First to Fight: An Inside View of the U.S. Marine Corps
Commandant's Reading List
Poolee/Recruit/Private/Private First Class/Lance Corporal/Corporal/Sergeant/Staff Sergeant
By Victor H. Krulak
Published February, 1999
From the Publisher:
In this riveting insider's chronicle, legendary Marine General "Brute" Krulak submits an unprecedented examination of U.S. Marines—their fights on the battlefield and off, their extraordinary esprit de corps. Deftly blending history with autobiography, action with analysis, and separating fact from fable, General Krulak touches the very essence of the Corps: what it means to be a Marine and the reason behind its consistently outstanding performance and reputation.
Krulak also addresses the most basic but challenging question of all about the Corps: how does it manage to survive—even to flourish—despite overwhelming political odds and, as the general writes, "an extraordinary propensity for shooting itself in the foot?" To answer this question Krulak examines the foundation on which the Corps is built, a system of intense loyalty to God, to country, and to other Marines. He also takes a close look at Marines in war, offering challenging accounts of their experiences in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. In addition, he describes the Corps's relationship to other services, especially during the unification battles following World War II, and offers new insights into the decision-making process in times of crisis. First published in hardcover in 1984, this book has remained popular ever since with Marines of every rank.