One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer

One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer

by Nathaniel C. Fick

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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.

In this deeply thoughtful account of what it’s like to fight on today’s front lines, Fick reveals the crushing pressure on young leaders in combat. Split-second decisions might have national consequences or horrible immediate repercussions, but hesitation isn’t an option. One Bullet Away never shrinks from blunt truths, but ultimately it is an inspiring account of mastering the art of war.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547349541
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 09/07/2006
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 73,738
File size: 24 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

After receiving a BA in classics from Dartmouth, Nathaniel Fick served as an infantry oficer and then as an elite Recon Marine. He saw action in Afghanistan and Iraq before leaving the Corps as a captain. He is now a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, D.C. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller ONE BULLET AWAY. Fick is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies, and serves as a Director of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy at Dartmouth College. He holds a B.A. from Dartmouth, an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and an MPA in international security policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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One Bullet Away 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 120 reviews.
SemperFiELP More than 1 year ago
I would recommend this book to be required reading at all our military academies, and our officer training centers. Nathaniel Fick hits the nail directly on the head when it comes to fundemental leadership principles, and presents them in a truly fresh and more importantly authentic way. He proudly represents the best the Marine Corps has to offer, and rather than making a political statement, presents facts which the reader can digest. He paints a very vivid picture of combat, without dressing it up or down, and makes it intensely personal. He is the kind of officer that you would willingly follow into harm's way, and sets an example for all future officers to emulate.
bfarmer More than 1 year ago
I don't normally read current military books but this was an excellent read. Its obvious Capt. Fick was a classics major. His writing was very inviting. I couldn't put it down. And he made you care about the other people in his book. It was admirable of him not to degrade anyone by naming names and pointing fingers. Its a shame he is still not in the Marines leading and learning other young men.
CounselorTX More than 1 year ago
"One Bullet Away" will place the reader in regular patrols and fire fights in Iraq. The book is written from the viewpoint of a young Marine Recon Officer, Nathaniel Fick. Very well written. Lieutenant Fick is highly intelligent, capable and compassionate. He was fortunate to have seasoned Gunny Wynn under his command to offer suggestions and assistance. I simply could not put down this book and felt as though I knew the personnel intimately. Compassion for the Iraqis was hard to ignore but pride in our US Marine Corps is top-most with this Marine Mom.
pococolo More than 1 year ago
This book was a really good read. I came to the book after watching the mini series, Generation Kill on Xfinity on Demand. The show was based on the book by embedded reporter, Evan Wright, about the 2nd invasion of Iraq feasting his experiences. I avoided the mini series when it first aired, afraid it would be a hit piece by a Rolling Stone writer on the war and military, but upon watching the mini series, which I enjoyed very much, I became interested in the soldiers which it portrayed. One of those was Lt Fisk, the author of One Bullet Away. The book is easy to read and it seems to be an insightful, honest account of Fisk's Marine Corps experiences. As the child and niece of many who experienced WWII up close and personally, the friend and wife of many others who experienced the draft and the Viet Nam era, as one who personally protested against the Viet Nam War, as the mother of a child currently serving in the armed forces, this book added to all that and got me thinking about those who have, are and will be serving. Fick's experience, well recounted, is well worth the time it takes to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Extremely well written and accurate to last detail. Captain Nathan Fick experiences the transformation that occurs when one makes the commitment to wear the eagle, globe, and anchor, and lead Marines. He comes to realize the incredible responsibility that comes with putting on the uniform, and he learns how rewarding it is to have the privilege of working with the well trained and motivated men under his command. He soon not only sees the anticipation and excitement of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, almost like preparing for the most important sports event of his life, but he also suffers through the contradictions and uncertainties of combat. Through it all he forges a bond with those he leads that will stay with all of them for the rest of their lives. If you want a true accounting of the making of a Marine officer, as well as the rigors and fog of war that is told without hype and exaggeration, this is the book to read. I had the privilege of wearing the uniform of a both a Marine enlisted man and a Marine officer for almost thirty years, and this book is an accurate reflection of what I experienced in that time as well. For those who lived the life, this book will be a welcome look back at our "glory days", and for the rest it is an important piece of the history of the Corps.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best book I have ever read on modern warfare. I have re-read this book several times and enjoy it every time. This easily tops even the classics such as Black Hawk Down and We Were Soldiers Once. A great read.
jbreid More than 1 year ago
Captain Fick told it like it was and probably still is. It became clear that only a handful of fficers really know how to lead in this new hostile environment. Capt. Fick was pointed without being disrespectful, honest without being offensive, and thoughtful without being overbearing. I could nt put the book down. I know two young active duty army officers in Iraq, and through their parents, they confirm Capt. Fick's descriptions. One will not re enlist do to the incompetence described later in the book. That tells it all.
TimBazzett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One Bullet Away is perhaps the most detailed and complete record of a combat tour in Iraq that I have yet read. Fick must have kept daily notes or a diary. In fact the accumulation of day to day details becomes a bit repetitious and almost tedious at times. Lt Fick's dedication to his trade and affection and concern for his men become obvious in the course of his narrative, and you cannot help but admire him for any number of reasons. He is articulate and thoughtful throughout the book, a reflection of his education at Dartmouth, where he studied the Greeks and Romans. The one thing that bothered me here was the fact that, although I understand Fick was raised Catholic and was, like me, an altar boy, there is almost no mention of God or of praying during these extremely stressful and often frightening days. There is one mention of attending Mass, but otherwise nada. They say there are no atheists in foxholes, but I wonder. Was Fick the exception. It would be interesting to talk with him about this. But maybe that's just me. This is a darn bood book. I'm glad the author survived and made it back home to tell the tale. I will recommend his memoir highly.
mantooth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
very good look at leadership and war, author is LT mentioned in "generation kill"
kellanelizabeth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good read and a decent companion to "Generation Kill", Fick's book tends to over-think and over-write dialogue. This is a nice version of the story, but I can't help but think about how phoney it is. Fick says what we want him to say and thinks what we want him to think. Nothing he says is terribly surprising or rings terribly true. He's too high up to give us the "Joe" perspective, and too low on the totem pole to talk about military strategy. This book is interesting enough, but it smacks of Kennedy's tendency to toot his own ("modest") horn. I'm sure we'll see this guy in politics soon.
carratona on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I work at a library, this book is NEVER on the shelf...I had to break down and buy a copy.AMAZING!Everyother chapter will have you vacillating between wanting to join the Marines and thanking god that there are men like Recon out there so you don't have to.Must Read--can't say it enough--MUST READ!
brennmiller on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great look at Military life from the perspective of an educated person.
ursula on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Dartmouth classical studies graduate decides to become a Marine. He is trained in peace, deployed in war. An interesting look at the military and the war in Iraq. Honest, well-written, thoughtful and intelligent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Memories and pain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Captain Fick wrote a transparent and authentic account of being a Marine Corps officer. One of the best written accounts of the early phase of the war in Iraq I have read. On a personal note , thank you for your service and the good decisions you made while serving .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book takes the reader through a personel challenge of becoming a Marine officer and beyond.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KumaFL More than 1 year ago
The style is more like a report than a book/.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A journey of marines life from college through OIF and OEF. With his lessons learned outlined. Recomend for anyone trying to be a leader in any situation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book!!!!