‘Chris Ryan’ MM (born 1961) is the pseudonym of a former British soldier turned novelist. ‘Ryan’ came to public prominence for being the only member of the failed eight-man SAS mission, Bravo Two Zero to escape, during the First Gulf War, 1991. He has subsequently written a number of books, including The One That Got Away and “One Good Turn” a specially commissioned story for the Quick Reads Initiative, aimed at improving adult literacy.
‘Ryan’ was born in Rowlands Gill, County Durham, North East England in 1961. He tried unsuccessfully to get into the army as a boy soldier at 16. His cousin Billy was in the 23rd SAS Reserves, and he invited ‘Ryan’ to come up and “see what it’s like to be in the army”. Ryan ended up doing this nearly every weekend, almost passing selection several times, but he was too young to continue selection and do ‘test week’. When he was old enough, he passed selection with ease as he had experienced most of it more than three times already. Shortly afterwards he began selection for the Regular 22 Regiment, and after passing he joined ‘B’ squadron and trained as a medic. However, needing a parent regiment he, along with another soldier who had joined the SAS from the Royal Navy, planned to spend three months with the Parachute Regiment at Aldershot. He then spent seven years carrying out both covert and overt operations with the SAS in various theatres of the world.
Bravo Two Zero
‘Ryan’ was a team member of the ill-fated Bravo Two Zero patrol in Iraq, during the First Gulf War. The patrol was tasked to “gather intelligence;… find a good LUP (lying up position) and set up an OP” on the main supply route (MSR) between Baghdad and North-Western Iraq, but were compromised and subsequently headed towards Syria on foot.
‘Ryan’ made SAS history with the “longest escape and evasion by an SAS trooper or any other soldier”, covering 100 miles (160 km) more than SAS trooper, Jack Sillito, had in the Sahara Desert in 1942.
During his escape, ‘Ryan’ received injuries from drinking water that was contaminated with nuclear waste. Along with suffering severe muscle atrophy he lost a potentially fatal 16 kg (35 lb) and subsequently did not return to front line operational duties. Instead, he selected and trained potential recruits, eventually being discharged from the SAS in 1994.
Since leaving the SAS in 1994, ‘Ryan’ has written several books. Such as; The One That Got Away, his non-fiction account of the Bravo Two Zero mission, including fictional bestsellers such as Strike Back (2007) and Firefight (September 2008). He has also written fictional books for teenage readers, such as the Alpha Force Series, and “Code Red”. Chris combines successfully authoring his bestselling books, along with security lectures and presenting television documentaries including Hunting Chris Ryan.
In 2005, ‘Ryan’ presented a Sky One show called How Not to Die, detailing how not to die in various life-threatening situations, including violent burglary, mugging, and violent attacks. It was described as “One of the most thought provoking programs of its time”, by Chris Thompson in 2006. He acted as the military advisor on the video game I.G.I.-2: Covert Strike, helping to make the game more accurate to real-life military operations, tactics, weapons and equipment. ‘Ryan’ both co-created, and starred in the TV show Ultimate Force, was a military, technical advisor and played the role of Blue Troop leader Johnny Bell in series 1. He trained and managed a six-man team to represent Team GB at Sure for Men’s Extreme Pamplona Chase in Spain, and starred in Special Forces: Manhunt airing on the Military Channel. ‘Ryan’ produced several programmes titled Terror Alert: Could You Survive, in each programme he demonstrated how to survive disasters including, flooding, nuclear terrorist attack, mass blackouts, and plane hi-jacking.
He lectures in business motivation, and is currently a bodyguard in the USA. In 2009 ‘Ryan’ starred in “Elite World Cops” aired on Bravo. In the show, ‘Ryan’ spends time with various law enforcement agencies around the world, giving him an insight to the war on terrorism and drug trade but from a law enforcement perspective.
He has written a romantic novel, The Fisherman’s Daughter, under the pseudonym Molly Jackson.
- The One That Got Away (1995)
- Chris Ryan’s SAS Fitness Book
- Chris Ryan’s Ultimate Survival Guide
Geordie Sharp (character)
- Stand By, Stand By (1996)
- Zero Option (1997)
- The Kremlin Device (1998)
- Tenth Man Down (1999)
Matt Browning (character)
- Greed (2003)
- The Increment (2004)
- The Hit List (2000)
- The Watchman (2001)
- Land Of Fire (2002)
- Blackout (2005)
- Ultimate Weapon (2006)
- Strike Back (2007)
- Firefight (2008)
- Flash Flood (2006)
- Wildfire (2007)
- Outbreak (2007)
- Vortex (2008)
- Twister (2008)
- Alpha Force 1: Survival (2002)
- Alpha Force 2: Rat-catcher (2002)
- Alpha Force 3: Desert Pursuit (2003)
- Alpha Force 4: Hostage (2003)
- Alpha Force 5: Red Centre (2004)
- Alpha Force 6: Hunted (2004)
- Alpha Force 7: Blood Money (2005)
- Alpha Force 8: Fault Line (2005)
- Alpha Force 9: Black Gold (2005)
- Alpha Force 10: Untouchable (2005)
- One Good Turn (2008)