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


Read it5 star

Unbelievably good.55


Absolutely amazing5 star

His whole life story is written perfectly and he talks like he is sitting right next to you just telling his story55


Excellent read5 star

I’ve read almost all of the Navy Seal books on the market and this book is the most well written of the bunch. It will keep you riveted from cover to cover.55


O’niel. On deck!5 star

Strong work! Good job at letting us in the head of an operator. A true show of honor, courage and commitment. Reach out and help a vet.55

F/V Endurance 🦞🦞🦞

👍👍🙏🙏🙏🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸💪💪💪🦞 🦞🦞5 star

🙏🙏🙏 Wicked good book read all the way from Maine. lobster on me if u ever come to the Maine me and my cap will take u out to haul , read it in 3 days. Seal team books are my favorite reminds me of playing sports being on a team creating bonds that last forever. Thank you for your heroism, u and every other soldier/warrior in all branches of military serving now or having already served u are all fn animals 💪I wish I was as brave as u and fought for my country. It is because of u mr O’Neill and ur military brethren that makes me most proud to be American 🇺🇸 🙏🙏🙏55


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

Other Books by Robert O'Neill

The Way Forward


The Way Forward
4.5     29
I am Soldier


I am Soldier
The Pacific War


The Pacific War

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