Candidates, there are so many motivators out there who bother me every day with questions like, “What more can I do to prepare for OCS?” that I am debuting a new series of posts. This summer’s posts will give you plenty of ways to use up all your time before OCS to get ready or motivated for your future Marine Corps life.
Today’s post: These are my personal recommendations of films to watch to either learn about USMC culture, history, or a general United States warrior ethos (vis-a-vis Band of Brothers).
Regiments of the 1st Marine Division. You should read the books it was based on–but wait for a future post on that. The program was lauded by critics but actually met mixed reviews by the Marines I know, due to the overall depressing mood. Historically accurate, it shows war for the hell it is, so don’t expect any “tales of glory” like an old John Wayne-type movie. Still, it’s important history and you should view the stories with the mindset, “one day, men such as those will be ‘my Marines,’ who I will be leading.”
Greatest war mini series ever. Not Marines, but soldiering is soldiering. The series holds many lessons of leadership and warfighting that will be highlighted at OCS and beyond.
It’s HBO, so don’t be offended when they focus on the most profane and crass aspects of the Iraq invasion,
but it is a useful initiation into the Marine Recon’s Spartan world. Some great scenes of modern combat, a lot of wasted film trying to titillate modern HBO audiences.
Remember the first half well. Once at OCS, you won’t believe how true-to-life it is! Marine Corps training hasn’t changed much in many years. After OCS, those scenes will be hilarious.
Guadalcanal Diary is a memoir written by war correspondent Richard Tregaskis. The book recounts the author’s time with the United States Marine Corps on Guadalcanal in the early stages of the pivotal months-long battle there starting in 1942. Tregaskis relates combat and conversation in an immediately accessible vernacular, taking care to cite the full name, rank, and hometown of each of the Marines he encountered over the weeks he was on the island. The book was so well received at home upon publication, and spoke such volumes on the camaraderie amongst the Marines, that the USMC still makes Guadalcanal Diary required reading for all officer candidates.