The below is a quasi-comprehensive list of books about and by Navy SEALs, from the World War II-era UDT “Frogmen,” through the Vietnam-era SEALs, and up to the present-day frontline warriors of the Global War on Terrorism.  It has been a bit of a labor of love for this author, as the 1990s-era Navy SEAL books, especially, helped prepare me as I contemplated making a go myself at BUD/S training.  That is where I started in making this list.  From there, it just blossomed.

Some of these are memoirs, some are historical studies, some are self-help books, some are biographies, and all revolve around the SEAL community, or the SEAL “way of life,” as it is described by some of the below authors.

I purposefully left out the SEAL “workout books,” simply as a means of limiting myself, although there are a number of those out there as well for your reading pleasure.  Perhaps a future list will cover those.  I also tried to leave out pure fiction books, although some might have snuck onto this list.  Most of the 17 or so books in the “Rogue Warrior” series, for example, are fiction — or pseudo-fiction, anyway — starring Dick Marcinko himself.  I left those out.

Absent as well are all of the SEAL/romance fiction books.  Wow.  There are a lot of those.  Who knew?  You can dig those up yourselves.

It is important to note that not all of the authors of the below books are SEALs or former SEALs, though most are.  Some books, furthermore, were written by a Navy SEAL along with a civilian co-author. 

Finally, I also occasionally left out the extended subtitles of the books, if they were over-long or superfluous to understanding the book’s subject matter.  Again, apologies if any of you future readers of these books have any trouble trying to locate them based on what I have documented below.  I am sure we can help you dig them up somewhere.

With all that said, enjoy your reading!  The books are listed below in chronological order.

