SEAL Survival Guide by Cade Courtley

Sorry in the delay of this post, it is much longer than I was anticipating it being.  It is about double what I was expecting it to be.  There was a lot of information in SEAL Survival Guide that I wanted to highlight.  The book has made my favorite books list.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s weekly check-in, I recently finished the SEAL Survival Guide by Cade Courtley.  While the book is meant as a SEAL survival guide for survival situations it also works well as motivation for working out.  One of the key points he makes in his book is you constantly have to be pushing yourself to better both your mind and your body.   It just happens that he takes it and talks about it in terms of should you need it for a survival situation.

When it comes down to knowing how to be in the SEAL mindset and how to survive Cade Courtley knows his stuff.  He started out as a team leader for his class in BUD/s or Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALs training and excelled from there.  He led men into covert missions as an officer in the tier one commando unit.  During his time as a SEAL Courtley was on SEAL Team One (Jungle, Desert, and Urban combat specialization), SEAL Team Two (Desert and Urban combat specialization), and served as an instructor at the Naval Special Warfare Center.  On his free time, he has climbed mountains and gone venturing around the world.  Since being in the SEALs, Courtley has been on multiple combat and survival reality TV shows.

As part of the SEAL Survival Guide, Cade Courtley shares some of his stories from his time as a SEAL.  Of course all of his stories have minor details and/or names removed for confidentiality and national security purposes.  All of his stories are cool but they also serve a purpose.  Courtley uses his stories to highlight the issues he is addressing.  This makes them both interesting and helpful.  It also shows you why the advice he is giving should be followed.

[spoiler title=”Spoiler”] I put this story inside a spoiler so that it doesn’t ruin it if you want to read Courtley’s book.  It was one of my favorite SEAL stories from the book.  Courtley had a friend in the SEALs whose primary and secondary weapon both went down while an enemy combatant was running at him.  The SEAL only had moments to decide how he was going to defend himself.  He picks up a toaster oven and defends himself with the small appliance.  The SEAL is now the only US soldier with a confirmed kill with a small appliance.  Courtley uses this example to highlight the fact that you are rarely without a weapon.  You ALWAYS can defend yourself.[/spoiler]

To find out more about Cade Courtley click here for his biography.

SEAL Survival Guide Summary

I should preface this with the fact that I listened to Courtley’s book on tape while driving and doing other activities.  The narrator chosen for the SEAL Survival Guide was perfect, though.  Much better than most narrators I find on Audible.  This narrator had the voice that you expect from a hardened warrior.  It made the SEAL Survival Guide that much more enjoyable and easy to listen to.

Cade Courtley starts out by giving a little information on his background then jumps right in to the need to be in a SEAL mindset in order to survive things.  He discusses the need for a trigger to motivate you to take action.  This trigger is something that you save only for that moment when it comes down to fighting, you have nothing left and you need that extra fuel.  For example, it is the thought of defending your loved ones.

He spends a lot of time talking about the concept of violence of action.  If you commit to defending yourself you need to go all in and use the violence of action concept.  This concept doesn’t mean you need to literally tear someone’s head off and be as violent as a video game.  It means you need to give it your all and not half ass an attempt to defend yourself.  It is you or the other person.  Or as many military, law enforcement, and security specialists phrase it “your aim is to end the threat.”  You never “shoot to kill” your only goal is to stop the person who is threatening you, your family, or your friends.

SEAL Survival then breaks down different scenarios.  Courtley takes scenarios such as being in a plane crash, an accident, mugging, home invasion, and gives you suggestions on how to handle these situations.  Each of his answers is broken down into steps.  All of his advice is given for the lay person not the former military special forces operator.  This means that you can use all of his advice to help yourself and your family in any situation.

In any kind of survival situation Courtley says that you need to come up with only three options.  This is called the Rule of Three, not to be confused with the other survival Rule of Three that deals with the three needs during a survival situation.  This Rule of Three states that you only should spend time coming up with three options, analyzing them, and deciding which one you should act on.  Take into account whether they will put you or others at risk, what chance of working they have, and what amount of energy you need to put into them.  Usually, this comes down to three options:

  • Stay
  • Flee
  • Fight

When making the decision you also need to take into account your training and ability.  A 21-year-old male might be better able to fight than a 90-year-old female who needs a walker.

If you want to learn SEAL survival techniques or how to get in the SEAL Survival mindset then this book is for you.  Cade Courtley does an outstanding job of outlining how to handle various situations and how to get in the mindset.  Don’t forget to challenge yourself with something new every day!  It can even be a simple challenge as long as you are doing it.

Without Courtley’s experience and background, the SEAL Survival Guide wouldn’t be what it is.  This book takes a serious but fun look into how to survive some of the worst situations you can come across.  The SEAL Survival Guide can be picked up on Amazon in paper copy, ebook, audio CD, or audiobook (via audible).  I personally recommend the audiobook just because of the narrator who makes the book SEAL Survival that much more enjoyable.  Who knows, reading SEAL Survival might get you in the mindset to overcome that next obstacle or survive the apocalypse.