Recommended Reading, for the wanna-be.
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  1. #1

    Recommended Reading, for the wanna-be.

    First Post.

    I've already read quite a bit. Helmet for My Pillow, being the main one that I couldn't put down. Many have been history books. My local library has been a great asset, being only a mile up the road.

    Any books you would personally recommend for the wanna-be? I'm looking for non-fiction. I have nothing against Tom Clancy, but honestly, he (or his brand) takes up a lot of space on the shelf. Not mine, however.

    Feel free to PM me. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Here is the SgtMajor of the Marine Corps reading list.

    Good luck

    “13 Cent Killers: The 5th Marine Snipers in Vietnam,” by John J. Culbertson

    “Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character,” by Jonathan Shay

    “Always Faithful: A Memoir of the Marine Dogs of WWII,” by William W. Putney

    “Baghdad at Sunrise: A Brigade Commander’s War in Iraq,” by Peter R. Mansoor

    “Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne From Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest,” by Stephen Ambrose

    “Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era,” by James M. McPherson

    “Bayonet! Forward: My Civil War Reminiscences,” by Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

    “Breakout: The Chosin Reservoir Campaign, Korea 1950,” by Martin Russ

    “Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise to Western Power,” by Victor Davis Hanson

    “Colder Than Hell: A Marine Rifle Company at Chosin Reservoir,” by Joseph R. Owen

    “Courage After Fire: Coping Strategies for Troops Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and their Families,” by Keith Armstrong, Dr. Suzanne Best, Dr. Paula Domenici and Bob Dole

    “Defeat Into Victory: Battling Japan in Burma and India, 1942-1945,” by Field-Marshal Viscount William Slim and David Hogan

    “Edson’s Raiders: The 1st Marine Raider Battalion in World War II,” by Joseph H. Alexander

    “Endless War: Middle-Eastern Islam vs. Western Civilization,” by Ralph Peters

    “Fields of Battle: The Wars for North America,” by John Keegan

    “First to Fight: An Inside View of the U.S. Marine Corps,” by Victor H. Krulak

    “Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae,” by Steven Pressfield

    “Gods and Generals,” by Jeff Shaara

    “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... And Others Don’t,” by Jim Collins

    “Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle,” by Richard B. Frank

    “Heroes Among Us,” by Major Chuck Larson, John McCain And General Tommy Franks

    “Iwo Jima: Portrait of a Battle: United States Marines at War in the Pacific,” by Eric Hammel

    “Leading the Charge: Leadership Lessons from the Battlefield to the Boardroom,” by Tony Zinni and Tony Koltz

    “Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War,” by Karl Marlantes

    “A Message to Garcia,” by Elbert Hubbard

    “Okinawa: The Last Battle of World War II,” by Robert Leckie

    “Once a Marine: The Memoirs of General A. A. Vandegrift Commandant of the U.S. Marines in WW II,” by A.A. Vandegrift and Robert B. Asprey

    “Once a Marine: An Iraq War Tank Commander’s Inspirational Memoir of Combat, Courage, and Recovery,” by Nick Popaditch and Mike Steere

    “Patton: A Genius for War,” by Carlo D’Este

    “The Reminiscences of a Marine,” by John Archer Lejeune

    “Rifleman Dodd,” by C.S. Forester

    “The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power,” by Max Boot

    “Semper Fi: Business Leadership the Marine Corps Way,” by Dan Carrison and Rod Walsh

    “Silent Warrior: The Marine Sniper’s Story Vietnam Continues,” by Charles Henderson

    “Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” by Robert D. Kaplan

    “The Art of War,” by Sun Tzu

    “The Bridge at Dong Ha,” by John Grider Miller

    “The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War,” by David Halberstam

    “The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme,” by John Keegan

    “The General,” by C.S. Forrester

    “The Gift of Valor: A War Story,” by Michael M. Phillips

    “The Last Stand of Fox Company: A True Story of U.S. Marines in Combat,” by Robert Drury and Tom Clavin

    “The Lions of Iwo Jima,” by Major General Fred Haynes and James A. Warren

    “The Marines of Montford Point: America’s First Black Marines,” by Melton Alonza Mclaurin

    “The Mask of Command,” by John Keegan

    “The Navajo Code Talkers,” by Doris A. Paul

    “The Village,” by Bing West

    “Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War,” by M. Sallah and M. Weiss

    “Victory at High Tide: The Inchon Seoul Campaign,” by Robert Debs Heinl

    “War in the Pacific 1941-1945,” by Richard Overy and Dale Dye

    “We Were One: Shoulder to Shoulder with the Marines Who took Fallujah,” by Patrick K. O’Donnell

    “We Were Soldiers Once ... And Young: Ia Drang — The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam,” by Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway

    “With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa,” by E.B. Sledge

    “Wounded Warriors: Those for Whom the War Never Ends,” by Mike Sager

  3. #3
    I see only two titles I've read before.
    The quick response is appreciated.

