if it would be easier for a fighter from an elite unit to re-enter a more collectivist society? Anyhow, I agree. These guys aren't heros. They're job-doers. They do jobs that are difficult, dangerous, and apparently, very rewarding and exciting for them. They sacrifice, but I wondered how much of the sacrifice was for *us* and how much of it was so that they could be better, faster, stronger, etc.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shane

    I think this book is different in a lot of ways- he allows us to see the human element with its failures and how he overcame each of them to press forward. I loved to see what motivated him and also changed him. It was his training that made him great. Money well spent. Stay in your "3-feet"!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Harrison Chang

    Man, what a book. This is by far one of my most favorite and best-written autobiographies I have read so far. Mark Owen, former Navy SEAL and member of SEAL Team 6 (DEVGRU) writes about his experience as a SEAL with multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and also Africa during which he connects and talks extensively about BUD/S, UDT and SEAL Weapons Qualifications Training. He has participated in the Captain Phillips rescue and the Bin Laden raid and writes about all the countless Man, what a book. This is by far one of my most favorite and best-written autobiographies I have read so far. Mark Owen, former Navy SEAL and member of SEAL Team 6 (DEVGRU) writes about his experience as a SEAL with multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and also Africa during which he connects and talks extensively about BUD/S, UDT and SEAL Weapons Qualifications Training. He has participated in the Captain Phillips rescue and the Bin Laden raid and writes about all the countless ops he has been in although it would've been even better if some of the information weren't censored for sensitive information (The Department of Defence would look for information in the book to check if it's classified or sensitive information the public shouldn't know about and censor it). Packed with action, violence, and horror, this book is a must-read for anyone who likes to read war novels and autobiographies written by people with actual past experience in the military. "Gunfights are like car crashes. You tend to avoid them but they still happen" –Mark Owen

  5. 5 out of 5

    Katia M. Davis

    I enjoyed this for its story telling. It didn't delve into the emotional or psychological side of elite warfare so much aside from a very cursory look at compartmentalisation, but it was interesting none the less. I also enjoyed the analytical approach to discussing deployments that gave an insight into what went on during missions. It read kind of blow by blow, but I think that was important to get the intensity of the situations across without being emotional about it. I did find it a little I enjoyed this for its story telling. It didn't delve into the emotional or psychological side of elite warfare so much aside from a very cursory look at compartmentalisation, but it was interesting none the less. I also enjoyed the analytical approach to discussing deployments that gave an insight into what went on during missions. It read kind of blow by blow, but I think that was important to get the intensity of the situations across without being emotional about it. I did find it a little repetitive in places, but it didn't bother me too much as I was reading. I think this is a good book if you are interested in the tactical side of special operations and training.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    I strongly recommend this book. For me, the concept of "The Three Foot World" alone made the entire book worth the read (I listened to the audio version). A well written, history of a SEAL's experiences during his career is about much more than firefights and killing bad guys, although there is some of that in this book. The book is really about what it takes to become a high performing professional in any field or endeavor.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    A strong, no bullshit account of a SEAL in the making. However, I disagree with the author's title, these guys are most definitely HEROES!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Robert Cox

    Lacks the direction and narrowed scope of “No Easy Day”, which had served the author much better as far as story telling goes. Focuses more on Owen’s path in becoming a SEAL and more about the day to day life. However Owen’s frankness about his failures and shortcomings was refreshing in a book of this genre.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Fedders

    I am in awe of Navy seals and the sacrifices they make for our freedom. This particular author is one that focuses on team work and the mission at hand vs patting just himself on the back. No Hero’s underlying theme is to embrace the good of ‘your people’, focus on what you can control, and to always always always pay it forward.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Regina Ross

    Interesting but slightly unfocused and probably unnecessary. The author says he wanted to go into more of the day-to-day life and lessons of a SEAL than he did in his first book No Easy Day, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling he was trying to squeeze just a little more juice out of the lemon... for profit.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Greg Holman

    Wasn't just, this is how hard seal training is. had some good points. Pretty easy read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Diary of a Modern Day Spinster

    You can't possibly not like this guy after reading this book. And even though he comes from a completely different world than me, I could relate to him. He's an Alaska boy who knows how to live off the land. He learned survival skills in grade school and sometimes rode a snowmobile to school. He always wanted to be a SEAL. I admire anyone who goes after their dream. I did the same (although my dream was not as hazardous). And although he is disciplined, he can be defiant. He's in hot water for You can't possibly not like this guy after reading this book. And even though he comes from a completely different world than me, I could relate to him. He's an Alaska boy who knows how to live off the land. He learned survival skills in grade school and sometimes rode a snowmobile to school. He always wanted to be a SEAL. I admire anyone who goes after their dream. I did the same (although my dream was not as hazardous). And although he is disciplined, he can be defiant. He's in hot water for not running his first book, No Easy Day, through the proper channels. This time for No Hero, he did. Some parts of the book are redacted. It's only a couple paragraphs and words here and there. But instead of excluding those parts from the book, he left them in. In his first book, he was very critical of the current administration. Some would say he's ballsy, while others would say he's a glutton for punishment. I only gave it three stars because he left out a lot of things. He talked in great detail about his missions and the lessons he learned from them. But he's been out of the military for years and I want to know about his transition to civilian life. So many veterans suffer from PTSD. He could have helped many with his story. He also made it seem like the only valuable lessons he learned was in the military. I come from a large Irish-American family and I learned something from all of my elders. I'm sure his missionary mom and dad taught him a few things as well. Bottom line, he revealed so much and yet so little. Not sure how much of the book was Mark and how much was Kevin, his co-writer. What I loved about the book? He was honest about his faults, he made me laugh and most importantly, he made me understand what it was like in Iraq and Afghanistan. I do not know anyone in the military (my uncle was in Vietnam but I was told never to ask him about it). All I know about war is what I've seen in documentaries. Mark Owen's books helped educate me. Thank you Mark and if there's a third book planned, please make it a solo mission this time.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Richardson

    I received this book through the Goodreads First Reads program. I have read Mr. Owen's previous book "No Easy Day" about the Osama bin Laden killing which I had some security and accuracy issues with at the time. This story written by the former Seal is a must read for anyone interested in the military and Seal Teams in particular. Mr. Owen (a pseudonym) shows us what it takes to be a Seal and what kind of missions they might be used for. This time around some of the censorship seems arbitrary I received this book through the Goodreads First Reads program. I have read Mr. Owen's previous book "No Easy Day" about the Osama bin Laden killing which I had some security and accuracy issues with at the time. This story written by the former Seal is a must read for anyone interested in the military and Seal Teams in particular. Mr. Owen (a pseudonym) shows us what it takes to be a Seal and what kind of missions they might be used for. This time around some of the censorship seems arbitrary as you can easily look up the book, "Rogue Warrior" by Richard Marcinko to see which Seal Team he was on, but it is blanked out in this book. I liked the way Mr. Owen showed that even when a mission failed or they made mistakes that there was always something they learned from that and it helped them to grow. We all need to take this lesson to heart and not be afraid to step out of our comfort zones sometimes in order to make progress in our lives. The Navy Seals may not think they are heroes, but we certainly owe a huge debt of gratitude to all that they have done over the years to make this country free and safe.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jake Danishevsky

    I completely enjoy and love books by heroes who are merely speaking of doing their job. In today's world a lot of people speak of little things like they are something to brag about. Mark Owen on the other hand is a hero who speaks of his heroic things merely as part of doing his job. As Mark states in the book, the people perceive SEALs as people who do extraordinary things, but Mark points out that they are people who do basic things extraordinarily. I think that they are amazing and born to I completely enjoy and love books by heroes who are merely speaking of doing their job. In today's world a lot of people speak of little things like they are something to brag about. Mark Owen on the other hand is a hero who speaks of his heroic things merely as part of doing his job. As Mark states in the book, the people perceive SEALs as people who do extraordinary things, but Mark points out that they are people who do basic things extraordinarily. I think that they are amazing and born to lead people. I doubt that someone can be merely trained to do basic things extraordinary way. I think someone has to be born to be able to hand physical and mental task as those people do in the extraordinary way. I enjoyed this book a lot. I haven't read "No Easy Day" by the same SEAL author, but I look forward to it. Can't compare the two yet, but curious to see what the other book, that put Mark on the map as the author, entails.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ethan

