The Operator

  • by Robert O'Neill
  • Narrated by Robert O'Neill
  • 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


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.

Read full review

- Kenneth Malone

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 fact that the author is reading it allows him to chuckle at the appropriate moments during his own recounting of funny events amidst serious 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 death of his friend Neil Roberts. 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 potentially 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 have made and continue to make may go unappreciated by some, but for the rest, they inspire daily. To use the popular Churchill quote, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few".

Godspeed you champions.

Read full review

- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-25-2017
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio