242 MILITARY LAW REVIEW [Vol. 216
THE RED CIRCLE: MY LIFE IN THE NAVY SEAL SNIPER
CORPS AND HOW I TRAINED AMERICA’S DEADLIEST
REVIEWED BY MAJOR TAKASHI KAGAWA2
Whatever it is that you do, you are making a stand,
either for excellence or for mediocrity. This is what I
learned about being a Navy SEAL: it is all about
excellence, and about never giving up on yourself. And
that is the red circle I will continue to hold, no matter
In October 2013, Sony Pictures released a movie based on the true
story of U.S. merchant captain Richard Phillips who was held hostage by
Somali pirates and later rescued by Navy SEALs in April 2009.4 Though
the movie focuses on Phillips as the main character, it depicts the
extraordinary abilities of the SEAL snipers who shot the three Somali
pirates on rolling seas more than 100 feet away with only three shots
from another vessel at sea.5 How does one train to become a SEAL
sniper with such deadly accuracy? Brandon Webb, a former Navy SEAL
sniper course manager, reveals the making of a SEAL sniper in his
personal memoir, The Red Circle.
Inspired by Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture, a YouTube video with
over sixteen million hits, Webb writes this autobiography in a similar
fashion as Pausch’s lecture: documenting his life and extrapolating
1 BRANDON WEBB, THE RED CIRCLE (2012).
2 Judge Advocate, U.S. Army. Student, 62d Judge Advocate Officer Graduate Course,
The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, U.S. Army, Charlottesville,
3 WEBB, supra note 1, at 380.
4 Sony Pictures, About, CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, http://www.captainphillipsmovie.com/site/
#about (last visited Sept. 10, 2013).
5 Id.; Robert D. McFadden & Scott Shane, In Rescue of Captain, Navy Kills 3 Pirates,
N.Y. TIMES, Apr. 12, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/13/world/africa/