    I thought this was an amazing book! I really liked how he explained each thing that he and is team would prep for the mission and all the little things that they did before entering the compound or other mission areas. He talks about his experience throughout the book and how he failed multiple times but that did not stop him from trying to be the best seal he could. You learn about leadership and brotherhood in this book. So if you are interested in learning about seal operations or think about I thought this was an amazing book! I really liked how he explained each thing that he and is team would prep for the mission and all the little things that they did before entering the compound or other mission areas. He talks about his experience throughout the book and how he failed multiple times but that did not stop him from trying to be the best seal he could. You learn about leadership and brotherhood in this book. So if you are interested in learning about seal operations or think about being a seal then this is a book I recommend for you.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mahaakshay Chakraborty

    I had loved No Easy Day and I love No Hero as well. I hope the author keeps on writing more and more books and readers like me always get transported to the War Zones and the high-intensity, kill-or-be-killed missions where we feel alive and full of adrenaline! I loved every chapter of this book and I recommend this book to all those who want to feel how it feels like to be a real hero. "The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday."

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    I haven't read his other book yet. I grabbed this one on audio for a 2 day road trip. Finished it in one day though. My main take away from all the great advice he gave was "stay in your 3 foot world". Something we can remind ourselves in all aspects of our life - not just rock climbing or in combat. I thought it was humbly written and honest. I look forward to reading his other book that much more.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kay

    The E-edition will have white outs through out the book due to sensitive information. Regardless, it was a great read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Toby Inman

    No Hero Toby Inman 12/01/17 English 12-5 1- The author of this book, who is a former member of SEAL Team 6, wanted to tell the world the intimate side of war or the everyday life of it and to share some of his stories about the operations that didn’t make headlines. 2- This book was written this year when just about every week there's something in the headlines about the war in Afghanistan and its about the stuff that doesn’t make the news. 3- This book is made up of accounts that take place all over No Hero Toby Inman 12/01/17 English 12-5 1- The author of this book, who is a former member of SEAL Team 6, wanted to tell the world the intimate side of war or the everyday life of it and to share some of his stories about the operations that didn’t make headlines. 2- This book was written this year when just about every week there's something in the headlines about the war in Afghanistan and its about the stuff that doesn’t make the news. 3- This book is made up of accounts that take place all over the world, but mostly in Afghanistan and Iraq. 4- The main character was Mark Owen who is a Navy SEAL with a no-quit attitude. Another character is Walt who is also a Navy SEAL and is short with a big mouth. Walt is also Mark’s swim buddy, a SEAL’s partner, throughout most of the book. Phil is also an important character in this book. He is Mark’s mentor and commanding officer some of Mark’s time as a SEAL. 5- Each chapter has its own theme which are purpose, confidence, fear, stress, mindset, trust, communication, relationships, accountability, discomfort, evolution, and compartmentalization. 6- This book starts of by him talking about a helicopter crash that he knew about from text messages and his friends that died in it. Then he tells about how he had always wanted to be a SEAL and the start of BUD/s. After that Mark shares some of his experiences in Afghanistan. He goes on to talk about lots of raids he did and some of the places where he was posted. He then ends the book by talking about making the decision to get out of the Navy and the hard transition to civilian life. 7- One literary device used in this book was imagery. One example of imagery is this “I stifled a long yawn as I walked back to our ready room and took off my kit, which was soaked with dust and sweat.” another device used was conflict. One example of conflict in this book could be any one of the many times that Mark said that he got in a gunfight during a mission. 8- One memorable quote was “People think SEALs are fearless. Think again. No one lives without fear; heights is my Achilles’ heel.” This quote stuck in my mind because to think that I share the same fear as someone who had been through BUD/s and 14 deployments around the world was astonishing. A second quote is “Beckwith fired most of the soldiers in the unit when he took command and started to recruit replacement using a flyer.” This was memorable because I thought it was funny that the leader of a project during the Vietnam war recruited soldiers using a flyer.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Grant

