History Thomas Ricks Making the Corps

ISBN 13: 9780684848174

Making the Corps

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9780684848174: Making the Corps

Making the Corps visits the front lines of boot camp, Parris Island, South Carolina. Here, old values are stripped away and new, Marine Corps values are forged. Acclaimed military journalist Thomas E. Ricks follows these men from their hometowns, through boot camp, and into their first year as Marines. As three fierce drill instructors fight a battle for the hearts and minds of this unforgettable group of young men, a larger picture emerges, brilliantly painted, of the growing gulf that divides the military from the rest of America.

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Review:

Marines are different: distinct not only from ordinary U.S. citizens but from the ranks of the army, navy, and air force as well. The difference begins with boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, where the history and future of the United States Marine Corps intersect in the training of every new recruit. In Making the Corps, Ricks follows a platoon of young men through 11 grueling weeks of boot camp as their drill instructors indoctrinate them into the culture of the Few and the Proud. Many arrive at Parris Island undisciplined and apathetic; they leave as marines.

With the end of the cold war, the role of the American military has shifted in emphasis from making war to keeping peace. "The best way to see where the U.S. military is going is to look at the marines today," says Ricks, as the other armed forces have begun to emulate the marine model. To understand Parris Island--a central experience in the life of every marine--is to understand the ethos of the Marine Corps. Ricks examines the recent changes in the Standard Operating Procedures for Recruit Training (the bible of Parris Island), which indicate how the corps is dealing with critical social and political issues like race relations, gender equality, and sexual orientation. Making the Corps pierces the USMC's "sis-boom-bah" mythology to help outsiders understand this most esoteric and eccentric of U.S. armed forces. --Tim Hogan

From the Publisher:

Semper Fi. The few, the proud. From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli. Once a Marine, always a Marine. The United States Marine Corps, with its fiercely proud tradition of excellence in combat, its hallowed rituals, and its unbending code of honor, is part of the fabric of American myth. No other group in America leaves so deep and permanent a mark on its members. Today, though, the Marine Corps feels increasingly besieged, at war with a new kind of enemy the vast social and political forces that it feels threaten to destroy its values. Making the Corps visits the front lines of that war: boot camp, Parris Island, South Carolina, "where the difference begins." Here, old values are stripped away and new, Marine Corps values, forged. Acclaimed military journalist Thomas E. Ricks follows sixty-three raw recruits, the men of recruit platoon 3086, from their hometowns to Parris Island, through boot camp, and into their first year as Marines. As three fierce drill instructors fight a battle for the hearts and minds of this unforgettable group of young men, a larger picture emerges, brilliantly painted, of the growing gulf that divides the military from the rest of America.

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Thomas Ricks
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Thomas Ricks
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