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Summary

Stirringly evocative, thought provoking, and often jaw dropping, The Operator ranges across SEAL Team Operator Robert O'Neill's awe-inspiring 400-mission career that included his involvement in attempts to rescue "Lone Survivor" Marcus Luttrell and abducted-by-Somali-pirates Captain Richard Phillips and culminated in those famous three shots that dispatched the world's most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden.

In this book O'Neill describes his idyllic childhood in Butte, Montana; his impulsive decision to join the SEALs; the arduous evaluation and training process; and the even tougher gauntlet he had to run to join the SEALs' most elite unit. After officially becoming a SEAL, O'Neill would spend more than a decade in the most intense counterterror effort in US history. For extended periods, not a night passed without him and his small team recording multiple enemy kills - and though he was lucky enough to survive, several of the SEALs he'd trained with and fought beside never made it home.

The Operator describes the nonstop action of O'Neill's deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, evokes the black humor of years-long combat, brings to vivid life the lethal efficiency of the military's Tier One units, and reveals firsthand details of the most celebrated terrorist takedown in history.

©2017 Robert O'Neill (P)2017 Simon & Schuster Audio

Critic reviews

"Gripping...this story is impossible to put down.... What O'Neill has written is unique, surprising, a kind of counternarrative." (Doug Stanton, New York Times best-selling author of In Harm's Way and Horse Soldiers)
"O'Neill wrote himself into American history with the three shots he fired into Osama bin Laden...intensely moving and awe-inspiring." (Marcus Luttrell, New York Times best-selling coauthor of Lone Survivor and Service)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Awesome, once it gets going

To start with it was just another book about BUD/S but bare with it, once past that it's a gripping listen, and O'Neill is great reading it, and often injects great humour into it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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great !

wow is all i can say ! it was like been beside him every step of the way !
well done Robert

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Very dramatic memoir told in a dead pan manner!!

A fascinating story of a man's journey to become a navy seal, some of the notable missions he was involved with and ultimately how he killed Osama Bin Laden.

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Insightful and interesting

A fantastic story that read very well. A great listen and suberb narration which was lovely to hear straight from. the man himself.

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Fantastic

A very honest overview of SEAL training and a fascinating glimpse into a crazy journey. I can’t hello feel sorry for the author in the end, gaining the sort of fame he clearly never wanted. A really inspiring and interesting read (listen)!

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Pro-tip

Every time you hear a beep insert the word Six.

Great story, it takes a little it get into the
cadence of the authors voice, but you can hear the humour in it when he remembers while reading.

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first book i have ever finished.

Really enjoyed this. couldnt stop listening.
Very good details and had me gripped from the beginning. Makes you realise how minor things in your life that annoy you just pointless and dont compare to anything these people go through. Enjoyed the narration some comedy and sad parts to. Thanks for the insights into your life.

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  • john
  • Oakham, United Kingdom
  • 11-02-18

Remarkable

What made the experience of listening to The Operator the most enjoyable?

A must listen. This is a remarkable story of human endurance, physical and moral courage. As a former soldier, I can relate to the professional jealousy that followed Rob's actions in Pakistan. It's always worth remembering this, a soldier's destiny is often decided by that of a politician. Soldier's just want to do their job, Rob seemed to do his at an exceptional level.

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A great insight into special forces!

A humorous and honest account of remarkable experiences. A great listen, definitely recommend this story

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Great book, well read.

Fascinating insight into the life of the guy who shot Bin Larden. Enjoyed it immensely

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  • Hoyt Neal
  • 27-04-17

The Operator

Robert O'Neill is an American hero. He is part of a continuous line of persons who were and are willing to fight those who would kill people to gain undeserved power in this world and a danger to us all. This is a sincere telling of his story. It gives insight into what we should know of the sacrifices of our military hero's. God bless them all.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • RenegadeTM3
  • 28-04-17

Complete inside look into the teams and the life story of a great American patriot

I was a tad hesitant to order this book due to my thinking that Navy SEALs should keep their missions Top Secret. However, this book, narrated by the author himself, tells his life story and what led him to be the best at everything.

This book is beautifully written and explains the internal Drive to win at life.

Highly recommended

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim
  • 28-04-17

One of the best

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I found myself laughing so much during this. The fact that the author is reading it allows him to chuckle at the appropriate moments during his own recounting of funny events amidst serious war stories. I think what is sometimes missed in other SEAL narratives is the sense of humor these guys have and truly absurd situations they find themselves in.

His narration is genuine and you can tell some parts of his story are harder to read than others, for example, when he recounts the death of his friend Neil Roberts. I would not want to hear this story told by anyone but the author himself.

I've listened to just about every SEAL book on Audible and the Operator is potentially my favorite. You will be moved in all the right ways by this story.

Any additional comments?

Thank you Rob for writing this. The sacrifices you and your brothers have made and continue to make may go unappreciated by some, but for the rest, they inspire daily. To use the popular Churchill quote, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few".

Godspeed you champions.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Larry
  • 27-04-17

The Best

Followed Robert's story through the Fox News Special a year ago and it was incredible..this inspiring book was even better -- The Best I've ever listened to. Robert and his brave warriors are heroes in every sense of the word. Y'all make me proud to be an American.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 30-05-17

Better than I thought it would be.

I heard the author on the Buck Sexton show, and decided to give the book a shot. I got the audible version, and it was just like a dude telling a bunch of cool stories, at least three of which were big time news stories.

He refers to seeing a Michael Jordan video, and if you know the story about what made Michael Jordan so great, then you start to see the same foundation, and drive that makes a Rob O'Neill, or any body at his level great.

Rob also says the sniper on his team had more kills than anyone he's ever heard of, which would mean that Chris Kyle isn't the most prolific American sniper of all time, and would this include Simo Hayha, who had over 500 kills at close quarters with a sub machine gun, and over 250 kills with a rifle?

Overall this book was better than I thought it would be, and the Audible version was well worth it. Rob has a down to earth style, that makes you want to root for the guy every step of the way. He's got a lot of funny and cool stories, that are a blast to listen to. The petty jealousy he had to deal with at the end of his career is a shame, and I can't help but think that if circumstances were different, and he was born long ago, and if he were somehow on some secret mission that took out Hitler, then he wouldn't have had to deal with the petty jealousy and grief back then, only convinces me, that this man was sent by God to shoot Bin Laden in the face.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Kenneth Malone
  • 28-04-17

Great

Have read a bunch of books by operators. This stands a hair above the other's by virtue if the author doing the narrating and the impeccable comic timing of the laugh out loud takes on tho vs that intersperse the life and death episodes.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • brad
  • 11-05-17

Bravo Zulu

Read by the author! Exquisite. Thank you for your service and your story. Couldn't have been better told than hearing the emotions in the voice of the man who lived this storied life.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • jmtp1990
  • 11-05-17

Excellent book

Really great book over all a fantastic story that keeps you interested the whole way through. It took me only a few days to listen to the whole thing. The live these guys live are extreme and the story proves that.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kevin L
  • 28-04-17

Candid stories of a real Navy Seal

This is a very in-depth and interesting account of Navy SEAL operations in some very dangerous territories. I would recommend to anyone interested in how real frogmen operate or interested in the Middle Eastern conflict and challenges.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • 11-05-17

Great book. Highly recommended. Really cool

I really enjoyed the fact that it was read by Rob O'Neil himself. great job.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful