The Operator

The Operator Summary

This instant New York Times bestseller—“a jaw-dropping, fast-paced account” (New York Post) recounts SEAL Team Operator Robert O’Neill’s incredible four-hundred-mission career, including the attempts to rescue “Lone Survivor” Marcus Luttrell and abducted-by-Somali-pirates Captain Richard Phillips, and which culminated in the death of the world’s most wanted terrorist—Osama bin Laden.

In The Operator, Robert 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.

“Impossible to put down…The Operator is unique, surprising, a kind of counternarrative, and certainly the other half of the story of one of the world’s most famous military operations…In the larger sense, this book is about…how to be human while in the very same moment dealing with death, destruction, combat” (Doug Stanton, New York Times bestselling author). O’Neill describes the nonstop action of his deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, evokes the black humor of years-long combat, brings to vivid life the lethal efficiency of the military’s most selective units, and reveals details of the most celebrated terrorist takedown in history. This is “a riveting, unvarnished, and wholly unforgettable portrait of America’s most storied commandos at war” (Joby Warrick).

Book Reviews


Excellent Account5 star

I admire the life the author led and continues to lead; don’t sweat anything - jealousy and backbiting are among the worst of human deficiencies and they exist in every facet of human relations. I held out hope that Seals would be impervious to this, but they’re human too.55


5+ stars!5 star

Great read! Impossible to put down! A true American hero!55


Great Book5 star

Great read enjoyed every minute of it.55

Darnell C.

Great Read5 star

This book was very interesting and held my attention all the way through. What really stood out was that the book didn’t end with the Bin Laden mission, which was a good. It also packed a few lessons that people can apply to life as well. If you’re into hearing war stories as well as personal attributions to them, this is the book for you. I was not disappointed.55


“The Operator”4 star

From Butte, Montana to Coronado, California all the way to Bin Laden’s Pakistani compound, this book goes to show if you never quit on your goals and dreams your opportunities are limitless. O’Neill says he never saw the kid from Montana becoming the man who took out the world’s most wanted terrorist. This book is an excellent insight into the SEAL community including the highly secretive SEAL Team Six and covers multiple deployments to the Middle East, the Maersk Alabama hijacking and rescue mission for Captain Richard Phillips and finally the Bin Laden Raid and the aftermath. Overall an excellent book for the interested reader, potential SEAL candidate or anyone just looking for motivation to get out and accomplish their goals.45

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YES READ IT!!!!!5 star

This book is inspirational, educational, enjoyable, and downright funny. Robert Oniel not only writes amazing stories but he writes them in a way most authors will never capture. I read TONS of military books and this is definitely my favorite. PS: The audio book is great also and its read by Robert Oniel.55


Must Real!5 star

Thanks Rob for a great story and letting us in to see what real heroes do to keep us free. Giving my sons a copy for Christmas.55


Absolutely incredible book5 star

This book is full of great life lessons, amazing stories both happy and sad, and is just an all-around fantastic read. Couldn’t recommend it enough.55


Fantastic5 star

If Mr. O’Neill’s days as an operator are behind him, his future as a writer is just as necessary and bright as his past was. Superb and compelling book.55

The Teufel Hunden

Awesome book!5 star

Loved every detail!55

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