LIFERS: A Cultural Glimpse of Today's Marine Corps Through The Stories of Three Career Officers

Author/Creator ORCID
MA in Cultural Sustainability
Citation of Original Publication
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
“I am just fortunate to have been able to serve for this long in a profession that I love,” emailed one of the Lifers profiled in this manuscript reflecting upon his 25 years in the Marine Corps. Lifers is the term for Marines who dedicate their working lives to its service and this project highlights the stories of three. Storytelling is powerful. It emotionally connects the reader to subject matter in ways the cold statistics of quantitative analysis cannot. When used as a vehicle to explore complex social issues, stories provide information on a human scale and in an impactful way. Lifers is a collection of stories about the experiences and observations of three career Marine officers, all from the U.S. Naval Academy class of 1990. Their humanity, intellect and depth of character clearly emerge through the recollection of their personal experiences, which in turn tell an important story about today’s Marine Corps. Using a method dubbed reciprocal storytelling by the author, Lifers is a hybrid of oral history and creative nonfiction written collaboratively with the participants. Their detailed feedback to the earliest drafts were incorporated into the final collection and added immeasurably to the authority and authenticity of the work.