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The Quiet ProfessionalThe Quiet Professional

Major Richard J. Meadows of the U.S. Army Special Forces

Alan Hoe

Narrated by David Gilmore

Available from Audible

Book published by University Press of Kentucky

Major Richard J. “Dick” Meadows is renowned in military circles as a key figure in the development of the U.S. Army Special Operations. A highly decorated war veteran of the engagements in Korea and Vietnam, Meadows was instrumental in the founding of the U.S. Delta Force and hostage rescue force. Although he officially retired in 1977, Meadows could never leave the army behind, and he went undercover in the clandestine operations to free American hostages from Iran in 1980.

The Quiet Professional: Major Richard J. Meadows of the U.S. Army Special Forces is the only biography of this exemplary soldier’s life. Military historian Alan Hoe offers unique insight into Meadows, having served alongside him in 1960. The Quiet Professional is an insider’s account that gives a human face to U.S. military strategy during the cold war. Major Meadows often claimed that he never achieved anything significant; The Quiet Professional proves otherwise, showcasing one of the great military minds of twentieth-century America.

Alan Hoe (ret.) served in the British Army Special Forces and is the author of several books, including Terrorism: Threat and Response and David Stirling: The Authorized Biography of the Creator of the SAS.


“A book about one of the greatest legends in the world of U.S. Army special forces, Major Richard Meadows.”

Military Heritage

“This is a well written biography of the extraordinary life of a complex man. It should be on the suggested reading list of the Chief of Staff of the Army for Army leaders at every level and should be found in every soldier's professional library.”


“ “There is very little public knowledge of how special-operations forces carry out their work or of the half-century effort to develop a joint doctrine of special-operations tactics and techniques. It is an important story, and few men loom as large in it as Maj. Richard J. Meadows.”

Wall Street Journal

“A great read about a great American warrior, The Quiet Professional captures the essence of this humble but extraordinary Special Forces legend, Major Dick Meadows. From the back alleys of Tehran to the jungles of the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the terror-stricken villages of Peru, this Green Beret set the standard that we all aspired to achieve but rarely met.”

—Major John L. Plaster, USA (Ret.), author of SOG: The Secret Wars of America's Commanders in Vietnam

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University Press Audiobooks