Charles Patrick “Chuck” Pfarrer, III is an American novelist, non-fiction writer, screenwriter, and former U.S. Navy SEAL. Pfarrer went through Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S) in 1981 and spent 8 years as a Navy SEAL.
He served as a military advisor in Central America, trained NATO forces in Europe and the Mediterranean, undertook duties in the Middle East, notably in Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War. As executive officer of the SEAL Team assigned to the Multi-National Peacekeeping Force, he witnessed the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut. Pfarrer was one of the SEAL Team leaders responsible for the apprehension of Abu Abbas and the hijackers of the cruise ship Achille Lauro. Pfarrer ended his service as Assault Element Commander at the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), formerly known as SEAL Team 6.
After leaving the military, Pfarrer embarked on a career as a Hollywood screenwriter. His film credits include writing, acting and production work in Navy SEALs, Darkman, and Hard Target. Pfarrer was the screenwriter on The Jackal. His spec screenplays for Virus and Red Planet were also made into movies. He is an uncredited writer on the films Arlington Road, Second Nature, Sudden Impact and Green Hornet. Pfarrer was active in the 2004 effort to recall Writer’s Guild of America president Charles Holland, who had claimed, wrongly, to be a wounded combat veteran, intelligence officer and Green Beret. Holland eventually resigned under fire.
Pfarrer’s best-selling autobiography, Warrior Soul, The Memoir of a Navy SEAL, was published by Random House in 2004. His debut novel, Killing Che, was published by Random House in 2007. He is the author/creator of six graphic novels for Dark Horse Comics, and wrote and produced two interactive full motion videos, Flash Traffic and Silent Steel, both for Tsunami Media.
Pfarrer has written broadly on terrorism and counter-terrorism, and serves government and industry as a subject matter expert on special operations, terrorist operational methodology, counter-proliferation and terrorist employment of weapons of mass destruction. He has written Op Ed for the New York Times and the Knight Ridder syndicate, appeared as an author and counter-terrorism expert on CSPAN-2, NPR, the Arabic network Al Hurra, Voice of America, Fox News and ABC, America Tonight and The Australian Broadcast Company. Pfarrer serves presently an Associate Editor of “The Counterterrorist”, a journal of international security, special operations, counter insurgency and counterterrorism.
Pfarrer is the son of Charles Patrick Pfarrer, Jr., a career naval officer, and Joan Marie (née Hoyle) Pfarrer, a registered nurse. Born in Boston, Pfarrer considers Biloxi, Mississippi to now be his hometown. The Pfarrers share with many other old Biloxi families the distinction of losing homes in both Hurricane Camille (1969) and Hurricane Katrina (2005).
Pfarrer is a graduate of the Staunton Military Academy, and studied Clinical Psychology at California State University at Northridge and the University of Bath in the United Kingdom.