First to Fight

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First to Fight by Leuitenant General Victor H. Krulak, was written in the post-Vietnam Unite States Marine Corps and at the height of the Cold War. Since 1984, the year the book was first published, the characteristics of war, the enemy, and the United States Marine Corps have changed a number of times. LtGen Krulak served in the United States Marine Corps in all major American conflicts from 1941 until 1968. LtGen Victor H. Krulak, who passed away on 29 December 2008, was a 1934 U.S. Naval Academy graduate; served with 4th Marines in China in 1937–39; commanded the 2d Parachute Battalion, 1st Marine Amphibious Corps, in World War II; served as Chief of Staff, 1st Marine Division, in Korea; served as Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency Activities, Joint Chiefs of Staff, in 1962–64; and was Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, in 1964–68, which included some 54 trips to the Vietnam theater. The United States Marine Corps as an integral part of the U.S. Navy, is an organization that relies on a dominant narrative for organizational survival as LtGen Krulak noted: The Corps is in a sense like a primitive tribe where each generation has its medicine men—keepers of the tribal mythology, protectors of the tribal customs, and guardians of the tribal standards. First to Fight is divided into six parts, plus a conclusion. Introducing these six parts is a series of single line quotes that are designed to focus the reader’s mind on LtGen Krulak’s next message supporting the USMC dominant narrative, which includes thinking, innovation, improvisation, fru- gality, brotherhood, and warfighting. Such quotes are not easy to find, and their effective employment in First to Fight is testament to LtGen Krulak’s abilities. “ Only a few, a very few, visionaries were willing to attack the formidable conceptual, tactical, and material problems associated with the modern amphibious assault landing.” LtGen Krulak. First to Fight describes a myriad of United States Marine...
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