Sunday, December 05, 2010

One Bullet Away

I am hugely enjoying One Bullet Away, in which Nate Fick tells the story of his introduction to the Marine Corps in the summer of 1998. I was surprised and impressed that Officer Candidate School in the USMC sounds a whole lot tougher than the basic training I went through in the winter of 1956 at the hands of Korean War veterans who had learned the hard way that untrained troops are a menace to themselves and their comrades. Evidently the Marines never unlearned this basic truth.

I particularly liked what young Mr. Fick says about his motivation for joining up: "I wanted to do something so hard that nobody would ever talk shit to me." He was a junior at Dartmouth, and OCS was his summer vacation; he'll become a Marine second lieutenant in June 1999. This is the same Lieutenant Fick who was chronicled in the HBO mini-series, Generation Kill. As portrayed by Stark Sands, he's appealingly decent and thoughtful--and regularly rebuked by the headquarters POGs for caring more about his men than the orders he's been given. It will be interesting to see what the real-life Nate Fick says on this subject. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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