September 07, 2006

One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer

By Nathaniel C. Fick

Fick signed up for the Marine Corps Officer Candidates School after receiving a B.A. from Dartmouth in 1999 because he wanted a challenge. He got one. He made it through the school and eventually into the First Recon Battalion (the elite of the elite), and he served in Afghanistan and Iraq before leaving the corps as a captain. The classics major proceeds in classic form, covering his training succinctly but thoroughly and his field experience in well-narrated detail, and concluding with a short epilogue. One of the corps' attractions for him was the chance for leadership in fighting.

He quickly learned that the trust between platoon and leader can make the difference between life and death for both, and he builds his combat descriptions around that principle. One Bullet Away can be recommended to anyone wanting a frontline description of this country's recent combat theaters and to anyone seeking a personal account of the contemporary Marine Corps. Marines are people, and Captain Fick puts proof of it on paper. Frieda Murray
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