The U.S. Marine Corps in Crisis

Keith Fleming, Author University of South Carolina Press $29.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-87249-635-4
During a disciplinary march in 1956, six recruits drowned in the tidal waters of Ribbon Creek at the Marine base on Parris Island, S.C. The tragedy set off a public furor and highlighted Parris Island's reputation for maltreatment. Fleming, staff member of the Marine Corps Historical Center in Washington, D.C., traces the development of Marine boot-camp training since its inception on Parris Island in 1915, explaining why physical abuse of recruits became excessive in the post-Korean War era and revealing the changes put into effect after Ribbon Creek. Also included are accounts of the court-martial of Parris Island drill instructor S/Sgt. Matthew McKeon (although found guilty of negligence and drinking on duty, his sentence was reduced by the Secretary of the Navy) and the skillful public-relations campaign waged by the Marine Corps in reaction to a critical press. Fleming's apologia probes as well the rationale behind the ``shock treatment'' to which Marine recruits still are subjected. Photos. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Paperback - 174 pages - 978-1-57003-884-6
Ebook - 167 pages - 978-0-585-33150-8
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