Book, Non-fiction

About a Book – So You Want To Be A Marine by Gary Winstead

Introducing Gary Winston


Where did the idea for the story come from?

My four years as a Marine during one of Americas most turbulent times

Give a quote from the books, one that says little but speaks volumes. 

The third worst job in the Marine Corps is E-3 or below, a dishwasher or waiter has it better.

Give a short summary of what the book is about.

Arrogance, ineptitude, stupidity, incompetence, do as I say, or else.

What genre is it?

Military History, Autobiographical

How many pages is it?

Beautiful Southern California

Where are you located? 

240 pages


What life was really like in the Green Machine?

The Recruiter forgot to tell you what?

Living a life of poverty and desperation I took a chance and did what so many of my peers did: joined the Marines just as Vietnam was heating up. I fully expected to make a career of the Marines but was soon faced with unbelievable sadism, arrogance, incompetence and outright brutality.

The Marine Corps I had hoped to love proved to be an organization run in an authoritarian, “Because I said so” manner, not at all like I had envisioned. If you were a suck up you were promoted; should you question the obvious it was either Mess Duty or lack of promotion or worse, Vietnam.

Such is my story.

There were characters that came in and out of my life like actors in a Woody Allen movie: W.B. from Pittsburg, “Born to lead, not to be led so don’t be mis-led.” Disappeared one day and never returned. There was the drug smoking Pitt who, while on guard duty in Vietnam, decided to get high and leave a Chu Lai New Guy high and dry at an outpost. Thieves, liars, drug addicts and more pulled at my heart strings until I made the ultimate decision.

I endured four years of indifferent and sadistic leadership coupled with the absurdities of an organization that rewards group think and obedience over individuality and integrity.


NEW YORK, NY, USA – MAR 16: Marines at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 16, 2013 in New York City, United States. Deposit Photos

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