    No Hero is a book that stays true to its title. This is a book that isn’t about the heroism of a Navy Seal, but about the teamwork of his unit, and what he learned through that teamwork. As well as what he learned training to become a Seal. Overall, I would say that this was a good read, but it reads more like a short story collection rather than a novel. Although because of that the book was never boring to me, but the stories were formulaic. The Majority of the stories would start with some No Hero is a book that stays true to its title. This is a book that isn’t about the heroism of a Navy Seal, but about the teamwork of his unit, and what he learned through that teamwork. As well as what he learned training to become a Seal. Overall, I would say that this was a good read, but it reads more like a short story collection rather than a novel. Although because of that the book was never boring to me, but the stories were formulaic. The Majority of the stories would start with some type of mission or training the author Mark Owen went through, then it would be him reflecting on the meaning of that mission or training. But the stories were good and the lessons drawn out of them were nice as well, so it being formulaic didn’t bother me a lot. When I was reading this book, there were some passages that surprised me, there was one where the author sneaks up on sleeping terrorists and kills them all without hesitating. After this happens, the author does reflect on it, writing about stress caused by the war. But reading that passage especially showed a lot about the nature of war, which this book does a good job of explaining through the stories found later in it. Which definitely gave me a new perspective on at least how Navy Seals operate in a war. I found the writing style of this book to be pretty simple, no huge words I didn’t understand, but that didn’t take away from the book at all. One thing about the writing though that bothered me was that there were some points in the book where sentences were worded oddly or words seemingly out-of-place. Which I put down to typos, something that ruined the reading experience for me once I was immersed into the book. Now that you’ve read this review, I recommend this book to anyone that isn’t sensitive to death, and those who are looking for a read with some action. As well as to anybody who might be curious as to what a Navy Seal does, and how people train to become one.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ananova

    MEH. 3* I love books like, Red Platoon, & Black Hawk Down, so why not this?? Well, this felt more...well those other books jumped right into the action (pun intended) & it took us right into the gritty details of battle, we could see what these guys were going through ... So that must mean THIS book didn’t do that? Not really, no... this book to me was more just about details of SEAL life. The grind of mission after mission, it reads more like a memoir/bio about his Navy life. I guess I MEH. 3* I love books like, Red Platoon, & Black Hawk Down, so why not this?? Well, this felt more...well those other books jumped right into the action (pun intended) & it took us right into the gritty details of battle, we could see what these guys were going through ... So that must mean THIS book didn’t do that? Not really, no... this book to me was more just about details of SEAL life. The grind of mission after mission, it reads more like a memoir/bio about his Navy life. I guess I can’t really complain because I mean...the book doesn’t claim to be action packed. I guess after “Lone Survivor” & “American Sniper” I just expected a little more...*bang bang* from a Navy SEAL story. I would say this book is more for people that care less about action packed accounts of battles, & more for people looking for what life as a NAVY SEAL is like. As mentioned, the book doesn’t claim to be like, Black Hawk Down action packed - that means it would be unfair of me to judge it based on that. So why 3* then? Well...to be honest the book just sort of bored me, I felt that the writing was okay, however as another person has mentioned, he seems to have little respect for his enemy, which to me just feels odd. Overall the book is just very dry to me. There are some parts that were so “blah” and bland/boring that some areas in the middle felt like a chore to finish. If you LOVED Black Hawk Down, or Gen. Kill, or Red Platoon...you may find this to be too dry. You will enjoy this book if you approach it like a memoirs. I have no clue how this book has an overall 4+* rating, but to each their own!! It was alright, nothing special.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kimball

