We’ll All Die As Marines
One Marine’s Journey from Private to Colonel
Perfect Bound Softcover
For seventeen-year-old high school dropout Jim Bathurst, the Marine Corps’s reputation for making men out of boys was something he desperately needed when he enlisted in March of 1958. What began as a four-year hitch lasted nearly thirty-six years and included an interesting assortment of duty stations and assignments as both enlisted and officer.
We’ll All Die As Marines narrates a story about a young, free-spirited kid from Dundalk, Maryland, and how the Corps captured his body, mind, and spirit. Slowly, but persistently, the Corps transformed him into someone whose first love would forever be the United States Marine Corps. It documents not only his leadership, service, and training but also regales many tales of his fellow Marines that will have the reader laughing, cheering, and at times crying.
In this memoir, Bathurst reveals that for him—a former DI who was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”, Purple Heart, and a combat commission to second lieutenant—the Corps was not a job, a career, or even a profession; it was—and still is—a way of life.
I have known Jim Bathurst since 1972 when 1st Lt Lowe reported to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines at Camp San Mateo, Camp Pendleton, CA. Then Captain Bathurst made a distinct and very positive impression on me of what a Marine Officer should be like that lasted with me for the remainder of my career. This novel captures the spirit of Marines, both on and off the field, in and out of combat. It reveals the inner qualities of the finest individuals on the planet ... U.S. Marines! Jim Bathurst has written a novel that should be read by every NCO and Officer for professional development and knowledge AND everyone who has never had the privilege of being a Marine so that they can understand what makes Marines so special. Colonel Michael E. Lowe, USMC (Ret.)
Born and raised along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, Jim Bathurst left high school before the report cards came out and enlisted in the U.S. Marines in March 1958. He served as a drill instructor at both Parris Island and at OCS. As a sergeant and staff sergeant, most of his first tour in Vietnam was spent as an infantry platoon commander (Lt’s billet) where he received a Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal with Combat V, and Purple Heart. Upon arriving in the United States, he received a combat commission to second lieutenant after having served nearly nine years as an enlisted Marine and rose to the grade of Gunnery Sergeant (E-7). As an officer, he was very fortunate to spend most of his career in command assignments that were both unique and demanding such as the Special Ceremonial Platoon Commander at Marine Barracks; Washington, D.C.; Security Officer at Camp David, Maryland; CO Company E, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, Executive Officer, Marine Detachment; USS Chicago; CO HQ Company, Ninth Marines, CO Marine Barracks, NAS Lemoore CA; CO of the Corps’s largest recruiting station (Chicago); and CO School of Infantry (East). While his staff assignments were limited, they included billets at the battalion, regiment, and division level, as well as director of training, LFTCLant, Norfolk, VA and instructor/liaison officer at the JFK Special Warfare Center, Fort Bragg, NC. After nearly thirty-six years’ service, he retired as a Colonel of Marines. Jim and his bride, Nancy, live in Girard, Illinois. They have five children and nine grandchildren.
"Reading Jim's book is like coming home!" So says the sixteenth chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, USMC (Ret), in his endorsement of Colonel Jim Bathurst's newly published book We'll All Die As Marines: One Marine's Journey from Private to Colonel in print this month (December) by iUniverse®. In it, Col Bathurst chronicles his nearly thirty-six years as a United States Marine from the day he arrived at boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, on March 6, 1958, to his retirement ceremony at Camp Geiger, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, on October 1, 1993.
In his in-depth account of his journey from Private to Colonel, Bathurst depicts his boot camp experience vividly and provides a comprehensive study of his service at all his subsequent duty stations and assignments including as a Drill Instructor at Parris Island to Vietnam where he led an infantry platoon in combat as a Sergeant being awarded a Silver Star, a Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V", a Purple Heart, and ultimately a combat commission to 2nd lieutenant. You live his life vicariously every step of the way from the viewpoint of a low-ranking enlistee up every rung of the ladder until his last day on active duty when he stood on the parade field as a Colonel of Marines being honored for his lengthy and honorable loyalty to his Corps and country.
I found the book enthralling from cover-to-cover perhaps due to my own time as a United States Marine, but I am certain that anyone who takes pleasure in and learns from true-life stories of success will enjoy the book. It is an entertaining exposé of one person's commitment to excellence, hard-fought determination to succeed, and steadfast loyalty to his Corps and country. I found the heartfelt stories of combat--especially the gut-wrenching depiction of the pure violence and heartrending loss of fellow Marines--to be the most emotionally alluring parts of the book. Bathurst takes you to the battlefield where you sense the intensity of combat, smell the acrid odor of cordite, and hear the dreaded cry "Corpsman up!" as if you were there. His renditions of war are that accurate and sensory.
In summary, Jim Bathurst says it best on his front flap when he states "...the Corps was not a job, a career, or even a profession; it was--and still is--a way of life.
Maj Dennis Copson,USMC (Ret)
Gripping read! Marines will recognize the names and places, and instantly feel as if you are part of the story either in the field, standing post, aboard ship, in garrison barracks, or having a beer at the base club. There is leadership in action at every chapter of this Marine?s life and the results have contributed to the success of the Marine Corps, his charges, and his own.
Civilians will get a real and honest view in the life of a Marine.
I recommend adding this book to your personal library, and it should definitely be on the United States Marine Corps Commandant?s Reading List.
Charles "Ski" Wyszynski
Perfect Bound Softcover
Dust Jacket Hardcover