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Publisher's Summary

The Navy has the SEALS, and the Army has the Green Berets. They are masters of asymmetrical warfare, trained to immerse themselves in hostile territory, sleeping near their enemies and building relationships with people who may want to kill them. Retired lieutenant colonel Tony Schwalm knows this group well, because he is one of them and he trained them. In The Guerrilla Factory, he provides an unbelievably gripping inside look into the grueling training that every army officer must endure to become one of America's elite Green Berets.

The Special Forces Qualification Course, also known as the Q Course, is infamous in U.S. Army lore. It transforms conventional soldiers, through blood, sweat, and tears, into unconventional guerrillas. As a young soldier, Schwalm earned his own Green Beret there. Later, he was the commander of Special Forces officer training at Fort Bragg, evaluating and redesigning the crucible in which leaders face brutal tests of physical strength, stamina, and wits. The Guerrilla Factory is the engaging and compelling story of Schwalm's experience there as a student (from selection to graduation) and his time as the commander of training at Fort Bragg. It is a story of young soldiers striving to become the elite of the elite-of their trials, physical and emotional, and of their triumphs and losses.

In this dramatic account of the challenges faced by these young soldiers, Schwalm describes how men are forced to demonstrate ingenuity under intensely adverse conditions as they are pushed to the point of hallucination, walk until their feet are bloody, and fight off packs of angry dogs with nothing but a rubber rifle. Soldiers today face an entirely different kind of warfare and must be schooled to deal with unusual circumstances. They must have intricate knowledge of how to gather information in a dangerous, unstable atmosphere, and they need to be able to adapt quickly to differences in their surroundings. Schwalm's book takes listeners deep into this world, showing exactly how soldiers acquire the necessary skills.

Revealing details never before shared outside military circles, Schwalm provides a rare and rousing look inside the courageous hearts and souls of soldiers who put their lives on the line for duty, honor, and our country.

©2012 Tony Schwalm (P)2013 Tantor

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Great Book for Future Officers or Enlisted

Great Book!!!
It is from the perspective of a normal guy going through the choice of whether to be an sf officer or not and he breaks down how it is in special forces for both enlisted and officer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great personal story

What made the experience of listening to The Guerrilla Factory the most enjoyable?

A VERY well written book that tells a very interesting personal story about a man who is the "supper man" and how he moves through Special Forces. Written for folks who don't have a huge military background but want to know more about this type of person and the missions that they undertake.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • JD
  • 05-16-17

A very good look into the role of U.W.

Mr. Schwalm provides an inside look at the role of the US Special Forces. I found it enjoyable and insightful.

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Loved this!

I listened to this in the car with my teen son who wants to be SF and my retired military husband. We really enjoyed this, and it made my husband wish he could go back in time 25 years (or so) and be SF. Great performance, as well!

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  • Arius
  • Annandale, VA United States
  • 09-20-16

Interesting look inside specops training

Would you consider the audio edition of The Guerrilla Factory to be better than the print version?

This is a hard question when I haven't read the print version as well as listening to the audio version. What I can say is that I found the audio version entertaining and I have no reason to think it wasn't at least as good as the print version.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Guerrilla Factory?

Not bombing the orphanage.

Which character – as performed by Corey Snow – was your favorite?

Schwalm - but that's 95% of the book. The important thing is that his other voices didn't cause me to break from the book because there was something wrong like a bad accent or a weird change of tone - and that's a really good thing; it demonstrates that his narration adds to the story and doesn't detract from it.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Special Forces Slapfest - It's hard to come up with something catchy so I went with odd yet accurate.

Any additional comments?

The book is very interesting but the author doesn't quite wrap it up with a bow at the end. There are things I'm surprised he tells us about and things I wish I knew more about. Were he to write a sequel I'd probably pick it up. <br/><br/>It is another strong performance by Corey Snow, whose voice seems particularly well-suited to military history, as other works of his in my preferred genre like Thunder Below, Black Hearts, and None Braver are all excellent audiobooks.

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Best perspective of UW I've read yet

Author does a great job of describing what UW is and (more importantly) what it is not. Points are thoughtfully illustrated in this well thought out book. Reads like a novel.

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Loved it!

Great Story, Great Narrator!!!!! Listened from the beginning to the end and didn't want to take a break.

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  • JT
  • Oakley, CA, United States
  • 12-19-13

Not what I expected.

What made the experience of listening to The Guerrilla Factory the most enjoyable?

I do think think this gives you some basic knowledge of selection process. I thought this was going to tell more about actually SF training foreign soldiers, then it did. <br/><br/>To me this was more about training at Bragg then training guerrillas.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There was nobody that really made me remember them. I listened to this a few months ago.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

No. Please do not make this as a movie.

Any additional comments?

Tony sounds like a good guy, but I was disappointed in finding out his credentials. I would be curious to talk to men in his command. He sounds like he is more of B Team then A team.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Out of Date

This book is out of date and is lacking in relevant details. The book was published in 2013 but contains information entirely based on the pre 9/11 special forces era. If you're looking for a history book and a good story read on. If you're looking for up to date information on the making of a Special Forces officer or a real glimpse inside S.F. you're better of reading Masters of Chaos by Linda Robinson or Chosen Soldier by Dick Couch.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Liberal Preening by a SOF member...

Would you try another book from Tony Schwalm and/or Corey Snow?

I was surprised that the author seemed more intent to convey his liberal pretensions than the hard life of a SOF soldier. Basically, he continues to recite look, look I am not a racist sexist homophobe like the rest of the ARMY... please like me.... <br/><br/>I should have guessed more by the picture on the cover as in this case you can judge a book by its cover. If he is the new kind of officer in Obama's welfare office for the third world military, God help us...<br/><br/>Check out The Greene Berets by Moore instead.

What could Tony Schwalm have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

keep his liberal opinions to himself

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Corey Snow?

he was OK

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Guerrilla Factory?

all his little liberal vignettes where the author preens about his "high-minded" values that brought us the likes of terrorist army officers like Nidal Malik Hasan

Any additional comments?

the author was was a liberal arts english major... He should have stayed in his ivory tower.

1 of 11 people found this review helpful