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About the book
  • Published: 1 August 2014
  • ISBN: 9780857983497
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336

Undaunted

From Clearance Diver to Mercenary




Diving was a boys-own adventure, a jump into the unknown full of devil-may-care attitudes. It welcomed you with one hand and cast you asunder with the other. It was a hideous bitch goddess and it drank the blood of the unprepared.

‘Diving was a boys-own adventure, a jump into the unknown full of devil-may-care attitudes. It welcomed you with one hand and cast you asunder with the other. It was a hideous bitch goddess and it drank the blood of the unprepared.’

Since his low-key upbringing, Hugh ‘Obi’ O’Brien’s life has been a wild ride. What led this country boy, one of four sporty sons, from Sydney boarding school to directionless youth to navy clearance diver – slipping undetected through deep waters to defuse mines and dismantle bombs? Then, upping the adrenaline, Obi joined the mysterious Special Forces counterterrorism unit TAG (East) – no walk in the park.

In his memoir Undaunted – full of eye-popping anecdotes and sparing the reader nothing of his persistent self-doubt – he recounts this incredible journey. He also describes the difficult transition from military life – to his days risking ‘spaghettification’ on underwater construction projects then private security work pirate-hunting in the Red Sea and tearing along the world’s most dangerous roads in the Middle East.

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to follow a high-action alternative route through life, Obi makes a unique guide. Undaunted is an engaging and unexpected account by an operator at once tough, whimsical and funny and always brutally honest.

  • Pub date: 1 August 2014
  • ISBN: 9780857983497
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336

About the Author

Hugh O'Brien

The second of Amanda and Gerard O’Brien’s four sons, Hugh ‘Obi’ Robert O’Brien was born in 1979 and grew up on the family sheep and wheat farm near Young in New South Wales. Obi attended Sydney boarding school St Joseph’s College, a rugby academy where old-school English customs and Dickensian group living honed his fast developing survival skills. His lacklustre performance in both sporting and academic endeavours ingrained a sense of underachievement that would fuel Obi’s later success in the Special Forces.

After high school, Obi attended university somewhat aimlessly. On the advice of his younger brother Phil, a member of the armed forces, Obi applied for the navy as a Clearance Diving candidate, and against all odds he found success and acceptance with these subaquatic supermen. With an unquenched thirst for adversity, Obi applied for Special Forces with the army’s counterterrorism unit, TAG (East), a secretive team of divers and commandos, tasked with defending the domestic population from harm post-9/11. Admittance to this unit – their failure rate is in the eightieth percentile – was the defining moment of his life, the chance to serve where angels fear to tread and maybe, just maybe, feel worthy of the path less travelled.

In 2011, Hugh left the Special Forces and has since pursued a career in private security. Currently he is stationed in Iraq.

Hugh continues to seek adventure wherever it may lie, be it pirate-hunting in the Red Sea or mentoring soldiers in Afghanistan. He believes you will only ever regret the things you do not do, and nobody wants to die without any scars.


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