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First to Fight: An Inside View of the U.S. Marine Corps (Bluejacket Books) Paperback – February 22, 1999
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A fascinating combination of memoir and study of the U.S. Marine Corps. -- Booklist
General Krulak's skills as a journalist enhance the telling of his tales surrounding the Corps's history...his personal recollections add immeasurably to the book's quality. --National Defense
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Top Customer Reviews
Many times over the Corps had proved it's worth to her county on battlefields across the globe. But as the General points out (form first hand experience) - unknown to most are the political battles fought behind closed doors that saved the Marine Corps from becoming nothing more than a token force, or worst it's complete elimination. Even more surprising are some of "Great Americans" who (for various reasons) fought so hard to emasculate and/or eliminate the Corps outright. Americans like: Truman, Eisenhower, and Bradley to but name a few. While I'll always have great admiration for these individuals and their accomplishments - As a Marine alumni (77/81) I can't help but feel somewhat betrayed by these people and others like them.
First in Fight makes for engaging reading - as it covers Krulack's own experiences within the battle over the unification of the armed services. Moreover - this book explains how & why the U.S. Military chain of command (Executive office - down to the lowly Private) is set-up the way it is today.
Most people think that the erecting of the U.S. Flag on Mt. Suribachi's peak was the defining moment that guaranteed the existence of the Marine Corps. While I'd never take anything away from that historical event - thanks to this book I now realize that the Corps survival to date is partly in thanks to a few dedicated Marine senior officers, a Pro-Marine Congress and a supportive people.
On a personal note: I would make this mandatory reading for any Marine, as it gives new insight into our timeless inter-service rivalry with the other service branches. Semper Fi!
The book starts from the premise "The U.S. doesn't need a Marine Corps," "Brute" Krulak articulates why America chooses to have one anyway. Not least among the gems of history in this book is the role Brute Krulak and others in the Chowder Society played in keeping the Marine Corps alive the last time the Executive Branch and Department of the Army conspired to kill her.
I had the pleasure of serving under Capt. Charles Krulak, who eventually became Commandant, for a brief period of time and I used to work with a man who was "Brute" Krulak's personal chef, so the name was not entirely new to me.
After having served four years in the Corps, including an abbreviated tour in Vietnam, I knew how the Corps was, but I had no idea how it really came to be the institution that it is, except of course, for the tales of glory I heard in Boot Camp.
Anyone who has ever served in the Corps should read this book. Anyone who is thinking of joining the Corps should read this book. In fact, anyone who has any connection at all with anyone who has any connection at all with anyone who is in any way connected to the Marine Corps should read this book.
On a personal level, when General Krulak was scheduled to inspect the troops, because of the general's short stature, the word would go out to not look down at the general unless you wanted to commit suicide. I was lucky when he approached me. We were about the same height -- and I think he appreciated seeing a short Marine.
The Krulak story cannot end without mention of his son, Charles Krulak who became the 31st Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. His leadership rebuilt the Marine Corps after the devastating experience in Vietnam. It was there as a lieutenant, he learned the hard and tragic lessons of war and vowed to change the Corps. He succeeded. The Krulaks shall be important touchstones of Marine Corps history.
USMC Combat Correspondent
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I get it now. This book really does give an insight into the mind of the Marine Corps told through the insightful tales of one of their own. Fantastic read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kan
Just get through the first couple chapters, then it gets somewhat interesting.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a great read for old Jarheads. I served under The Brute and am amazed that he accomplished so much in his career. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
The book is very informative, but is quite dry and boring to readPublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Another interesting look at the behind the scenes fight against the MarinesPublished 4 months ago by Mitch