I chose the book for one reason only, being a former Marine myself it was only appropriate I choose this book since I served during the time periods depicted in the book.
I found the book so intriguing I couldn’t put it down, the colorful way Col. Bathurst documented each assignment and the sometime cruel comedy of it all.
What a great story of a very great man
Note from the Author: Thank you very much James; I am truly humbled by your comments. JB
We’ll All Die As Marines is one man’s memoir of Marine life from a lowly private to a full bull colonel. Colonel Jim Bathurst has written a memorable and compelling account of his life as a Marine of over thirty-five years.
A young native coming from the shores of the Chesapeake Bay young Bathurst had a real problem trying to matriculate from high school. Lacking direction and absolutely hating going to school he begged his parents for their signatures releasing him to of all places the United State Marine Corps. The author starts the long trip from basic training at Parris Island to the Infantry Training Regiment. Along the way he gives a full and descriptive view of life in the Marine Corps as a private in the late 1950’s.
Becoming accustomed to a Marine’s life the author thrives on life which is full of tradition and discipline. We find him going up through the enlisted ranks becoming a drill instructor and becoming a man not only accustomed to taking orders, but he learns how to lead men from some great mentors along the way.
While still an NCO Bathurst has a tour of duty in Japan and later in 1966 he does a 13 month tour in The Republic of Vietnam. He relates his combat tour as lessons in leadership and shows the esprit de corps that takes on the elan that is known as a combat Marine. With these hard lessons in his pocket he rotates back to the States and is assigned to the prestigious ceremonial platoon known to all as “8th & I.” The author relates all the hard training and scrupulous attention to detail with this famed unit.
During this time span Bathurst is commissioned a 2nd Lt and his career as an officer takes off as he skyrockets through the officer ranks with assignments in Okinawa, the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, training with the Army at Ft. Bragg, Airborne training at Ft. Benning, Marine Barracks at Lemoore, California, Armed Forces Staff College and the Recruiting Station in Chicago, Illinois. Quite a full career!
This is the basis of a full and enriching career with a tutorial of what is the true Marine Corps. This is an excellent memoir for all who want to truly learn the meaning of Semper Fi.
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.