The romance genre has had a long love affair with the military hero. Nothing beats a man in uniform. But who wears it better? And who makes a better Black Ops warrior in a romance story- Navy Seals or Army Special Forces? The various branches of the US military are notoriously competitive. Ask any Sailor, Marine, Airman, or Soldier, and they will insist that their branch is far superior. And when they’re forced to share the same space, like a base in Afghanistan, their competitive nature really is displayed.
When I started researching for my book, Home Field, I looked for first person accounts of military forces deployed to Afghanistan. I became drawn to the stories of Special Forces soldiers.
There were two books that I found extremely helpful in understanding the Special Forces soldier. First was Lions of Kandahar by Major Rusty Bradley. Second was Gentleman Bastards: On The Ground In Afghanistan by Kevin Maurer. Both books I found extremely enlightening. I learned the complex command structure of a SF A-Team, their specialize combat training, their selection process, the different specialties that make up each twelve man ODA, and their motto-DE OPPRESSO LIBER.
Special Forces are called the Quiet Professionals. Most go about their important work, not seeking fame or glory. They are trained to be peacekeepers and work with indigenous peoples to gain there cooperation and support. Instead of blowing things up, they work to hold things together.
Special Forces teams have been involved in the Black Hawk Down incident, the hunt of Saddam Hussein, and many other important missions around the globe.
So, can you see why I chose to represent Special Forces in both my books. Unfortunately, it’s the death of a SF soldier that is the catalyst for the events in Home Field. (Yes, I did feel really bad about killing him off) My second book, True Horizon, follows a SF veteran who is suffering from PTSD.
I know you can pick up hundreds of romance novels staring Navy Seals. The Navy Seals have earned their fierce reputation. It takes incredible courage and fortitude to make it through BUDS training.
But once I learned about what makes the Army SF so special, I wanted my story to highlight those brave men.
What’s your preference…Army or Navy? (or maybe one of each)