One Bullet Away- The Making of a Marine Officer

Written by: Nathaniel Fick



1998 - 1999

" I already had the feeling that the Marines were a world apart, that what we did at OCS would be separate from the rest of my life."

In the text you can read that he is not scared about going into the OCS training but, a bit nervous for all there is to come. Because of all the signs and how the commanders acted, he knew that he was going to go through a lot during his time in the training camp.

In another section he meets Sergeant Olds, and Fick quickly realizes that training is going to be a lot harder. "“Stop eyeballing the freakin’ area, maggot.” My eyes were locked to the front. I didn't think he was talking to me. "
With this quote you can see that Fick is taken aback by the way that the Sergeant is speaking to them, not expecting that tone of voice at such an early stage of training.

Can Nathaniel Fick really make it through the beginning of training in Quantico?

The Basic School (TBS) Training

November 1999 - August 2000

“Lieutenant Fick.” The captain had scanned through the sheets and called me to the front of the room. He sounded pained. "“Don’t be a smart-ass. Put down three choices.”
“All I want is to be an infantry officer, sir.”
“We don’t always get what we want, Lieutenant. Half the men in this class want to be grunts."

Fick was set on what he wanted to be as a soldier, but soon realized that it's not a choice he could make. It was a team effort, that you do what you can and you do it.

Can Fick overcome his struggles in other jobs as a soldier?

"We bitched and complained about the onerous process of writing orders. Would we have time for this in combat? Of course not, and that was the point. "

You can see that Fick learned a lot with the few years that he was in training, that he had to man up and do what's right.
Can Fick truly become a great officer and help his fellow soldiers during the war?

The Attack on America

September 11, 2001

"I had barely settled back onto my stool when Patrick burst through the door.
“Fucking terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.” "

9/11 is one of the most remembered dates in history because it was the day that the Al-Qaeda had two suicide missions for planes to crash into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
You can see with this quote that everyone was shocked on how this happened, and out of nowhere.
How long is this war going to go on for, for Fick?
Do you think that their future choices will be good in fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Fear Of Drowning

June 2002

"My one irrational fear was being trapped, powerless, underwater. Drowning. "

By this short quote you can see the emotion through it, you could somewhat understand his discomfort in the idea of water. Fick says that the "advanced water survival task" was one of the most difficult things for him to do with his BRC class.
"Fear rising. Again the water knocked me under."

Can Nathaniel Fick actually get over his hear of drowning or just have to deal with it to pass all his training?

Rolling Stone Interview

March 2003

“This is Evan Wright. He’s a reporter from Rolling Stone. He’ll be embedded with the battalion.”

Upon meeting the reporter, he was very calm about everything but somewhat hesitant about walking around with him while marines were there. He felt a bit out of place.
How open will Nathaniel be with Wright?

Iraq War

April 2003 - May 2003

"“The combat descent was our first hint that we’d arrived in a different world”. "
Right when entering the war, Fick realizes that his life is going to change dramatically.
"My rifle felt like a popgun. We needed air support.”

Nathaniel uses similes to describe objects as other familiar things.
Can Nathaniel Fick really handle the war? Can he come to the reality that he might not make it out?

Mind Games

July 4, 2003

"On the Fourth of July, a firecracker sent me diving behind a car door, reaching for a pistol that wasn’t there." In this quote you can see the effects of war and what it can do to people. Fick felt as if he was going crazy but at the same time he was sane in a sense. He has lost all comfort in everyday life.

The End

April 2004

“Captain Morel’s dead.”

In this passage, Fick gives a lot of emotion towards his fellow men, he had gone to the memorial fighting tears for his fallen comrades. This shows the true emotion that is rarely shown.