Chuck Pfarrer

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Chuck Pfarrer
Pfarrer in October 2011
Birth nameCharles Patrick Pfarrer III
Born (1957-04-13) April 13, 1957 (age 66)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.[1]
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1981–1986
Other workScreenwriter, novelist, military correspondent, film producer, actor
WebsiteChuck Pfarrer

Charles Patrick Pfarrer III (born April 13, 1957) is an American writer, film producer, and former Navy SEAL. As an author, he has penned published screenplays, novels, comic books, and non-fiction works. His works deal with themes pertaining to the military. Pfarrer has worked on films including Navy SEALs, Darkman, and Hard Target.

Early life and education[edit]

Pfarrer was born April 13, 1957, in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Charles Patrick Pfarrer, Jr., a career naval officer, and Joan Marie Pfarrer, a registered nurse.[2]

He graduated from Staunton Military Academy in 1975, and studied Clinical Psychology at California State University, Northridge and the University of Bath in the United Kingdom.


Military career[edit]

Pfarrer entered active duty with the United States Navy in October 1980 and completed Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I in 1981. After his commission as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy, he reported to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S) at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. After six months of training, Pfarrer graduated with BUD/S class 114 in September 1981. Following SEAL Tactical Training (STT) and completion of six month probationary period, he received the 1130 designator as a Naval Special Warfare Officer, entitled to wear the Special Warfare insignia and spent the next five years as a Navy SEAL. His initial assignment was to Underwater Demolition Team TWENTY ONE (UDT-21) at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia.

Pfarrer deployed numerous times as a military advisor in Central America, trained NATO forces in Europe and the Mediterranean, and completed a combat deployment in 1983 to Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War when UDT-21 was redesignated as SEAL Team FOUR. As SEAL Assistant Platoon commander assigned to the Multi-National Peacekeeping Force, he witnessed the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut. In September 1984, Pfarrer reported to SEAL Team SIX in Training Support Center Hampton Roads to begin an eight-month specialized selection and training course to become a counterterrorist operator. Pfarrer ended his naval service in June 1986 as Assault Element Commander at the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU).[3]

Writing career[edit]


While still in the Navy, Pfarrer sold a spec script that he wrote in college.[4] His film credits include writing, acting and production work in Navy SEALs, Darkman, Barb Wire and Hard Target.[5][6][7] Pfarrer's other screenwriting credits include The Jackal, Virus and Red Planet.[8][9] He became a member of the Western branch of the Writers Guild of America.

He is an uncredited writer on the films Sudden Impact and Arlington Road, and wrote early drafts for Shooter and The Green Hornet.[10] He is the author and creator of six graphic novels for Dark Horse Comics, and wrote and produced two interactive full motion videos, Flash Traffic and Silent Steel, both for Tsunami Media.

Pfarrer's screenplay, Crash Site, was in development as a feature film by ALCON media. It was to be directed by Academy Award-winning director Charlie Gibson[11] and produced by John Bladecchhi and Alcon co-chiefs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove.


His first published novel, Killing Che, was released in 2007.[12]

Pfarrer's second novel, a work of nautical fiction, was published by the United States Naval Institute Press in April 2016. Based on the epic American short story of the same name by Edward Everett Hale, Philip Nolan, The Man Without a Country is a novelization of Hale's story, and tells of Nolan's court martial and his life as a prisoner on an American ship.


Pfarrer was active in the 2004 effort to recall Writers Guild of America president Charles Holland, who had falsely claimed to be a wounded combat veteran, intelligence officer and Green Beret. Holland later resigned.[13]

Pfarrer's best-selling autobiography, Warrior Soul, The Memoir of a Navy SEAL, was published in 2003.[14]

Pfarrer is the author of the 2011 book SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden, a New York Times best-seller,[15] which was controversial because he gave a different account of the raid than had the government.[16]

He has written op-eds for The New York Times and the Knight Ridder syndicate. He has appeared as an author and counter-terrorism expert on CSPAN-2, NPR, the Arabic network Al Hurra, IPR, Voice of America, Fox News, ABC, America Tonight and The Australian Broadcast Company.[citation needed]



Year Title Dir. Notes
1983 Sudden Impact Clint Eastwood Uncredited;
with Joseph Stinson, Charles B. Pierce & Earl E. Smith
1990 Navy SEALs Lewis Teague with Gary Goldman
Darkman Sam Raimi with Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, Joshua Goldin & Daniel Goldin
1993 Hard Target John Woo
1996 Barb Wire David Hogan with Ilene Chaiken

