• The Guerrilla Factory

  • The Making of Special Forces Officers, the Green Berets
  • By: Tony Schwalm
  • Narrated by: Corey Snow
  • Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (247 ratings)

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The Guerrilla Factory

By: Tony Schwalm
Narrated by: Corey Snow
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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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What listeners say about The Guerrilla Factory

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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 person found this helpful

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  • JT
  • 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.

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 person found this 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 person found this 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....

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...

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 person found this helpful

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The Inside Scoop on Green Beret Training

A really good story about an officers journey to become a Green Beret and the training he went through. The book kept me interested from start to finish. In my opinion we are in a period of time when units like the Green Berets will be more and more important to the USA, and this book does a good job explaining what they do and why.

The only thing I found lacking, and it isn't the authors fault at all, is the fact that Tony Schwalm is an officer and his perspective is that of an officer. It would be interesting to hear from the enlisted, although the officers perspective is probably a broader and more comprehensive view.

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Thrilling and humorous adventures and failures

This was an exceptionally interesting book. We’re it up to me I’d likely have listened to it straight through. Humorous stories of almost tragic mistakes paired with tales of epic heroism and superhuman feats. Explained the different branches of SF as well as demonstrating an in depth understanding of unconventional warfare. This book was truly a great read. As entertaining as it was informative. Would definitely recommend to anyone who intends to attempt SF and, though it didn’t discuss it in detail, Ranger school. I feel it would provide much needed insight prior to such efforts. Enjoy!

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Amazing, detailed, inspiring.

Got down to business on the complex training and lifestyle of US Army SF. Great read.

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The making of 90's era Special Forces

I thought it was an informative book on production of one of America's greatest fighting forces in the 90's. It's a good book to frame future discussion on how the US did in the war on terror and how to understand forces used.

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loved it

I really enjoy personal stories about warriors and many other topics. I hold a special place in my heart for America's warriors past and present. a great inside look at the life of and making of green berets. thank you

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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.