Making The Corps Essay

2242 words - 9 pages


Thomas Ricks, author of “Making the Corps”, gives a description about the United States Marine Corps’ basic military training. The book’s main focal point is Platoon 3086 at Parris Island, S.C., in 1995. Their story is about their eleven weeks boot camp training to become a full-fledged marine. Mr. Ricks writes about what separates the marines from American society, he writes how the Marine Corps differ from other branches of the Unites States military, as well as life after boot camp.

How the Marine Corps’ values show contempt to those of the American society

The Marine Corps transforms young civilians into a life of values: honor, courage, and commitment. These values are instilled in each recruit as they go through the eleven weeks process of boot camp. According to Marines these values are to the Corps and “comes before self” (p. 55). In American society we work to better ourselves first rather than as a whole.

Drill Instructors strip all your old values and Marine Corps values are formed. “There is no ‘I’, ‘I’ is gone” (p.60). To be a marine you must shed all thinking as “I” and “me”, and think as “we” and “recruit”. In American society, striving for independence is a goal for most people, and instead of working as a group we tend to compete with each other to get what we want. As a Marine you must think as a group, learn how to move as a group and you are drilled until not a single action is left to individual improvisation (p.64).

On Drill Sergeant states that a Marine “will accept nothing less than the very best effort from you at all times” (p.54). In American society, if someone is having a bad day because of something, we say “don’t worry about it, you’ll do better tomorrow”. The Marine expects you to give 100% at all times (p.56), and to be completely honest in all things. In American society we say that’s a little “white lie”, as a Marine, you never lie. We get chances all the time in American society, we are allowed to correct the mistakes we make. As a Marine, the instructors do not like to give several chances, because this means that you are “inferior and will hold the Corps back” (p.61).
Recruits do not have access to alcohol, cars, candy, radio’s, television and many other privileges that we use in American society (p.55). This usually happens in society when you live at home on punishment. The Corps becomes the center of being (p.61), all focus is to the marines. As a recruit becomes a Marine, he forms a bond and becomes an elite member that American society looks to, to be the hero during wartime, and uncertainty during peacetime. These feelings have been going on since the Marines have been established, and the reason for that is because of American Society’s ignorance of military affairs. The military has led and played an important role in helping shape and win war victories for the United States, but the Marine Corps’ role today is questionable to many. Why? Because “For the first time in our history, we...

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