    I read No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden a few weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. This book deals with a general overview of "Mark's" time while being in the military rather than a specific mission such as his previous book. I love why he wrote this book and that he would do his service in the military all over again. What I like most about this author is that he is realistic and flawed. Many veterans and military people I've read about are leaps and I read No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden a few weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. This book deals with a general overview of "Mark's" time while being in the military rather than a specific mission such as his previous book. I love why he wrote this book and that he would do his service in the military all over again. What I like most about this author is that he is realistic and flawed. Many veterans and military people I've read about are leaps and bounds ahead of me in terms of physical and mental strength such as Marcus Luttrell or Chris Kyle. I'm sure Mark is too, but he doesn't show off his super human strength. He has a more authentic nature to him. I like that a lot. It gives me hope that I can do great things in the military (Since I've been reading many books lately of these honorable servicemen I've been getting eager to join). And did Mark know any of those other famous SEALs? I didn't know the Navy trains dolphins and sea lions to hunt people and detect bombs. That's wild. Some good quotes: "All you can control is what happens in your three-foot world." "Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast." "The only easy day was yesterday." "Mindset if the common denominator for Special Forces." "The mental toughness used to overcome BUDS is the same to overcome combat stress or PTSD." What does it mean when the author said "copy redacted" ? Was he editing something out because of those dumb lawsuits against him? Apparently the snow and mountains of Afghanistan could have better ski resorts than any in the USA. Too bad it's overrun by terrorists and radical people that don't value human life. The Taliban fighting season is in the Spring when weather is optimal.

  23. 5 out of 5

    ChadN2

    A Fantastic Read, Fascinating and Thrilling at the Same Time I absolutely loved reading No Hero. The story goes from interesting to intense constantly, making it hard to put down. I would recommend No Hero to those who love nonfiction or books about war. In No Hero, Mark Owen tells the story of his incredible journey to becoming a Nave SEAL. Now because No Hero is an autobiography, all of the characters in the story were real and each story he tells is something he truly experienced. I love the A Fantastic Read, Fascinating and Thrilling at the Same Time I absolutely loved reading No Hero. The story goes from interesting to intense constantly, making it hard to put down. I would recommend No Hero to those who love nonfiction or books about war. In No Hero, Mark Owen tells the story of his incredible journey to becoming a Nave SEAL. Now because No Hero is an autobiography, all of the characters in the story were real and each story he tells is something he truly experienced. I love the way Mark tells his stories, like when he helped rescue Captain Phillips, and I especially love when he chooses to tell them. It creates a sense of mystery and a need to keep on reading so you can find out what each one means. I also love the way he introduces the people in his book, like his good friend Phil. He tells about them in a way that lets you know he really has a deep understanding of them, even the ones that have passed away. This book isn't for people who can't take nonfiction seriously. Mark's story is real and shouldn't be taken lightly, unless he's making light of his situation which he does often. With that said I would compare this book to American Sniper by Chris Kyle, not just because it's another war book but because both Mark and Chris both have a way of writing that shows their deep understanding of the world they live in and the situations they find themselves in. Once again No Hero was a truly amazing read cover to cover.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Darryl Updegrove

    At first, was not too impressed. Thought it was going to be a "Why I became a member of the greatest group of guys you ever heard of". Then started thinking it was turning into a life lesson per chapter. The latter is closer, but about midway through I noticed I was enjoying the case studies of the author's life to prove the life lesson learned and was looking forward to the next chapter/next story/next life lesson application. So overall I actually really enjoyed reading the book, got some good At first, was not too impressed. Thought it was going to be a "Why I became a member of the greatest group of guys you ever heard of". Then started thinking it was turning into a life lesson per chapter. The latter is closer, but about midway through I noticed I was enjoying the case studies of the author's life to prove the life lesson learned and was looking forward to the next chapter/next story/next life lesson application. So overall I actually really enjoyed reading the book, got some good pointers, and recommend it. I usually more enjoy third party perspectives, but he kept the foul language toned down to a bear as ble level while providing perspectives on good and bad episodes in his life. The photo section was nice, but like many books the photos related to the whole book are shoved together in the middle, so you're looking at photos with captions that don't make sense until after you've read the associated chapter. A little annoying was the blacking out of non releasable information, like as if the book was ready for print before it was censored so there was no time to rewrite those sentences or sections, but maybe that was a way of showing that this book did get a full and thorough review before print to avoid the controversy with his previous book, "No Easy Day".

