I read these whilst bounding around Australia pre army. My dad had the lot and we stuck them in the map shelf of the old GQ Patrol. Took me the full 18 months of travelling to get through them but definitely was a bit of an underlying motivator to enter the military. Rainbow Six came out whilst we were in transit, I still have the first edition including sand from Cable Beach, that was the book that bit me the hardest. Clark and Chavez both pretty gritty characters, but poorly represented in the movies. Chavez would have been a lot fitter than his character appeared and Clark would have carried himself with more presence given his background than Dafoe was able to portray. I am also surprised by the lack of interest to put these series of books on to the big screen. Sure, some of the books are little slow going but with the right producer and a good script writer most of them could be pretty close to the mark. Surely better entertainment than Madam Secretary?
Also, they got me interested in studying Russian, but the ADF didn't offer it as a language so I was introduced to Tetum instead. Which worked out much better going in to East Timor