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

dc.contributor.authorFitzell, Brian
dc.contributor.programMA in Cultural Sustainabilityen_US
dc.descriptionThis capstone is not a thesis, but rather a hybrid of oral history and creative nonfiction written collaboratively with the participants in a method the author dubbed "reciprocal storytelling." Based on several lengthy interviews of three career Marine officers, individual stories were crafted incorporating the details of the respondents into the narrative. The stories, viewed collectively, shed light on many cultural aspects of today's Marine Corps; including: Confusion and Sense-making; Leadership and Obedience; Bravery and Self-Effacement; Identification with the Corps, not the self; Attribution to others; Constant self-evaluation; "Thinking Marine" vs. "Automaton;" and, Preparation, training and sudden intuition.en_US
dc.description.abstract“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.en_US
dc.format.extent117 p.en_US
dc.relation.isAvailableAtGoucher College, Baltimore, MD
dc.rightsCollection may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. To obtain information or permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Goucher Special Collections & Archives at 410-337-6347 or email
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States*
dc.subjectCreative Non-Fictionen_US
dc.subjectReciprocal Storytellingen_US
dc.subject.lcshUnited States. Marine Corps -- Oral histories.
dc.subject.lcshUnited States. Marine Corps -- Officers -- Storytelling.
dc.subject.lcshUnited States Naval Academy. Class of 1990
dc.titleLIFERS: A Cultural Glimpse of Today's Marine Corps Through The Stories of Three Career Officersen_US


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