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alex Struble

    "No Hero" was an interesting biographical account of an individual experience through the USN system. Owens manages to tell his story with what I'm sure he believes is a fair and balanced approach (and in general I would agree). I think that reading this book immediately after reading "America's War for the Greater Middle East" provided an interesting balance of perspectives into Navy SEAL tactics and effectivity. Owens complains about rules of engagement (ROE), but other works would point out "No Hero" was an interesting biographical account of an individual experience through the USN system. Owens manages to tell his story with what I'm sure he believes is a fair and balanced approach (and in general I would agree). I think that reading this book immediately after reading "America's War for the Greater Middle East" provided an interesting balance of perspectives into Navy SEAL tactics and effectivity. Owens complains about rules of engagement (ROE), but other works would point out that the loose ROE in the early days of Afghanistan and Iraq lead to an increase in the home-grown insurgency due to a shift in local perception. He's telling the story of the guy on the ground, and that necessitates the perspective of "the three foot circle" that he references many times in the book, meaning that he doesn't have the bigger picture of how COIN (Counter-Insurgency) impacted America's reputation in the greater middle east. He cares about his team, and he cares about getting to "do his job". Overall there were some very good tactical lessons in how to manage stress in civilian life and how to approach difficult or dangerous situations. There were also good lessons about leadership and team work.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Megan Buffington

    I found many of the stories and words of brotherhood and comradery to be inspiring and uplifting. We, as a species, are tribe driven and thrive off of social bonds. The book demonstrated this concept due to its topic. When people face a common dilemma together and have no choice but to come out as a team it builds very deep and strong connections. Also, the lessons at the end of each chapter are simple and common ones. As with any lesson though, the path taken to learn it will shape it in us and I found many of the stories and words of brotherhood and comradery to be inspiring and uplifting. We, as a species, are tribe driven and thrive off of social bonds. The book demonstrated this concept due to its topic. When people face a common dilemma together and have no choice but to come out as a team it builds very deep and strong connections. Also, the lessons at the end of each chapter are simple and common ones. As with any lesson though, the path taken to learn it will shape it in us and deepen its roots. So reading the paths that he went through was interesting. Reading about experiences or experiencing them first hand will influence the understanding of them either way. Life skills of focus, pushing limits, communication, patience, and others made their appearance in this book. All of which I enjoyed reading. On a side note* I could tell that they definitely block things out. The dehumanization of the enemy was pretty apparent. I'm curious as to whether there is a decent book out there from the opposite point of view. It will probably be my next read just to make sure my perspective stays open and rational.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Samer Hijazi

    I have enjoyed every chapter of this book, as it showed a clear evolution of a navy SEAL from a tactical and personal aspect (which sometimes reflected an emotional aspect of it), which has been portrayed in an excellent balance. I have learned so many new personal tactics on how to deal with stress, focusing on what you can affect (3-foot world), compartmentalization, and others. The writer sincerely showed us how dedication and hardworking, with willpower and talent can develop a powerful and I have enjoyed every chapter of this book, as it showed a clear evolution of a navy SEAL from a tactical and personal aspect (which sometimes reflected an emotional aspect of it), which has been portrayed in an excellent balance. I have learned so many new personal tactics on how to deal with stress, focusing on what you can affect (3-foot world), compartmentalization, and others. The writer sincerely showed us how dedication and hardworking, with willpower and talent can develop a powerful and leading person in one of the best special forces in the world. This alone brings a rush of motivation and drive for a seeking individual... What I have realized missing is input from other individuals. There have been some criticism on the forces leadership, and the rules of engagement, but it was almost all from his aspect. I would have been interested by the leadership's perspective on such topics/issues. I have found this book more appealing than Mark's first book (No Easy Day). If you want to read both books, start with No Easy Day followed by No Hero. But if you want to read only one, then I suggest No Hero.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Hendreich Alas

