View Full Version : The Sheriff of Ramadi by Dick Couch

Jim Dolbow
02-15-2009, 06:21 PM
I thought my e-interview of Dick Couch over at the USNI blog (http://blog.usni.org/?p=1035) about his latest work, The Sheriff of Ramadi: Navy SEALs and the Winning of al-Anbar. (http://www.usni.org/store/item.asp?ITEM_ID=1695&DEPARTMENT_ID=115) might be of interest:

What inspired you to write The Sheriff of Ramadi?

I became interested in The Sheriff when I learned of the intensity of the fighting in Ramadi/al-Anbar, and that the SEALs were taking to the streets to fight with the Army and the Marines. This is the first time SEALs have ever done this. Early on, I felt it would be the story of courage in the face of certain defeat as things were very bleak in the summer of 2006. The courage was there, more than I would have imagined, and it turned out to be a pivotal victory in Iraq.

How did you convince the Navy SEALs to talk with you?

Thatís not hard for me as I have a good reputation for respecting privacy issues and telling an accurate story. And they forgive me for my oversights. It also helps that Iíve, been there, done that, and have a drawer full of T-shirtsĖmost of them very old T-shirts.

Who should read The Sheriff of Ramadi?

I think its a good read for anyone who wants to understand the role of a direct-action force in a major counterinsurgency battle. Itís also revealing look at the role of snipers in urban battle. And of course, itís a good text for the multi-dimensional role of Navy SEALs in an insurgency. And finally, on a macro scale, the lessons of Ramadi will be most useful as we turn our attention to Afghanistan.

You have written 6 fiction books and 6 non-fiction books. Which type is easier to write?

Without question, fiction. When I write novels, I get to go hang out with my imaginary friends for a few hours every day. Good fun. Non-fiction requires research, travel, and the responsibility of getting someone elseís story right. Itís a 110,000 word term paper.

Any future books in the works?

I have a short, non-fiction work on tactical ethics which Iím finishing up; then perhaps another book on SOF trainingĖmaybe the Rangers this time.
Dick Couch is a rare find. He is a scholar and practitioner having served on active duty with the Navy Underwater Demolition and SEAL teams for five years.

02-15-2009, 06:26 PM

Looks interesting. Anything that you would like to expand on that isn't in the interview?


Jim Dolbow
02-15-2009, 06:33 PM
The only thing I have left to add is that The Sheriff is a great read! If you pick it up, be prepared to block out some time. Moreover, if you have any additional questions, please post them to the thread and I will try to get answer from the author.

02-15-2009, 06:39 PM
I have had the opportunity in the past year to meet some impressive SEALS with remarkable stories. We have become very close friends, and I'm excited that their story is being told. Most are far too humble to share.

I look foward to the read.



02-15-2009, 08:59 PM
I was with the RFCT and came to greatly respect the SEALS - it was exactly as SOF/GPF integration should happen. They were invaluable for covert and difficult operations, especially sniper ops. Unfortunately (maybe I am unlucky) witnessed that level of cooperation and willingness to integrate from army SF.

I still have my SEAL Team 5 coin.