Nominated - Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screenplay

1997 The Jackal Michael Caton-Jones
1999 Arlington Road Mark Pellington Uncredited;
with Ehren Kruger
Virus John Bruno with Dennis Feldman
2000 Red Planet Antony Hoffman with Jonathan Lemkin
2003 Second Nature Ben Bolt Uncredited;
with E. Max Frye
2007 Shooter Antoine Fuqua Early draft
2011 The Green Hornet Michel Gondry


Year Title Genre Publisher
1992 Virus[17] Comic book Dark Horse Comics
The Thing from Another World
2004 Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy SEAL Non-fiction
Presidio Press
2007 Killing Che Historical fiction
Espionage fiction
Random House
2011 SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden Non-fiction St. Martin's Press
2016 Philip Nolan: The Man Without a Country Historical fiction
Nautical fiction
U.S. Naval Institute

Video games[edit]

Year Title Publisher Platform
1994 Flash Traffic: City of Angels Tsunami Games MS-DOS
1995 Silent Steel Microsoft Windows

Awards and decorations[edit]

U.S. military decorations
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
Combat Action Ribbon
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Navy Unit Commendation
Navy Expeditionary Medal
Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
Navy Rifle Marksmanship Badge
Navy Pistol Marksmanship Badge
U.S. badges, patches and tabs
Naval Special Warfare insignia
Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia
Army Parachutist Badge
Military Freefall Parachutist Badge


  1. ^ "Bio - Chuck Pfarrer [dot] com". Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  2. ^ Hall, Kenneth E. (July 1, 1999). John Woo: The Films, 2d ed. McFarland. p. 186. ISBN 978-0-7864-8829-2.
  3. ^ "FOIA Navy military record Charles P. Pfarrer III" (PDF). April 2, 2020. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 19, 2020.
  4. ^ Bing, Jonathan (January 29, 2003). "Military tomes take flight as war looms: authors' experience in armed services gives them insight into the fight on terrorists. (The Write Stuff)". Daily Variety. Hollywood, CA. Archived from the original on February 24, 2016.
  5. ^ Kempley, Rita (July 20, 1990). "'SEALs': Missiles And Muscles". Washington Post. Washington, D.C. Archived from the original on February 25, 2016.
  6. ^ Carr, Jay (August 24, 1990). "THE HIGH-POWERED ACTION, OPERATIC SWEEP AND TORTURED LOVE OF 'DARKMAN'". Boston Globe. Boston, MA. Archived from the original on March 1, 2016.
  7. ^ Carr, Jay (May 3, 1996). "The Barbie of 'Barb Wire'". Boston Globe. Boston, MA. Archived from the original on March 1, 2016.
  8. ^ Vincent, Mal (January 19, 1999). "VIRUS COMES UP SHORT ON SCARES. (DAILY BREAK) (Review)". The Virginian-Pilot. Norfolk, VA. Archived from the original on February 24, 2016.
  9. ^ Verniere, James (November 10, 2000). "'Red Planet': A Space Idiocy". Boston Herald. Boston, MA. Archived from the original on February 24, 2016.
  10. ^ Davis, Edward. "The Long Road To 'The Green Hornet': Clooney, Kevin Smith, Wahlberg, Gyllenhaal & More Once Involved | IndieWire". Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  11. ^ McNary, Dave (July 29, 2015). "VFX Artist Charles Gibson to Direct Action Movie 'Crash Site'". Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  12. ^ Weisman, John (April 8, 2007). "The Hunt for Che Guevara, Very Much Fictionalized". The Washington Times. Washington, DC.[dead link]
  13. ^ Roderick, Kevin (March 1, 2004). "New wrinkle at WGA".
  14. ^ Krizman, Karen Algeo (February 13, 2004). "'WARRIOR SOUL' EXUDES BRAVADO". Rocky Mountain News. Denver, CO. Archived from the original on September 21, 2014.
  15. ^ "Best Sellers". The New York Times. November 27, 2011. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
  16. ^ Dozier, Kimberly (November 16, 2011). "Spec Ops Command: book on raid 'a lie'". The Virginian-Pilot. Norfolk, VA. Archived from the original on September 21, 2014.
  17. ^ "Virus #1 (of 4) :: Profile :: Dark Horse Comics". Retrieved September 13, 2017.

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