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This Recruit: A Firsthand Account of Marine Corps Boot Camp, Written While Knee-Deep in the Mayhem of Parris Island Hardcover – November 8, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (November 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1450264573
  • ISBN-13: 978-1450264570
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,237,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 28 customer reviews
I got a couple of good laughs and thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Old Recruit
Writing about how and why Marines are trained gives one an understanding of why the U.S. Marines are such a great fighting force.
tinstar
The only downside to this book is that there are numerous misspellings throughout the book.
jmp883

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John Wayne Heusner on December 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Laughed my head off reliving boot camp through the authors word pictures! The definition of the acronym USMC as related by the DI to the recruits still gives me belly laughs long after reading it. The accounts of the physical training, hikes, inspections, obstacle course, confidence course, crucible, and graduation that occurred in 2000 are amazingly similar to my recollections of my experience at "Boot Camp" over thirty years earlier. The book is a diary of events secreted out and weaved into a thoroughly enjoyable account of the miseries and the joys of recruit life. Couldn't put it down.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Brian Rooney on December 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
A fascinating portrayal of Marine boot camp on Parris Island -- with thought provoking anecdotes and hilarious one-liners sprinkled throughout. As someone with no military background, I found the book extremely interesting as the writer was able to separate fact from fiction about the day-to-day of boot camp life. I couldn't put it down.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By johnjmart on January 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
As more and more people discover this book, there's going to be a lot of Marines out there kicking themselves, wondering why they didn't think of writing it first. Out of the millions of Americans who have gone through basic training, few have taken the time to painstakingly record their daily experiences. Typically, recruits are focused on just surviving. Somehow, Lalor managed to pull off the impossible at boot camp-- keeping a secret journal under the watchful eye of his Drill Instructors, possibly risking his career.

From the very first pages, this book hit home. Even though my experiences during Navy boot camp weren't the exact same as Lalor's, the similarities are endless. I too was a not-too-young recruit, who had joined the military to allay feelings of guilt and pent-up patriotism. Like Lalor, I knew that friends and family would think I was nuts to voluntarily sign up. At boot camp, my survival techniques were the same as many outlined in this book-- count the days until you go home, try to not take the way you're treated too personally, and remember how proud you'll feel once it's all over.

This book is a must read for two different audiences: First, anyone who has been through boot camp from any branch. You won't realize how much you've forgotten about your own experience until you've read a detailed account like this. Sure, there are plenty of things about these grueling early days that you'll never forget, but you'll be surprised about how much can come back to you once your memory is jogged. The drill instructors and the fellow recruits that Lalor spent every moment with on Parris Island all reminded me of people I dealt with and trained with at Navy basic training at Great Lakes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chris M on May 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
It's been 15 years and 38 days since I stepped onto those yellow footprints, although not facing the wrong way as did Recruit Lalor! That's a long time for memories to fade, leaving only the highs and lows of Parris Island. In reading the author's real-time account of his experience, even the most trivial details came rushing back. I literally could not put this book down. His vividly detailed account, including his thoughts and blind expectations of what's to come, remind me of exactly how I felt for 12 of the toughest and most rewarding weeks of my life. This story brilliantly explains how only in a place like Parris Island can bowel movements, whoppers with cheese and a single piece of mail carry such enormous significance, while something as small as a sand flea or packet of peanut butter can cause an equal amount of despair. The author's candid acknowledgment of the absurd rituals, such as dressing by the numbers, and the surprisingly useful mnemonic devices, such as how to properly board a Navy ship, had me laughing out loud. Other parts, such as having to go the last 48 hours of the Crucible with dirt, rocks and twigs lodged in the most uncomfortable of places, had me cringing. In the end, his sense of pride in earning the right to wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor and achieving the life-long dream of becoming a Marine rejuvenated something inside myself that doesn't get to come out much in the civilian world. The last line of the book is as true today as it was 235 years ago: Once a Marine, Always a Marine. I've read a great deal of books on the Commandant's Reading List - some good and some not so good.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By sfmomto3 on October 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book! I hesitated to read it as my son just started boot camp and I was afraid it would give me too much insight and information as to what he is going through. However, it has been a great comfort for me. I would strongly urge every parent to read it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Herb Valentine on August 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This book was like a time machine, transporting me back to 1980. I could feel the sand flies again and smell the swamp. Thanks fellow Jarhead for the memories.- Corporal Herb Valentine
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Evan Baschnagel on November 8, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a Marine, I found this to be very engaging and enjoyable. Such a great idea that I know thousands of Marines everywhere wish they had come up with first. If you want to get a true insight into the torture Marines live as they are born on Parris Island or just reminisce on your glory days, this book is for you.
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