    A former Navy SEAL Mark Owen and the team leader of The United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG), or commonly known as SEAL Team 6. being a navy seal is tough and hard for his life because he goes through a depression when he finds out a couple of his friends die but somewhat makes it out. Mark Owen has participated in hundreds of missions worldwide like the rescue of Captian Richard Phillips and the team leader of Operation Neptune Spear that resulted in the death of Osama A former Navy SEAL Mark Owen and the team leader of The United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG), or commonly known as SEAL Team 6. being a navy seal is tough and hard for his life because he goes through a depression when he finds out a couple of his friends die but somewhat makes it out. Mark Owen has participated in hundreds of missions worldwide like the rescue of Captian Richard Phillips and the team leader of Operation Neptune Spear that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. his training sounds exhausting and manages to survive from death by a sniper that almost killed him and his platoon. in the end, he retires because he believed that being a Navy Seal especially in the company SEAL team 6 is not a lifelong occupation. if he was KIA in the line of duty he would not have written this inspirational book to people how wants to endure the challenges that he went through.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Wulfred

    Mark Owen, pseudonym used by an ex US Navy Seal gives a detailed account of being a SFO (Special Forces Operator). The book distributes the character elements required to become SFO and acquired thereby whilst serving. Owen’s journey of idolising the prestigious “SEALS” towards becoming one and facing the ordeal and hardships is account of reality check. “No Hero” provides insight of real human beings beyond Super Hero capes, the fear, the discomfort and evolution into more resilient kind. Owen Mark Owen, pseudonym used by an ex US Navy Seal gives a detailed account of being a SFO (Special Forces Operator). The book distributes the character elements required to become SFO and acquired thereby whilst serving. Owen’s journey of idolising the prestigious “SEALS” towards becoming one and facing the ordeal and hardships is account of reality check. “No Hero” provides insight of real human beings beyond Super Hero capes, the fear, the discomfort and evolution into more resilient kind. Owen has briefly touched upon emotional feelings spoking his heart out but not at all complaining what he signed up for. No Hero is meant to make a newbie or wannabe understand the real boring elements of a Navy Seal underneath all that bling. He gives all these elements in relation to personal war accounts as experienced by him and his teammates. All in all, a must read for SF enthusiasts and generally a good read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Gilliland

    This is my 3rd or 4th Navy SEAL book and I think this one rocks in at the bottom. Don't get me wrong, it still has interesting and even funny or exciting moments. I love his attitude and general outlooks. Most chapters are a mission and partway through it something happens that reminds him of an earlier mission, training or life event that gave him the skill or knowledge he needed to survive. It is a good read and due to low sales you should be able to find it cheap. Most annoying part is that This is my 3rd or 4th Navy SEAL book and I think this one rocks in at the bottom. Don't get me wrong, it still has interesting and even funny or exciting moments. I love his attitude and general outlooks. Most chapters are a mission and partway through it something happens that reminds him of an earlier mission, training or life event that gave him the skill or knowledge he needed to survive. It is a good read and due to low sales you should be able to find it cheap. Most annoying part is that he blacks sections out, but the context clues make it obvious what he blacked out. The worst is an entire 4 pages blacked out so that you don't know what country he is working it, but it is across from the Torro Borro Mountains, the soldiers eat all their food with Naan and don't use tableware and did I mention that they speak Urdu. If the Intellegence people really forced him to remove the names of the country then why leave all of those obvious clues in?

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