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The Operator

Firing the Shots That Killed Osama Bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior
Written by: Robert O'Neill
Narrated by: Robert O'Neill
Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (315 ratings)

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Publisher's 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

What the critics say

"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 listeners say about The Operator

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I’m Canadian

This book was one of the most interesting and motivating books I’ve read. Found it because of the interview the author did with Howard Stern and bought it immediately. The passion strength and heroism of the author is unmatched and the praise and commendations he gives to his squad and not him made me find a real sense of the SEAL life. I’ve been struggling and this book really helped me sharpen and focus my mind seeing just how hard men around the world are working at all times to preserve freedom. This man is an American hero if there ever was one,”. I highly recommend this book to ANYONE who loves war stories but more importantly loves a story of perseverance of the human mind and spirit. OOH RAH 208!

2 people found this helpful

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  • REI
  • 2020-09-25

Nope, not good enough...

There's no doubt that S.E.A.L. trading is intense and nigh on impossible for Joe Average, but we all already knew that. From the tag line, one would expect more about the missions (and one in particular) and less about the author's training program. Couldn't finish b/c I stopped caring about all the funny little episodes while becoming a S.E.A.L. No doubt this man had one heck of a journey, but the focus stayed there for too long. On a positive note, the narration is engaging; it's a story of perseverance and grit - not sure what these guys get paid but it probably isn't enough. Thank them for their service.

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Such a great read

Regardless of your worldviews, these are some kick ass stories that anyone with a set of ears will enjoy listening to. Thanks for sharing Rob. Now stay safe and take time to enjoy the rest of your life with your family

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Outstanding book

Outstanding book! Amazing stories! Robert O'Neil did a superb job narrating his own book! 5 stars!

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Great book

Great book. Enjoyed a lot. It felt like you really got to know the author

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All time favourite

This is an all time favourite book! Listened to it multiple times. Would highly recommend to anyone

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Fantastic Book

This is an absolute fantastic Book. Thank you very much Robert O'Neill. Any one that starts this book will not want to put it down.

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Absolutely incredible, captivating and moving.

Couldnt bring myself to stop listening. An extremely humble and fantastic story that gave an amazing insight to the life of one of the worlds most elite operators and team members.

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hooah!

This is somebody who I understand even though as a REMF I have none of this glory. The hopelessness that enters your heart upon coming home, getting out of the service, but the pride and the memories of having served side-by-side with some of the greats of our time, this is what this book brought to my mind and heart. Great Book. thank you!

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Awesome

I just could not stop listening. The adventures the wars unassuming glory all of it. Just awesome

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  • Tim
  • 2017-04-28

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 flow of the narration works so well because Rob himself reads it. It’s a great mix of funny events/perspectives amidst serious, dangerous 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 deaths of friends. 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 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 made and continue to make may be unappreciated by some, but to the rest, they inspire daily. Using Churchill’s words, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few". Godspeed you champions.

39 people found this helpful

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  • RenegadeTM3
  • 2017-04-28

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

22 people found this helpful

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  • Larry
  • 2017-04-27

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.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Hoyt Neal
  • 2017-04-27

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.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Kenneth Malone
  • 2017-04-28

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.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 2017-05-30

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.

11 people found this helpful

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  • jmtp1990
  • 2017-05-11

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 people found this helpful

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  • Kevin L
  • 2017-04-28

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 people found this helpful

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  • Brian
  • 2017-05-11

Great book. Highly recommended. Really cool

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

2 people found this helpful

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  • randy
  • 2017-04-25

Amazing book!

An incredible account of patriotism, selflessness and bravery by a true American hero. Shortly describing his humble upbringing in Montana moving on to buds 208 training and ending in the lair of Usama bin Laden. This book is one of the best Seal books ever written. Not too many department of defense retractions and read by the author makes the book all the more authentic. This one will leave you wanting more.

10 people found this helpful