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Naval Special Warfare by Greg E. Mathieson Sr. and David Gatley.


By Tom Demerly for


NSW Publications has released a comprehensive new reference book on all aspects of United States Navy Special Operations titled United States Naval Special Warfare by Greg F. Mathieson Sr. and David Gatley. The book is a large wardroom-table size 13.5 X 10 inch (35.5 cm X 25.5 cm) and is 403 pages long, weighing a hulking 8 pounds.  It contains hundreds of new, never published, photos in addition to the original text.


Both an entertaining visual experience and a valuable reference, “Naval Special Warfare” contains accurate insights into SEAL and SWCC equipment from the past, current and even into the future.

The Navy SEAL book category is a crowded one with returning 4,389 results for a search on the book topic “Navy SEALs”. What sets United States Naval Special Warfare apart is its freshness, accuracy and scope. Previous large format photo books on Naval Special Warfare have contained generic, public release official U.S. Navy photos usually seen in numerous publications. United States Naval Special Warfare uses photography we’ve never seen in previous books or publications. Even the photos of historical, older SEAL training and operations in United States Naval Special Warfare are original.


Authors Greg E. Mathieson Sr., (left) and David Gatley (R).

Co-Author/Photographer Greg E. Mathieson Sr. served over a decade in the U.S. Army prior to becoming an expert in defense photography. He is the founder of MAI Photo News Agency, a journalistic resource that specializes in military and tactical photojournalism. Mathieson has published photos in every major, mainstream news publication. His relationship with each branch of the military and his experience as a member of the U.S. Army provide him with a degree of technical insight that, arguably, no other photojournalist currently enjoys. Mathieson’s photos bring this book to life as an engaging and fascinating insight that serves as a strong visual reference.

Co-author David Gatley owns three Pulitzer Prize nominations and has 35 years experience as a professional photographer. He is also a former RAND Corporation analyst for military weapons systems. Gatley owns six tours in the Middle East with deployed combat units. He has also done commercial photography for General Dynamics, Lockheed, ITT Defense and has provided imagery of sensitive material to his clients.

A big part of the appeal of United States Naval Special Warfare is the scope of the subject matter. Topics given short-shift in previous books are examined in detail in Mathieson and Gatley’s book. Of special note are new photos and detailed insights into submersible operations and SEAL delivery vehicles past and present.


We’ve never seen this level of detail and insight into the (previously) secret SEAL Delivery Vehicles.

The book also devotes considerable photography and insights into the Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman (SWCC) branch of Naval Special warfare with new insights into their littoral boat technology, operations and the training and history of their crews. While much has been written about the SEAL teams themselves, there is very little available reference material on the Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman units.


Mathieson and Gatley’s photography is fresh and original, even in depictions of Naval Special Warfare team operations from a number of years ago.

Most gallery style military books are primarily photo references but Naval Special Warfare backs up the great, original photography with accurate, detailed and in some cases, previously unavailable insights into Naval Special Warfare. Additionally, the text is well written and engaging. Nailing both the photography and the writing in a book that reports on a secretive society is a high bar to clear, and Naval Special Warfare sets the new standard for books on this subject.


Significant attention is given to the special operations “brown water” navy, the Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen units in “Naval Special Warfare”.

Finally, if you enjoy well made and archival, library quality paper books the construction of Naval Special Warfare is impressive. The giant book uses a real “case binding” with beautiful quality case cloth on the board outer of the binding with nicely done shoulders on the signatures of the book binding. This is a historical grade binding and printing that can serve as an empirical research resource in libraries.


The cover on our review copy had no paper slip cover, likely because of the elaborate, deeply embossed Naval Special Warfare Insignia.

The cover of the book features a deeply and intricately embossed insignia of the Naval Special Warfare Command and the SEAL qualification badge, the Trident. It looks like something you’d see on a flag pole outside the Phil H. Bucklew Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, California.


The book is built with a library quality “case binding” with heavy cloth board cover.

Every aspect of Naval Special Warfare is covered in detail and with currency and authority in Naval Special Warfare. This book is the start point for any literary survey of Naval Special Operations and will be an important title in any collection of books on Naval Special Warfare.

The book is currently sold directly from NSW Publications LLC for a “Printers Promotional Price” of $65.00 with an advertised “List Price” of $98.00.

From → Book Reviews.

  1. Where can I send a Press Release for this site? I would love to have these viewers read it and I think it could be of some interest to this audience.

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