    Once again, Thank you.

  4. #4
    1st Phase, 2nd/3rd Phase diddy knowledge sheets....

  5. #5
    Quick Update/ Questions:
    I've just finished reading a few of the recommended titles above. And I am currently using google with reckless abandon. During Vietnam, why the switch between the reliable and rugged M-14 and heavier .308 NATO round (which had the great capability to punch through various material and still carry plenty killing force) to a weapon system that would fail even when taken care of properly?

    The earlier M-16, using the .223 (I'll double check that) did have a higher velocity but the round shattered on impact when hitting any semi-hard covering obstacle before the target. If you could fire the weapon at all. Given the conditions in the field when the weapon system was well taken care of, it still was not as reliable as the old M-14's. This is what has been a theme I've read multiple times now, and as I continue reading I don't think I'll find anything contradicting it.

    Many people died. Many Marines died.

    I can understand that our weapon systems and the M-16 family tree have to start somewhere, however, lives were on the line. Is history going to repeat itself, in this instance, when it comes to bringing a new "proven and tested" weapon system into the hands of someone who is going to rely on it? When a team is going to rely on it?

    Last one:
    Did/Does a Marine, or any soldier, have any true ability to continue to use former equipment? ei. Could a Marine, vietnam-era, have basically said "No thanks, I'll keep my proven M-14." and if not then, how about now?

    If possible no need to reply in post, I'll gladly communicate through PM.

  6. #6
    You use the gear that is issued to you. Period. The armory gives you your rifle, and you use it. You don't get a loadout screen where you get to say, "I want the M14, and a couple frag grenades, and an M1911A1 instead of the M9..." (not saying that you think that, but it's a great image)

    They did continue to use the M14 in limited roles; in fact, they still use it today for sniper and designated marksman billets.

    Also, the M16 is a great rifle. The problem they had during Vietnam wasn't the rifle; it was the ammo and the lack of cleaning gear. The guys who designed the M16 billed it as "Self-cleaning." As a result, they didn't issue cleaning kits.

    As for why we changed from the 7.62mm round to the 5.56mm round, it's because of research that was done during the Korean War. They found that despite the US Military's reliance on marksmanship training and glorifying the image of the rugged rifle expert, most engagements occurred at under 200 yards and consisted of spraying as much lead at the target as possible. If you look at old WW2 videos, (real combat footage, not movie footage) you'll notice the guys emptying their rifles as fast as they can instead of making every shot count. Why would you? Ammo is cheap compared to lives; just get the lead downrange. You don't get points for accuracy in real life.

    To make it easier to spray the hell out of the enemy, they made the rounds smaller. This means that you can carry more ammo in smaller pouches, the rifle itself can be lighter, and firing the rifle has less recoil, which means that all that lead goes into a tighter group.

    The only downside is that the M16 isn't really accurate past 600 yards or so, while the M14 is accurate to about a thousand. But since most engagements occur at under 200 yards, that's a sacrifice people are willing to make. If you need to shoot people at that range, tell the designated marksman to light him up. Alternatively, call for arty.

  7. #7
    Why are your reading info for the M-16? If anything learn how to take one part and clean it because thats about all you'll need to know. In boot you WILL use older equipment. Older flaks, older kevlars, etc. Once you go to MCT/SOI you will begin to see somewhat of the newer stuff if not from desert storm. Once you hit the fleet you get all the new goodies.

    I seen recruits with m-4s now so I think they are starting to phase them into training.

  8. #8
    Reply to Omegaham :
    Thank you. I just came across info on Olin Mathieson Company. The propellant they manufactured, leaving residue. Adding on the Colt saying the weapon system was self-cleaning, and the rest is history...

