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SEAL book chronicles challenge of being a SEAL without a book deal

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Navy SEAL Bret Curtis was the victim of intrateam harassment for years because he refused to write a book about his life as a Navy Sea, Air, and Land commando. Curtis joined after 9/11 to “be a part of the most secretive and elite military brotherhood in the world” Curtis said.

But that brotherhood turned out to be less secretive than advertised, and Curtis, even after six combat tours, found that he no longer fit in. He will publish his thoughts on the ridiculous extent to which SEALs write books in his personal phillipic, Odd Man Out, which will hit shelves sometime this fall.

“The guys were writing books left and right; our [commanding officer] even hired writing teachers and we were all forced to attend classes regularly,” he added. “The guys gave up beer and started taking Adderall instead, trying to stay competitive. It just didn’t feel right to me.”

SEALs are known for their fiercely competitive nature, so any published book had to be a best-seller or the author would surely face shaming from his teammates and leadership. In 2008, building a fighting force with sound writing skills became a top priority for the SEAL brass.

The Navy discontinued combat dive training for the SEALs and replaced that curriculum block with a series of advanced technical writing courses led by famed author Malcolm Gladwell.

Petty Officer Curtis described his tribulations: “I honored our ethos and refused to advertise the nature of my work, but I felt like a pariah. I was picked last for beach volleyball, the guys stopped complimenting my sideburns, and I had to start eating my poké alone. I was confused and hurt,” he continued. “One day someone snuck into the team smoothie room and replaced my turmeric powder with cinnamon.”

“It was below the belt. I was cast out and pissed off, and that’s when I knew that I had to speak out.”

Retired Admiral Roy MacDougal has denounced the “Hollywood SEALs”, on his new talk show that airs weekly on TMZ. As he closed Sunday’s episode, he gazed at the camera and addressed the entire military community with the closing statement “We are quiet warriors. Let’s act like it.” 

Follow #NavySEALS in Publishers Weekly for updates on this developing story.