Colonel Andy, USMC (Ret)

This book was terrific. As a Marine veteran, I found Jim Bathurst’s descriptions of life as a Marine both entertaining and instructive. His depiction of the life of a young Marine in the period before the outbreak of the Vietnam War was spot on. On almost every page, he has a personal story with a valuable lesson for any young military officer or NCO. Any student of leadership would be well-served to read this book since it contains numerous examples of both good and bad leadership – and Bathurst pulls no punches when he evaluates the men he served with over his long and illustrious career. I must admit that I was privileged to have served in the Marine Corps with Jim on several occasions and I consider him one of the best examples of professionalism and effective leadership I have ever met. The book tells the story of his rise from private to colonel during a time when the Marine Corps had to deal with sparse resources, the Vietnam War, drug abuse, and a host of other leadership challenges. Bathurst takes on these challenges head-on and provides insights and lessons learned that will benefit any military professional and enlighten any student of the military and its culture. I highly recommend it.