Jack Carr, Author of "The Terminal List" and "True Believer"

Run to the Sound of the Guns

Tank with Military Operators

In the days, weeks, months, and years following 9/11 we deployed as teams, running to the sound of the guns. The learning curve was steep early on, but we adjusted quickly, passing on the lessons we had learned to those coming in behind us. The enemy was learning too, adapting to us as we adapted to them.

Every night as I take the kids to lacrosse practice, the rock gym, or out on an evening hike in the mountains, I try to remember that there are teams out there gearing up for another mission - they've cleaned their weapons, topped off magazines, replaced batteries in their NODs, flashlights, and IR lasers, completed comm checks, and finished rehearsals.

We probably won’t hear about it unless one of them doesn’t make it back, but they're out there. The plan will not go exactly as briefed, and those on the ground will have to aggressively solve the problems at hand. When they return to base they might try to sneak in a few minutes on the SAT phone to check in with loved ones on the home front, inevitably calling at the most inopportune time for the family - their voices transformed into a digitized alien version of themselves, the sound bouncing off satellites on its journey from one side of the globe to the other.

Jack In the Field
Helicopter Gun Fight

Some will grab a few hours of sleep while others decompress with a video game or read a book. Or, they might turn right back around and hit another target based on information gleaned from the first. They are on vampire hours, closing their eyes during daylight to be ready to operate in darkness. All will prep their gear so it’s ready for the next mission. They are always on standby for a possible Time Sensitive Target (TST) that might trigger at anytime.

I’m not one of them anymore, but I try to always remember they are out there, doing the job, getting it done, night after night, still running to the sound of the guns.


Buy The Terminal List on Amazon


“Don’t spend time worrying about the odds. While you are wasting bandwidth thinking about how ‘hard something is,’ someone else is out there allocating that energy on doing it - training for BUD/S or writing their novel. Get in the fight and do it! ” 

― Jack Carr, Former Navy SEAL Sniper
MK11/12 Sniper Rifle

MK11/12: An Urban Sniper’s Best Friends

If you asked me what an ideal sniper rifle looked like before 9/11, I would have described a super-accurate custom bolt-action rifle chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum.

After several combat deployments, including more than one as a sniper, I now think of a far different weapon: one that is lightweight, capable of sustained semi-automatic fire and has sufficient accuracy to take out targets at up to 500-800 meters. Those rifles are known in the Naval Special Warfare community as the MK11 Model 0 SWS (Sniper Weapon System) and the MK12 Mark 0/1 SPR (Special Purpose Rifle), two weapons that hold a special place in my heart...

Listen to the Audiobook
"THE TERMINAL LIST" Trailer. Featuring Dom Raso.
Official Trailer Video
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