U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, Montana’s freshman Republican congressman from Whitefish, has partnered with “American Sniper” author Scott McEwen on a book slated for release in September.
The book, “American Commander,” chronicles Zinke’s 23-year military career with the U.S. Navy Seals, particularly the half-decade he served as a commander on the elite unit Navy SEAL Team Six.
A decorated officer who earned two Bronze Stars as the acting commander of Joint Special Forces in Iraq, Zinke trained and commanded some of the men who ran the covert operations to hunt down Osama Bin Laden.
Zinke said he met the McEwen through Chris Kyle, whose book “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History,” was the product of a collaboration with the author. The book later became a major motion picture starring Bradley Cooper, and ended with Kyle’s tragic shooting death by a troubled veteran.
“The theme of the book is faith, family and love of country, as well as various examples of where I bore witness to American exceptionalism,” Zinke said. “We live in the greatest nation on earth. I’ve seen our nation be great, and our men and women do great things in both militarily and humanitarian ways.
As a commander of SEAL Team Six, Zinke mentored Kyle, as well as some of the SEALs who rescued Capt. Richard Phillips of the MV Maersk Alabama, whose cargo ship was taken by Somali pirates in 2009. The Maersk rescue was the subject of the movie “Captain Phillips.” Zinke is also credited with mentoring SEAL Marcus Luttrell, the subject of the movie and book “Lone Survivor.”
Zinke said the forthcoming autobiography also covers his experience running for Montana’s sole seat in Congress, which he was elected to in 2014, and takes readers behind the scenes and “into the heart of America’s most-feared fighting force.”
“A lot of the book is about the teams around me and the young men who were prepared to give everything they have for our nation,” Zinke said. “I’m honored to work with my good friend, Scott McEwen on this project, and am humbled by all the people in my life who agreed to be interviewed for it as well.”