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The Guerrilla Factory

The Making of Special Forces Officers, the Green Berets

About The Book

With a veteran Green Beret as your guide, go deep inside the grueling training that every Special Forces soldier must endure to become an elite fighting machine.

With “a fresh, authentic voice” (Publishers Weekly), former Special Forces commander and current instructor Tony Schwalm takes readers deep inside the grueling training on the notorious Q course, required for all Special Forces soldiers before they can join the elite Green Berets that defends our country in nontraditional operations.

About The Author

Photograph courtesy of the author

Tony Schwalm is a retired lieutenant colonel with the US Army Special Forces (aka the Green Berets). A veteran of multiple combat deployments around the world, he is currently assigned to the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force—Afghanistan as a Department of the Army Civilian leading a group of social scientists supporting special operation forces in that war-torn country.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (December 10, 2013)
  • Length: 304 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781451623611

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Raves and Reviews

"[A] well written, eye-opening memoir . . . Rich with twists, anecdotes and insights into how officers are selceted and trained to lead small units of tough, highly trained fighters behind enemy lines. . . . [This] is first-rate reading."

– Dallas News

“Captivating . . . one of the more engaging books I have read in quite some time. . . . As entertaining as it is informative. The Guerrilla Factory is one of those select works that will appeal to a wide array of readers. . . . For those who simply enjoy a good war story, Tony Schwalm will demonstrate he has few peers.”

– Armchair General

“A retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer provides a behind-the-scenes look at the physical, psychological and emotional toll one pays to join the ranks of America’s most elite fighting force. . . . An eye-opening, unconventional war story in which the war itself resides in the training.” Kirkus Reviews

“Schwalm’s insider perspective on the training for unconventional warfare gives his book a fresh, authentic voice.”

– Publishers Weekly

“Even in an age of high-tech warfare, America will always need dedicated warrior-diplomats who can both confront our enemies and work with allies in an effort to create peace. Tony Schwalm has written a gritty, muscular, compelling account of what it takes to join the ranks of America’s elite warrior-diplomats, the Green Berets. This is not just a memoir by a top soldier, leader, and scholar—it is a fine tale of courage, compassion, and selflessness from one of our country’s finest.” —Eric Greitens, New York Times bestselling author of The Heart and The Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL

"In The Guerilla Factory, Tony Schwalm offers a gripping insider's story of how America's elite warriors are made. From the terror of capture to the art of building an insurgent army, Schwalm's personal account takes you deep into the shadowy world of the Special Forces to reveal how Green Berets are picked, trained, and deployed in exotic places where the usual rules of warfare don't apply--where success is shrouded in secrecy and failure can mean death."

– Jonathan W. Jordan, bestselling author of Brothers Rivals Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, and the Partnersh

The Guerrilla Factory isn’t just an account of how Green Berets are made. It’s a highly personal, compellingly written and thought-provoking story of one man’s journey from conventional soldier to unconventional warrior. Tony Schwalm’s book is a page turner and an eye opener.” —Douglas Waller, New York Times betselling author of Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage

“A crackling good read. Tony pulls in the reader by telling story after story. No theories here; instead, the book brings the reader into a world of hard work and never-ending treks. No wonder the Green Beret teams are known worldwide. They get the job done, and the author shows why. You're exhilarated at the end of this fast-paced narrative.” —Bing West, bestselling author of The Village

“This valuable book is full of great insights from a veteran Special Forces warrior on what it takes to make the cut in the Green Berets. It takes you inside the world of our elite SF warriors—and outside the gate on real-world ops.” —Jack Coughlin, coauthor of Shooter: The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper

“In this wonderfully written, candid personal account, Tony Schwalm reveals what makes Special Forces soldiers tick. Green Berets like to say that their most important weapon is between their ears. The Guerrilla Factory shows how they are selected and trained to get inside the heads of both friends and enemies. Schwalm also takes us downrange to hotspots in Haiti, Afghanistan and the Middle East.” —Linda Robinson, author of Masters of Chaos: The Secret History of the Special Forces

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