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No Easy Day: an Interesting Memoir

In which one of the other books I will talk about here becomes very useful for exercise.

One of the other books I'm reading is "No Easy Day" by Mark Owen (or whatever his real name is that got leaked to the press- might as well not spread that around here). It's a Navy SEAL's account of his role in the Bin Laden raid in Abbottabad. It's very cleanly written, and one of the biggest problems in writing this memoir was the threat of violating Operational Security (OPSEC), an issue for which Owen hired a lawyer to make sure he wasn't giving away secret techniques or somesuch through his writing. 

In an age when the government sees fit to classify everything from orders of battle to their breakfast receipts as confidential or higher, it's interesting to see how a book is written to be descriptive and interesting while still keeping secret stuff secret. He seems to have done a pretty good job of that, because the book is hard to put down, but he still writes without really giving up anything. (Some of the stuff I was taught in ROTC is considered confidential, so I know a tiny bit of the stuff he was omitting, at least in terms of tactical instruction- no idea what he's holding back regarding where he's been and who he's captured.)

Two things: know how songs like "99 Problems" by Jay-Z have verses that are basically providing useful tips on how to prevent cops from searching your car without a warrant? Songs that aren't exactly socially conscious, but contain advice on how to live? I feel like Owen wrote this in the same way- in his foreword he talks about how if his book inspires at least one kid to live a more interesting life, then he's done his job. He definitely wrote it with SEAL aficionados in mind and he provides some information on his own experience applying for and getting accepted to Green Team, the training unit of the US Navy's DEVGRU section (responsible for Counter-Terrorism). I feel like he wrote about this process to try to show some of the things one needs to do whenever one applies for any kind of special training, be it Rangers or OCS or Airborne School- the officer panels, the PT tests, the training days, etc.

I also found it useful as a way to do some physical exercise- I read a page whenever I do TV watchers, an exercise that involves lying on the groud and then propping your body up on just your toes and elbows, and trying to hold your form straight for as long as possible. You can get a good ache in your abdomen just reading a page like that for a while.

It's pretty good, and I'll chat some more about what I find in it. Should probably get on that soon I suppose before this turns into just another book review site.

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