  1. The Element of Surprise: Navy SEALs in Vietnam — Darryl Young, 1990
  2. SEALs: UDT/SEAL Operations in Vietnam — T.L. Bosiljevac, 1990
  3. Brave Men, Dark Waters: The Untold Story of the Navy SEALs — Orr Kelly, 1992
  4. SEAL! — Lt. Cmdr. Michael J. Walsh and Greg Walker, 1994
  5. SEALs, UDT, Frogmen: Men Under Pressure — Darryl Young, 1994
  6. Death in the Jungle: Diary of a Navy SEAL — Gary R. Smith and Alan Maki, 1994
  7. The Naked Warriors: The Story of the U.S. Navy Frogmen — Francis Douglas Fane and Don Moore, 1995
  8. Never Fight Fair! Navy SEALs’ Stories of Combat and Adventure — Orr Kelly, 1995
  9. Point Man — James “Patches” Watson & Kevin Dockery, 1995
  10. Hunters & Shooters: An Oral History of the U.S. Navy SEALs in Vietnam — Edited by Bill Fawcett, 1995
  11. SpecOps: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice — William H. McRaven, 1996
  12. Walking Point: The Experience of a Founding Member of the Elite Navy SEALs — James Watson, 1997
  13. SEALs in Vietnam — Eric Micheletti, 1997
  14. Rogue Warrior — Richard “Dick” Marcinko and John Weisman, 1997
  15. Combat Swimmer: Memoirs of a Navy SEAL — Capt. Robert A. Gormly, 1998
  16. Class-29: The Making of US Navy SEALs — John Carl Roat, 1998
  17. Whattaya Mean I Can’t Kill ‘Em?: A Navy SEAL in Vietnam — Rad Miller, Jr, 1998
  18. Rogue Warrior: The Real Team — Richard Marcinko, 1999
  19. The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 — Dick Couch, 2001
  20. Navy SEALs: A History of the Early Years — Kevin Dockery and Bud Brutsman, 2001
  21. Navy SEALs: A History part II, The Vietnam Years — Kevin Dockery and Bud Brutsman, 2002
  22. One Perfect Op: an Insider’s Account of the Navy Seal Special Warfare Teams— Dennis “Snake” Chalker & Kevin Dockery, 2002
  23. Navy SEALs: A History part III, Post-Vietnam to the present — Kevin Dockery and Bud Brutsman, 2003
  24. First SEAL — Roy Boehm & Charles Sasser, 2003
  25. Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy SEAL — Chuck Pfarrer, 2003
  26. Navy SEALs: A Complete History from World War II to the Present — Kevin Dockery, 2004
  27. The Finishing School — Dick Couch, 2004
  28. The Frogmen of World War II: An Oral History of the U.S. Navy’s Underwater Demolition Teams— Chet Cunningham, 2005
  29. Down Range: Navy SEALs in the War on Terrorism — Dick Couch, 2005
  30. Lone Survivor — Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson, 2007
  31. The Sheriff of Ramadi: Navy SEALs and the Winning of al-Anbar — Dick Couch, 2008
  32. SEAL Warrior: Death in the Dark: Vietnam 1968-1972 — Thomas H. Keith and J. Terry Riebling, 2009
  33. SEAL Team SIX: Memoirs of an Elite Navy Sniper — Howard Wasdin and Stephen Templin, 2011
  34. Unleash the Warrior Within — Richard “Mack” Machowicz, 2011
  35. The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL — Eric Greitens, 2011
  36. SEAL of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of Michael P. Murphy, USN — Gary Williams, 2011
  37. Inside SEAL Team Six: My Life and Missions with America’s Elite Warriors — Don Mann and Ralph Pezzullo, 2011
  38. SEAL Target Geronimo: Inside The Mission to Kill Osama Bin Laden — Chuck Pfarrer, 2011
  39. The Red Circle— Brandon Webb, 2012
  40. SEAL of God — Chad Williams with David Thomas, 2012
  41. Service: A Navy SEAL at War — Marcus Luttrell, 2012
  42. No Easy Day — Mark Owen, 2012
  43. The Warrior’s Heart: Becoming a Man of Compassion and Courage — Eric Greitens, 2012
  44. American Sniper — Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen, and Jim DeFelice, 2012
  45. Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown- Eric Blehm, 2012
  46. SEAL Survival Guide — Cade Courtley, 2012
  47. Battle Ready: Memoir of a SEAL Warrior Medic — Mark L. Donald and Scott Mactavish, 2013
  48. Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL’s Journey to Coming Out as Transgender — Kristen Beck and Anne Speckhard, 2013
  49. Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior — Rorke Denver, 2013
  50. Navy SEAL Dogs: My Tail of Training Canines for Combat — Mike Ritland, 2013
  51. The Way of the SEAL: Think Like an Elite Warrior to Lead and Succeed — Allyson Edelhertz Machate and Mark Divine
  52. Trident K9 Warriors — Mike Ritland, 2013
  53. The Trident — Jason Redman and John Bruning, 2013
  54. How to Shoot Like a Navy SEAL: Combat Marksmanship — Chris Sajnog, 2013
  55. Navy SEAL Sniper: An Intimate Look at the Sniper of the 21st Century — Glen Doherty and Brandon Webb, 2013
  56. Breaking BUD/S: How Regular Guys Can Become Navy SEALs — D.H. Xavier, 2013
  57. Unbeatable Mind: Forge Resiliency and Mental Toughness to Succeed at an Elite Level— Mark Divine, 2014
  58. Navy SEALs: Their Untold Story — Dick Couch and William Doyle, 2014
  59. Pride: The Story of the First Openly Gay Navy SEAL — Brett Jones, 2014
  60. No Hero: The Evolution of a Navy SEAL — Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer, 2014
  61. Self-Discipline: The Ultimate Guide to Self-Discipline — John Collins, 2015
  62. Motivation: The Ultimate Pathway to Motivation and Success like a US Navy SEAL — John Collins, 2015
  63. The Making of a Navy SEAL: My Story of Surviving the Toughest Challenge and Training the Best — Brandon Tyler Webb and John David Mann, 2015
  64. Extreme Ownership — Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, 2015
  65. Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life — Eric Greitens, 2015
  66. Among Heroes: A U.S. Navy SEAL’s True Story of Friendship, Heroism, and the Ultimate Sacrifice — Brandon Webb, 2015
  67. 100 Deadly Skills — Clint Emerson, 2015
  68. Team Dog: How to Train Your Dog the Navy SEAL Way — Mike Ritland, 2015
  69. Enemies, Foreign and Domestic: A SEAL’s Story — Carl Higbie, 2016
  70. The Last Punisher — Kevin Lacz, 2016
  71. Worth Dying For: A Navy SEAL’s Call to a Nation  — Rorke Denver and Ellis Henican, 2016
  72. By Honor Bound: Two Navy SEALs, the Medal of Honor, and an Extraordinary Story of Courage — Dick Couch, 2016  
  73. American Commander — Ryan Zinke and Scott McEwen, 2016
  74. Raising Men — Eric Davis, 2016
  75. Navy SEAL Self-Discipline: How to Become the Toughest Warrior — Jason Lopez, 2016
  76. Success — John Collins, 2016
  77. The Power of Thought — Brandon Webb, 2016
  78. Navy SEAL Mental Toughness: A Guide to Developing an Unbeatable Mind — Chris Lambertsen, 2016
  79. The Operator — Robert O’Neill, 2017
  80. Total Focus — Brandon Webb and John D. Mann, 2017
  81. Make Your Bed — Admiral William H. McRaven, 2017

(Featured image by Frumentarius).