Chuck Pfarrer

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Chuck Pfarrer
Born Charles Patrick Pfarrer III
(1957-04-13) April 13, 1957 (age 61)
Boston, Massachusetts[1]
Occupation Novelist, screenwriter, author, war correspondent
Nationality American
Genre Action adventure, thriller, military, counter-terrorism, suspense, science fiction, historical fiction
Notable works Navy SEALs
Hard Target
Killing Che
Warrior Soul
Notable awards Nominated for:
Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay

Charles Patrick "Chuck" Pfarrer, III (born April 13, 1957) is an American writer and former U.S. Navy SEAL. As an author, he has penned published screenplays, novels, comic book, and non-fiction works. Regardless of medium, his work usually deal with themes pertaining to the military, and he has worked on blockbuster films like Navy SEALs, Darkman, and Hard Target.

Life and career[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 at Northridge and the University of Bath in the United Kingdom.


Pfarrer 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/Sea, Air, Land (BUD/S) training in Coronado, Calif. He graduated class 114 in September 1981 and spent seven years as a Navy SEAL.[3] His initial assignment was to Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) 21, redesignated as Seal Team FOUR in 1983 where he deployed as a military advisor in Central America, trained NATO forces in Europe and the Mediterranean, and completed a combat deployment in Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War. 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 Damneck, Va to begin an eight month selection and training course to become a counterterrorist operator. In October 1985, Pfarrer was one of the SEAL Team assault leaders responsible for the apprehension of Abu Abbas and the hijackers of the cruise ship Achille Lauro. Pfarrer ended his naval service in 1988[4] as Assault Element Commander at the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU).[5]

Awards and decorations[edit]

U.S. military decorations
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
Combat Action Ribbon
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
U.S. Navy Expert Rifleman Ribbon.svg Navy Expert Rifleman Medal
U.S. Navy Expert Pistol Shot Ribbon.svg Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal
U.S. badges, patches and tabs
U.S. Navy SEALs Special Warfare insignia.png Naval Special Warfare insignia
United States Navy Parachutist Badge.png Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia
US Army Airborne basic parachutist badge.gif Army Parachutist Badge


While still in the Navy, Pfarrer sold a spec script that he wrote in college.[6] His film credits include writing, acting and production work in Navy SEALs, Darkman, Barb Wire and Hard Target.[7][8][9] Pfarrer's other screenwriting credits include The Jackal, Virus and Red Planet.[10][11] 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.[12] 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.

Additional writing[edit]

Pfarrer was active in the 2004 effort to recall Writer's Guild of America president Charles Holland, who had wrongly 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] His first published novel, Killing Che, was released in 2007.[3]

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]

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.[17]

Continuing work[edit]

Pfarrer has written broadly on terrorism and counter-terrorism, and served government and industry as an expert on special operations, terrorist operational methodology, counter-proliferation and terrorist employment of weapons of mass destruction. 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.

Pfarrer's latest spec 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[18] and produced by John Bladecchhi[19] and Alcon co-chiefs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove.



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 Glen-Hogan with Ilene Chaiken
1997 The Jackal Michael Caton-Jones
1999 Virus John Bruno with Dennis Feldman
Arlington Road Mark Pellington Uncredited;

with Ehren Kruger

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[20] 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 Genre Publisher Platform
1994 Flash Traffic: City of Angels Interactive movie Tsunami Games MS-DOS
1995 Silent Steel Interactive movie
Submarine simulator
Microsoft Windows


  1. ^
  2. ^ Hall, Kenneth E. (1 July 1999). John Woo: The Films, 2d ed. McFarland. p. 186. ISBN 978-0-7864-8829-2. 
  3. ^ a b Weisman, John (April 8, 2007). "The Hunt for Che Guevara, Very Much Fictionalized". The Washington Times. Washington, DC – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ Chuck Pfarrer
  5. ^ Mann, Don (28 November 2011). Inside SEAL Team Six: My Life and Missions with America's Elite Warriors. Little, Brown. p. 218. ISBN 978-0-316-20429-3. 
  6. ^ 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 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  7. ^ Kempley, Rita (July 20, 1990). "`SEALs': Missiles And Muscles". Washington Post. Washington, D.C. – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  8. ^ Carr, Jay (August 24, 1990). "THE HIGH-POWERED ACTION, OPERATIC SWEEP AND TORTURED LOVE OF 'DARKMAN'". Boston Globe. Boston, MA – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  9. ^ Carr, Jay (May 3, 1996). "The Barbie of `Barb Wire'". Boston Globe. Boston, MA – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  10. ^ Vincent, Mal (January 19, 1999). "``VIRUS COMES UP SHORT ON SCARES. (DAILY BREAK) (Review)". The Virginian-Pilot. Norfolk, VA – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  11. ^ Verniere, James (November 10, 2000). "`Red Planet': A Space Idiocy". Boston Herald. Boston, MA – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  12. ^ Davis, Edward. "The Long Road To 'The Green Hornet': Clooney, Kevin Smith, Wahlberg, Gyllenhaal & More Once Involved | IndieWire". Retrieved 2017-09-13. 
  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 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  15. ^ "Best Sellers". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. 2011-11-27. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  16. ^ Dozier, Kimberly (November 16, 2011). "Spec Ops Command: book on raid 'a lie'". The Virginian-Pilot. Norfolk, VA – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Virus #1 (of 4) :: Profile :: Dark Horse Comics". Retrieved 2017-09-13.