This engaging book plunges readers into the culture shock of Marine Officer Candidates School, a ten-week physical, intellectual, and emotional testing ground so grueling that every fourth candidate fails to complete.
What does it take to become a Marine Officer? This engaging book transports readers through the culture shock of Marine Officer Candidates School, a ten-week physical, intellectual, and emotional testing ground that every fourth candidate fails to complete. The Sergeant Instructors' intensity is palpable as candidates are made to strip away civilian habits and attitudes, replacing them the Marine Corps ethos in the hopes of becoming officers. Anecdotes and personal recollections of OCS by two generations of officers provide instructive, poignant, and humorous interludes for the reader.
A second focus of the book involves research into the demographics, attitudes, and opinions of two groups of officers, separated in time by 50 years. This comparison across a wide range of personal and social issues and beliefs renders some surprising results that lie in opposition to conventional wisdom. From the older generation, the reader will better understand the lifelong impact of the Marine leadership experience. From today's officers, the reader will discover the motivations of today's allegedly soft and coddled young people to follow the difficult path to a lieutenant's gold bars. This book is required reading for anyone with an interest in the Marine Corps and its culture.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Jack Ruppert, in his book ONE OF US, has proved himself to be an Author and a Writer. The Author created a fascinating premise: to compare Marine officers and their training and moral code across the generational chasm between the 1950s and 2000. He surveyed the subjects, tabulated the results of his study and reported the data to his readers in a clear, interesting and informative manner. The Writer in Mr. Ruppert set the scene, told the story, illuminated the characters and made the readers understand and care about them.
He was equally adept at reporting the data or ruminating over its meaning. He allowed the "old-timers" and the current officer candidates room to speak for themselves. He revealed a limited personal history which gave the necessary credentials for authorship and authenticity, establishing that this book could only have been written by a Marine Officer. But he exercised restraint against the possible temptation to craft an autobiography, thereby...
There have been a number of books recently about the training of enlisted Marines ("Making the Corps," "Into the Crucible," etc.), but the special technique the Corps uses to produce its officers is much less well-explored, at least for the general reader. Far from just a modification -- or still less, a simplification -- of enlisted recruit training, OCS and TBS, the two main parts of USMC officer training, are a world unto themselves and worthy of the attention Jack Ruppert has given them. This is a book that should be read, not only (as other reviewers have noted) by officer candidates or hope-to-be Marines, but by any reader interested in what makes the Corps America's most distinctive armed service.
To start, this rating is actually two grades averaged: purely as a book, One Of Us gets three stars. The writing is directed at facts, not style, and it's recounting a process rather than a story, since the author. There are certainly great moments, especially where Ruppert interviews his old OCS classmates. But there are also horrifically boring moments, like the chapter analyzing demographic and survey data on OCS classes, and most of the writing is simply average both in style and in ability to hold interest.
As an information resource, however, this book is second to none and gets five solid stars. It is first and foremost a thorough examination of what today's OCS is like, the process and stress candidates must undergo, and excellent preparation for anyone planning to attend. The information Ruppert gives on TBS is also useful, though less specific. Anyone reading this will instantly have great insight into how Marine officers are trained and what those trainees...
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