Howard E. Wasdin
|Howard E. Wasdin|
November 8, 1961 |
Boynton Beach, Florida
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1983–1995|
|Unit||United States Navy SEALs|
Operation Gothic Serpent
Howard E. Wasdin (born Howard E. Wilbanks on November 8, 1961) is a former member of the United States Navy who served as a sailor in the Atlantic Fleet as well as a Navy SEAL. Following his honorable discharge, he co-wrote the autobiographical memoir SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper.
Early life and military
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Wasdin was raised in Screven, Georgia and enrolled at Cumberland College for several years before enlisting with the Navy. Following his military career, he graduated from Life University in Marietta, Georgia and earned a Doctor of Chiropractic degree.
Eventually joined the fleet, serving in Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 7 (HS-7) as an antisubmarine warfare operator and rescue swimmer. HS-7 deployed aboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67). In early October 1986 during a deployment aboard John F. Kennedy, Wasdin was aboard a Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King helicopter that crashed in the Atlantic Ocean due to a catastrophic loss of transmission oil while tracking the Soviet submarine K-219 which had suffered an explosion and fire in a ballistic missile tube near Bermuda. Wasdin and crew were successfully rescued from the downed aircraft which eventually inverted and sank after a salvage attempt. The remainder of his time in HS-7 revealed him to be an extremely confident and capable junior petty officer. He was well liked among his peers. Wasdin served the rest of his active duty contract with HS-7 Squadron before re-enlisting to attend Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL selection and training.
Following successful completion of training, Wasdin served with SEAL Team 2 in Little Creek, Virginia and was deployed in the Persian Gulf War. Later he was selected to join the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group, (also known as "DEVGRU" and "SEAL Team Six"), which is classed as a Special Mission Unit within the U.S. military's Joint Special Operations Command.
He is the author of SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper, an autobiographical memoir he co-wrote with Stephen Templin. The book details some of the extreme training that United States Navy SEALs go through, as well as his experiences in the Navy. The book also covers aspects of his personal life, including his marriages, his childhood with an abusive stepfather, and life after leaving the Navy.
The book has been adapted into a young adult version, I Am a SEAL Team Six Warrior, released in April 2012.
- Critical Reception
The book was a New York Times bestseller and received positive reviews. Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times wrote, “Mr. Wasdin’s narrative is visceral and as action packed as a Tom Clancy thriller.”
SEAL Team Six was released May 10, 2011, only a week after DEVGRU took part in the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden. This resulted in a great deal of publicity for both Wasdin and his book which was amended to include a Preface in which Wasdin speculates how the operation might have gone.
- Chris Kyle, former Navy SEAL and author of American Sniper: The Autobiography of The Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History
- ""SEAL Team Six Author Is Very, Very Popular Right Now, But Not With His Mom", New York Magazine, 05/05/2011".
- Bosman, Julie (March 18, 2012). ""A Wave of Military Memoirs With You-Are-There Appeal", The New York Times, 03/18/2012".
- ""New York Times Bestseller List", 07/24/2011". The New York Times. July 24, 2011.
- Kakutani, Michiko (May 8, 2011). ""Muscle Memory: The Training of Navy Seals Commandos", The New York Times, 05/08/2011".