By Kelley Carlson
When former U.S. Navy SEAL Sniper Course Manager Brandon Webb decided to write his latest book, he had a mission: to have his young children understand why he had been away and to one day read about his experiences.
The memoir, “The Red Circle,” details Webb’s ventures that led him to becoming a Navy SEAL and his eventual work designing post-9/11 sniper training courses. It also covers his transition to life as a private entrepreneur.
While Webb has lived in the San Diego area for the last 15 years, he originally hails from Canada. At age 7, his family moved to the United States, and they resided on a boat in Ventura Harbor.
When he was 16, Webb was involved in a fight with his father and thrown out of the “house” — a small vessel anchored off Tahiti. His 6,000-mile journey back to California — which he accomplished without a driver’s license — helped lay the foundation for his successful military career.
In 1993, Webb joined the Navy, where he initially served as an Aviation Warfare Systems Operator and Search and Rescue Swimmer. He went on to complete Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL training with class 215.
Brought to Coronado as a SEAL in 1997, Webb was involved in combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. After his last deployment with SEAL Team Three, he worked at the Naval Special Warfare Group One Sniper Cell.
Webb said that during this time, he and some other SEALs were approached about helping to revamp the sniper program to “bring it into the 21st century.”
For Webb, it eventually became a full-time job, and he took over as head instructor of the sniper course at the end of 2003.
More than 300 SEAL sniper students graduated from Webb’s three-month-long course. One of them was Chris Kyle, the most decorated sniper in USSOCOM (U.S. Special Operations Command) with more than 250 confirmed kills. Another of Webb’s trainees was Marcus Luttrell, lone survivor among the dozen SEALs who were a part of the ill-fated Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan in 2005.
The following year, Webb’s career with the Navy came to a close, and for a short period, he performed contract work with an intelligence agency in Iraq.
But after spending large amounts of time away from his family for years, Webb decided a change was in order.
“My first son was born ... while I was chasing bad guys in caves in Afghanistan,” Webb said. “It was time for me to spend time with my family.”
With his own entrepreneurial parents as an inspiration, Webb chose to attend business classes through The Business Professional Course. It was there that he discovered he had a knack for writing and he could better express himself. “I found I was good at it,” Webb said.
He gained experience as a contributing editor for Military.com, and then merged his business and literary skills into SOFREP.com, or Special Operations Forces Situation Report, where he currently serves as editor in chief. The site launched Feb. 1, and contains up-to-date information about the Special Operations community.