~ Frank Skinner introduces you to the hidden world of the brave, unsung heroes who dedicate their lives to protecting millions of Americans against the ongoing threat of terrorism. From the humid jungles of Vietnam to the streets and alleyways of North African “hot spots” such as Beirut, Cairo and Libya, Skinner gives you the true story of how the current war on terror began. What he shares are some of the most dangerous, intense situations and military training scenarios that he’s faced, all the while helping to raise his family and cope with his son’s life-threatening medical problems. More than just a book on military tactics and counter-terrorism, this is a book on survival and the human spirit. Praised by authors Richard Marcinko and Dr. Margaret Nydell, Skinner’s book takes an exciting look into the very evolution of military history through the eyes of a man who has been in the very heart of it. Complete with photographs to help reference his tactical training as well as his travels around the world, Cook, Baker, Candlestick Maker is a fascinating exploration into one of the most vital yet unknown areas in today’s military
~ I was only 2 when my dad entered Spec Ops and intense travel to places he couldn't talk about. I saw my mom bravely crying as he walked out, afraid to look back. I never understood why! This is the 1st time I've read the book. I now understand because his book is like walking down the beach with him and having him tell his story. Yeah, he's my dad and I am proud. I feel better now that dad made me understand. Thanks Dad....Great Book!
~ The author is a US Marine . He was an EOD officer in the Marine Corps and the first part of the book describes his work as EOD expert and his experience about explosive entry and breaching .
The second and most important part of the book describes his experience as a Marine attached to the State Department (Diplomatic Security Service) . Capt Skinner served during various deployment at the beginning/mid '80 in the Middle East (Lebanon where most of the action happened and Egypt) and other hot spots like Colombia .
How it was working in Beirut at the time - in the Military training Team of the US Embassy - is well described . It was a very dangerous place to be considering there were more than 20 armed groups in town fighting each other.
After a few years at the State Department the author was back to the Corps and was one of the developer of the concept of MAU-SOC and active in the training process in support of it .
If the reader is interested in security related matters, Middle East, and professionals at work don't miss the book- it is well worth its price .
~ No glory in this book, only the low-down and dirty world in which Marine EOD seeks and thrives. If a no nonsense look at EOD operations over the long term is what you are looking for, this is your book. The author truly has mastery of his subject and MOS. This book will be referenced by historians for years to come in regard to the dangerous times during the Pax Americana. All the people are real, all the places have been verified, and all the operations confirmed. This book reveals the early years of what would one day become MarSOC, and discusses the struggles of developing, implementing and educating the Old Corps EOD technicians and transitioning the EOD program into a premier special operations field. Detailed explanation of TTP' s, especial early improvised charges and employments.
~ Excellent, outstanding and fun read. Frank keeps it moving and shares his great experiences to the point that it feels like you're with him all the way.
Semper Fi Brother
~ I have thoroughly enjoyed this book. I met Frank in Destin, Fl and he told me about the book. I have a military background which helped make the book more interesting. Anyone interested in boom and bang should enjoy this read.
~ This was a great book. To understand the developmental stages and evolution of explosive entry in national intelligence covert operations, military leadership and law enforcement nationwide. Told in a way that will have you laughing more than learning, but you'll learn a lot on what you should continue looking into. You'll learn some Lebanese Arabian, a few tricks to add to your bag, where to add vacations at on your to do list, how to be a good father and husband, but an influential leader in military leadership. If you're considering big city police departments SWAT exams, Navy EOD or other tactical military leadership commissions, or to see what it's like to be a part of something greater than yourself for likeminded pursuits than this is the book for you to read. As a 4 yr BS in CJ Administrative grad, EOD student, and fitness freak I enjoyed the journey of Skinner. You'll feel like you're there the whole time.
~ Started this book just for the details when I started a cert program back in 2012 and 2013 just for the details to pass most of it. Didn't really pull it off the shelf again until the last month or so to read entirely word for word. If you were always into the Tom Clancy books and Robert Ludlum books and movies when you were younger than you'll love this book outside of academia and find it hard to put down. Though I've always trained my body and mind for officer selection for several years it's easy to run into a paradox as in a "Why Did I do That All Of Those Years? Every Mile? Every Broken Pull Up Bar? Education? etc" especially if your cards dealt were stacked from birth unlike this guy or Nate Fick of One Bullet Away than just being born under the wrong people, the wrong systematic treatment, and the efforts of your own though small compared to good choices can destroy American pride. Re-reading Cook Baker helps to restore faith in country, service, and efforts of my own. Though it's easy to see ......................... we work where we want, be who we wish, or choose what we choose we long to see through the lens of Skinner. You'll humble yourself seeing how many women in the Middle East wishes they had minority protections like our own has to have what ever income they want too while their men suffer, survive, get by, and cook and clean. You'll never wish to see an American woman cry about how her rights are privilege's are taken advantage of as the system of Lebanon don't cater to their existence like ours does our own women. The end of the book will remind you that we are needed in the world more than we think and maybe efforts of your own and those that have died before you, after, or with you don't have to die for no reason. If you've lost faith in independence value, politics, our country, the justice system, and our purpose to the rest of the world then I recommend this to you. We all want what Skinner has and that's unshaken faith in utilization, purpose, and faith in our country and ourselves........J Black