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One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer

One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer

Written by Nathaniel Fick

Narrated by Nathaniel Fick


One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer

Written by Nathaniel Fick

Narrated by Nathaniel Fick

ratings:
4.5/5 (17 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Released:
Oct 3, 2005
ISBN:
9780743552448
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

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Also available as bookBook

Description

If the Marines are "the few, the proud," Recon Marines are the fewest and the proudest. Only one Marine in a hundred qualifies for Recon, charged with working clandestinely, often behind enemy lines. Fick's training begins with a hellish summer at Quantico, after his junior year at Dartmouth, and advances to the pinnacle -- Recon -- four years later, on the eve of war with Iraq. Along the way, he learns to shoot a man a mile away, stays awake for seventy-two hours straight, endures interrogation and torture at the secretive SERE course, learns to swim with Navy SEALs, masters the Eleven Principles of Leadership, and much more.
His vast skill set puts him in front of the front lines, leading twenty-two Marines into the deadliest conflict since Vietnam. He vows he will bring all his men home safely, and to do so he'll need more than his top-flight education. He'll need luck and an increasingly clear vision of the limitations of his superiors and the missions they assign him. Fick unveils the process that makes Marine officers such legendary leaders. One Bullet Away never shrinks from blunt truths, but it is an ultimately inspiring account of mastering the art of war.
Released:
Oct 3, 2005
ISBN:
9780743552448
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook


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Reviews

What people think about One Bullet Away

4.6
17 ratings / 11 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    One of my favorite Books about the Marine Corps in modern times it is honest and raw.
  • (5/5)
    Nathaniel Fick decided while he was in college that he was going to join the Marines. He served as an Infantry Officer and later as a Recon Marine. During that time, he saw a good chunk of what the world had to offer, both good and bad. One Bullet Away is Fick’s account of the things he faced during those years.I first became aware of Nathaniel Fick’s story when I read Generation Kill by Evan Wright a few years back. While I enjoyed Wright’s book, I have a different appreciation for One Bullet Away because of the different perspective. To read the account of someone who actually trained and served and couldn’t just go home after spending a while in a war zone is rather humbling.One of the major pluses for One Bullet Away is the amount of ground that Fick covers. By that I mean that it’s not just a story about the gruesome aspects of war. Fick talks a lot about how he made the decision to join the Marines, what he went through in order to join, and the training he had to go through once he did get in and how that helped him to become the person he is. In addition, he mentions coming home from war and what it’s like adapting to civilian life again. He also discusses his decision to leave the Corps – how he went from believing the Corps would be his career to realizing that he needed to get out. He talks about all of this, and war, in such an honest and personal manner that it’s hard not to be captivated by his story.In One Bullet Away Fick isn’t afraid to be candid about all things. He talks about himself, his feelings, his feelings about others and how things were done in a very straightforward manner. One Bullet Away is well written and easy to read. I didn’t want to put it down when I read it because I was so hooked by his story.Bottom line, I honestly don’t have a bad thing to say about this book. People who serve in the armed forces endure a lot of things and that holds true for Nathaniel Fick and the men and women he served with. Definitely a great read.
  • (5/5)
    Outstanding memoir by a young Marine lieutentant who led a platoon in Afghanistan and Iraq. Vivid, thoughtful and provocative.
  • (4/5)
    After being introduced to Fick via Generation Kill and being quite intrigued by this earnest young officer, it was interesting to explore his experiences is this detail and depth. His romanticisation of bygone eras of military greatness adds an interesting element to his tale, settling it in a clear framework of challenge, honour and comradeship that he struggles (although usually succeeds) in maintaining throughout each of his missions. His candour throughout is wonderful - to admit to fears and tears and frustrations requires as much courage as war itself (although getting all squeamish about deadly creatures in Australia simply made me laugh, as did the fact that the poor bugger was sipping VB when he heard about 9/11). Fick is an engaging and intelligent writer - I want to criticise him for a few platitudes, cliches and general naivete but even this old cynic ultimately found his earnestness a little disarming. Ultimately, this is an interesting account of a young officer's experiences that asks its reader to think about some of the challenges and complexities of contemporary warfare and military culture.
  • (4/5)
    One Bullet Away is perhaps the most detailed and complete record of a combat tour in Iraq that I have yet read. Fick must have kept daily notes or a diary. In fact the accumulation of day to day details becomes a bit repetitious and almost tedious at times. Lt Fick's dedication to his trade and affection and concern for his men become obvious in the course of his narrative, and you cannot help but admire him for any number of reasons. He is articulate and thoughtful throughout the book, a reflection of his education at Dartmouth, where he studied the Greeks and Romans. The one thing that bothered me here was the fact that, although I understand Fick was raised Catholic and was, like me, an altar boy, there is almost no mention of God or of praying during these extremely stressful and often frightening days. There is one mention of attending Mass, but otherwise nada. They say there are no atheists in foxholes, but I wonder. Was Fick the exception. It would be interesting to talk with him about this. But maybe that's just me. This is a darn bood book. I'm glad the author survived and made it back home to tell the tale. I will recommend his memoir highly.
  • (5/5)
    An excellent foil to Generation Kill, One Bullet Away tells the story of the initial invasion of the Second Gulf War from the perspective of an officer. Where Generation Kill gave us a unique look into the front line soldiers that lead the charge into Iraq, One Bullet Away gives an equally unique look at the same events from an officers perspective. It also delves into the invasion of Afghanistan in the wake of September 11 and finishes with a poignant look at how war can affect even the most well adjusted and idealistic men.
  • (3/5)
    A good read and a decent companion to "Generation Kill", Fick's book tends to over-think and over-write dialogue. This is a nice version of the story, but I can't help but think about how phoney it is. Fick says what we want him to say and thinks what we want him to think. Nothing he says is terribly surprising or rings terribly true. He's too high up to give us the "Joe" perspective, and too low on the totem pole to talk about military strategy. This book is interesting enough, but it smacks of Kennedy's tendency to toot his own ("modest") horn. I'm sure we'll see this guy in politics soon.
  • (5/5)
    very good look at leadership and war, author is LT mentioned in "generation kill"
  • (5/5)
    I work at a library, this book is NEVER on the shelf...I had to break down and buy a copy.AMAZING!Everyother chapter will have you vacillating between wanting to join the Marines and thanking god that there are men like Recon out there so you don't have to.Must Read--can't say it enough--MUST READ!
  • (4/5)
    Great look at Military life from the perspective of an educated person.
  • (5/5)
    A Dartmouth classical studies graduate decides to become a Marine. He is trained in peace, deployed in war. An interesting look at the military and the war in Iraq. Honest, well-written, thoughtful and intelligent.