One Bullet Away – The Making of a Marine Officer by Nathaniel Fick

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Click on cover image to purchase a copy

MWSA Review

Brilliant Memoir of a USMC Officer at War with Terrorism Author Nathaniel Fick, a former USMC captain with the First Reconnaissance Battalion, writes a tell-it-like-it-is memoir in his book: “One Bullet Away – The Making of a Marine Officer.” It is a compelling and riveting insider's look at the recruitment, training and making of a Marine Corps officer that takes us right into the combat and the action. Fick goes from the Ivy League halls of Dartmouth to the hard and courageous life of a reconnaissance officer in the Global War on Terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq.

His story gives us one of the best insider looks at what is happening in our war on terror. It is written from the point of view of one of those few brave young men who are leading the charge and risking their lives daily. This book is highly readable and is destined to become a 21st century classic of how we fought this new kind of war. It is also not shy about pointing out the stupidity of some of our commanders and those in charge. He pulls no punches and holds nothing back in his analysis of what happened.

This book shows the best and the worst of people. It is honest prose that evokes the essence of older more classic war literature—when courage and compassion were still important to our fellow countrymen.

Once you read this book you will be affected in some way. Your emotions and your thinking about the war and how it is being handled will change. You will also have a much higher regard and respect for those men and women who are serving our country in this war now.

Fick is a smart, courageous storyteller. His book is a very candid look at his military experiences and should be required reading material for all new officers about to serve in this new war on terrorism

Reviewed by: Bill McDonald (2005)

Author's Synopsis
If the Marines are “the few, the proud,” Recon Marines are the fewest and the proudest. Nathaniel Fick’s career begins with a hellish summer at Quantico, after his junior year at Dartmouth. He leads a platoon in Afghanistan just after 9/11 and advances to the pinnacle—Recon— two years later, on the eve of war with Iraq. His vast skill set puts him in front of the front lines, leading twenty-two Marines into the deadliest conflict since Vietnam. He vows to bring all his men home safely, and to do so he’ll need more than his top-flight education. Fick unveils the process that makes Marine officers such legendary leaders and shares his hard-won insights into the differences between military ideals and military practice, which can mock those ideals.