    I am digging up more WWII footage, but you are correct. I'm seeing soldiers just sending the rounds out. I can see the logic behind finding a better weapon system, with lighter ammunition. In the numbers game I think a fair assumption can be made: If Side A has more firepower (more ammo, faster rate-of-fire ect.) than Side B, then Side A should be able to overcome Side B in a given firefight. Of course there's training discipline, field conditions, and such. But I now believe I see the big picture behind the change.

    Also, final thanks for the loadout screen image. I had the inclining that a soldier uses what is issued no questions asked, but having access to this wonderful resource of the forums, thought I would ask anyway.

    Reply to IHaveEGA843 :
    Not specifically the M-16, just working my way through the Recommended reading list and other titles. However, thank you for the much welcomed advice and insight. Question to you though: Before your enlistment, did you have prior experience with firearms? And did it help you? Feel free to PM me, Because the closest thing I can get to weapon familiarization is an indoor firing range about 5 min from me, and an outdoor range about a half hour away. Both facilities allow renting of their firearms, for which I am grateful.

  9. #9
    Before I enlisted I've fired a few pistols and a .22 rifle before but it was just shooting around outside. They, the PMIs *Primary Marksmenship Instructors*, really favor those who havent fired or even handled a rifle before because its easier for them to teach those who wont feel the already know how to shoot. Alot of those who know how to shoot did well and alot who didnt know anything shot well too. Its just how you retain the knowledge and apply it when it's time to qual.

    The only indoor firing youll do is on the ISMITT which is a simluation training module with a actual weapon that loads a actual mag. You'll use it during bootcamp with the M-16 only and during MCT/SOI youll use with it different weapon systems. As in other ranges they are all outside. The MCT/SOI training which is more combat related is what I do better at but all your points towards your marksmenship score comes from the combat marksmenship firing.

    You can fimilarize yourself with the weapon and get comfortable with it but the things the PMIs teach is good stuff. Some of the best tips youll ever recieve.

  10. #10
    Excellent! Thank you again, IHaveEGA843.

  11. #11
    Just a personal note from an old salt who had the opportunity to qualify with both the M-14 and M-16 rifles (expert with both).

    The M-14 is made out of wood and metal and the 7.62mm round is a lot larger than the 5.52mm round for the M-16. This makes the M-14 a lot heavier and thereby a more stable weapons system. At least, I found it to be a lot easier to qualify expert with than the M-16 (hold'em and squeeze'em and they would be in the black most of the time). The downside of course was humping it and all the ammo pouches on your web belt.

  12. #12
    MSgt, I think the M16 is slowly being phased out and replaced with the M4. Last time I was at the Depot there was recruits marching around with M4s. I'm seeing more of us junior Marines carrying them aswell. I heard the Corps is getting a new rifle or a new modified M16 so I guess thats why the M4s are being used more.

  13. #13
    Update and some thoughts:

    Just finished reading "Edson's Raiders" and a couple other titles dealing with the Raiders. First I'd like to say amazing foresight by those individuals who pretty much solidified the place for the U.S. Marine Corps. How little I knew. Before this undertaking, I assumed the USMC always had a role. Even then in the earliest days of wooden ships, canvas sails and such.

    I did not realize that there were some years when its existence was threatened, and its purpose/role was unclear. Knowing the incredible minds it took to spear head the Marine Corps into an expeditious amphibious force, plus the BALLS to tell the powers-that-be "We're Marines, not Commandos". I am even more impressed with the rich history of the Marine Corps.

    I firmly believe there will always be a Marine Corps. The Corps breeds individuals who will always strive to maintain the highest standards of character, honor, and discipline. I do not think, even for a moment, that any fighting force alive can stand up to those ideals.

    Every chapter, of every book seems to reinforce: the USMC is the best.

    Reconn Marines.
    Before I began reading, I used to think that Force Recon was the "elite" of the Marine Corps. With more knowledge I am coming around to embrace that fact that every Marine has a place and function within the whole. No piece is separate, and all are important in their own right.

    So, with that in mind. Am I correct in seeing Force Recon as an integral part of the Marine Corps function? Should I hold on to that word "elite" when thinking of them? Or maybe a combination of the two?

    Mind you, I'm not questioning the training one endures to become Recon Marines. Slowly I'm trying retain and learn the right ideas about the Marine Corps. And filter out all the crap.

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