"They could gel and scream, make us put on and take off our socks fifteen times each morning, and harass us from reveille to taps. The staff had a very real, vested interest in killing bad candidates before bad officers." (20)
In order to become a marine officer the first step is to go into a extremely painful summer of officer candidate school or OCS. During this summer young men still in collage learn to work as a team, fight, and become physically qualified to be a proper marine officer. In this quote it shows how the men that sign up for this training have to go thru hell, listening to every absurd order the staff gives them like putting on and taking off there socks fifteen times every morning. Although the training is extreme and may seem pointlessly so in the middle of training it becomes clear that its because the staff wants to get rid of the men who would not make good officers, and only take the ones that can keep marines alive. By saying killing off the bad candidates it shows that if the person is not qualified for the job they get rid of them. Using the word killing is a generally negative word so it shows that officer Fick does not want to be cut, and stay to go thru the training of becoming a excellent marine officer.
Will the rest of training be exactly like this?
Is this training really going to help them in the real world if they ever go to war?