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Publisher's Summary

In combating terror, America can no longer depend on its conventional military superiority and the use of sophisticated technology. More than ever, we need men like those of the Army Special Forces---the legendary Green Berets. In Chosen Soldier, Dick Couch draws on nearly a year spent at Special Forces training facilities and offers an unprecedented view of the education of these men.

Following the experiences of one class of soldiers as they endure this physically and mentally exhausting ordeal, Couch spells out in fascinating detail the demanding selection process and grueling field exercises, the high-level technical training and intensive language courses, and the simulated battle problems that test everything from how well SF candidates gather operational intelligence to their skills at negotiating with volatile, often hostile, local leaders. Chosen Soldier paints a vivid portrait of an elite group, and a process that forges America's smartest, most versatile, and most valuable fighting force.

©2007 Dick Couch, Foreword copyright 2007 by Robert D. Kaplan (P)2011 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Definitive . . . insightful . . . should be read by every American who despairs [about] current tumult." (Linda Robinson, author of Masters of Chaos)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Great book, annoying performance

What did you love best about Chosen Soldier?

Chosen Soldier is an excellent first-hand account of what it takes to become a Green Beret. As a legendary SEAL, Dick Couch is the ideal author to examine Army Special Forces.

How could the performance have been better?

The reader utilized the most annoying voice to portray the dialogues of soldiers. He uses a high-pitched tone that portrays these warriors as timid little boys. I have no idea why he chose this technique for their dialogue but it is exasperating. It has taken me over a year to finish this audio book because I can only stand it for so long.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • Pittsburgh, PA, United States
  • 07-24-12

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Green Beret

What did you like best about Chosen Soldier? What did you like least?

I liked how detailed it was, but this was also the worst part of the book. It could get a little boring at times.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The narrator was sufficient, but nothing special.

Did Chosen Soldier inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me to fast forward. I'm just kidding, but sometimes it came close to that.

Any additional comments?

Dick Couch has great access to the Special Forces community. He also has an abundant knowledge of Special Forces. He goes into great detail which is good for some things and bad for others. I enjoyed this book and don't regret buying or listening to it. If you have listened to/read his other book "The Finishing School" this is the Army version. It is basically the same thing but instead of SEALs it's Green Berets. It gives a detailed, in dept look at the Green Beret selection. So if that is what your looking for then get this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Casey
  • Glendale, AZ, United States
  • 10-11-11

For those who aspire to also be great one day.

This is such an eye opener! Anyone interested in the Special Forces needs to read this book. Start to finish, the writer follows these soldiers through their training and records everything with great detail. You want to be prepared or want to know if the SF is for you, read this book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Interesting content, horrible narration.

Where does Chosen Soldier rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Better than most but the content can be a little dry at times especially in the first hour or so.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

To me, if the book is good and narrated in the proper way, I don't really even notice the narrator. That's the way it should be. I want to focus on the story being told, not the way it is being told. The narration of this book was massively distracting. He uses the most annoying voices. For any of the candidates under the age of 25, he uses a high pitched, fast paced scared little boy voice. For the senior NCOs and officers he uses a deep, gruff, barking voice. For the southerners, an annoying southern twang and for the Hispanic candidates an almost comical Hispanic accent. The candidate from New Zealand? Well, you can imagine how that voice sounded. Multiple times I found myself completely distracted from WHAT was being said by HOW it was being said.

Any additional comments?

Dick Couch is a great author and he has produced another great book with Chosen Soldier. I would highly recommend the print version but I honestly cannot recommend the audiobook. The ridiculous narration killed this one for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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SF a Unique Asset

If you’re looking for a book about Rambo this isn’t it. Couch follows SF candidates through their foundational Q course training, and at the end of the book visits with operational ODA’s in Iraq. He gives his brief but important two cents on how we’re doing at the end of the book. Note that language and SERE schools are excluded from the book, the latter being mostly classified. SF are a diverse group, and the crux of their operation is intellectual and social ability. Good book, will give you a good sense of how these guys come up.

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How they train

This book gave a whole new outlook on the special forces. Anybody that's intrested in how the special forces actually operate is going to really enjoy this book

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Thoroughly enjoyed

All around super. Great background and breakdown of sof. You'll gain plenty of appreciation for these soldiers.

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very good outline

This book gives a vet good outline of the first hand experience of the different phase of SOF training. The performance was very good at voicing the multiple characters and made it easy to keep track to who was talking. Thank you.

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No Better Account

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in trying out for the Army SF program. As a matter of fact, I would say that this book is an essential read for anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the difficulties, responsibilities, and lifestyles of those individuals who choose to live a special forces life. I am preparing to ship to basic training in a few months, and this book was a tremendous part of my mental prep for my upcoming military life. Dick Couch gives the reader quite a lot of insight into an otherwise classified world of training. You won't find this amount of detail in a movie or online forum, for sure.

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Great recount of a long journey. Highly recommende

Full of great information and gives the reader an idea (albeit a small one) of what soldiers go through to be Special Forces in the U.S. Army. This is a must if you intend on going to selection. I feel better prepared for my trip to selection that is coming up in 6 months. the narrator is a little dry but if you put yourself in the situations being narrated it helps alleviate the dull reading. As an active duty Army soldier I am used to the dullness so I have that going for me as well.