With the Old Breed Book Report
In his memoir Sledge mentions several instances where his company or squad had to risk their lives in extremely dangerous ways. One of these instances is while he was on Okinawa, during the final days of the war. The author’s team of mortar man had to dash across an open draw in order to set up a position to effectively cover the rest of the company’s attack on Japanese defenses. This act of bravery and courage in order to complete the mission is a lesson that all Marines can learn from. It’s an example of a concept that is still drilled into recruits at boot camp today: mission accomplishment no matter what. There are several instances I can remember in boot camp where we were giving seemingly impossible tasks. But in the end we were able to complete them after hard work and thinking. Training like this, while possibly viewed during my life in boot camp as a waste of time, teaches and trains us to have the mindset that with enough hard work and drive, we as Marines can complete the mission even when it seems impossible. Something that I think gets overlooked a lot when people mention the Pacific Campaign is the insurmountable misery of the Marines due to the humidity and the rain. Eugene Sledge mentions the constant rain and humidity often during his memoir, and how it negatively impacted the moral of him and his men. He describes how Marines would almost constantly have trench foot and malaria.