AMONGST THE MARINES by Steven Preece

Discussion in 'Films, Music and All Things Artsy' started by Opcon, Nov 12, 2004.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. I've just finished reading this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. It has a just warning on the front cover that some may find certain passages in the book to be both disgusting and disturbing. I would agree with this. However, it wasn't just the marines that run around like gremlins after a few beers. I think we were all inclined to a bit of this. May be we should write about some of our antics. It'll certainly open a few peoples eyes!!
     
  2. After getting out I told some civvy mates some stories from the Army and they just didn't believe them. I don't bother now and only chat about them with other ex soldiers. Have a think about it. Some of the things you get upto in the Army are on an entirely different planet. Would civvies find stuff from the ARRSE NAFFI funny? Would they understand it?
     
  3. I too have found that civvies have little or no points of reference when you tell them stories of what went on during your time. I don't bother now as I would proberbly get sacked for telling such tales.
     
  4. Guys, I agree totally. Thats why I found I could relate to what this guy has wrote. There should be more books written like this. This book created a lot of controversey on the marines forum, but a lot of support seemed to come through in the end. Here are some of those comments that support this guys story:

    1.

    I served with this guy and we spent alot of time together. I haven't read the book yet but i am curious.

    However, i can say that the unit was in poor order at that time. Discipline was crap. There was a lack of leadership from the officers and the nco's. There was virtually nothing organised for us to do. A run in the morning and then clean weapons. Of course there was bullying. It was rife in all the coy's at that time!

    Of the drinking and fighting there was lots of it. I would have been surprised if the guy did not have a problem with drink. Many guys who served with him eventually did have.

    The men are only as good as the culture of the organisation. The culture at that time in 45 was bad.

    To deny it wasn't is an insult to those who served in 45 at that time.


    2.

    Those who were in 45 during the time mentioned will of course remember the attempt to burn the CO's house down. Other officers living in virtual fear of some of their marines. Joy riders who took the unit ambulance and crashed it into Y Coys grots where it caught fire. The late night driving and setting fire to cars on the airfield. The blokes who departed for a career in the French Foreign Legion. Others going AWOL. The fighting down town with the casuals that resulted in a number of marines (some friends of mine) been seriously injured. Been banned from going ashore. Been banned from some pubs. Unit cells full some weekends.

    3.

    SYB wrote the following on militaryforums.co.uk to verify part of my story. This confirms a lot of my book:

    Well Ive sat and read the remarks over the last few weeks about this book so I thought it was time to air my views.

    Steven Preece's book "amongst the Marines"

    Firstly I have started to read the book- and will comment on that in a moment. I wont however be getting into abusive conversations with people who write utter crap and abuse! or to those who speculate wildly about the Id of the author.

    I served during the same time as Steve, but didnt know him personally.To my knowledge some of the things he describes in his book are true and did happen.
    I.e court martial/Beer keller and what the guys got upto in Gardemoen/jesshiem.

    Obviously I cannot confirm it was all true because I wasnt there. All our experiences in the Corps were different whether you like it or agree with it?

    I met certain individuals who were at times wretches on runs ashore/ or in bars. But when sober they were excellent blokes and good at thier jobs.

    A guy that springs to mind from my short time at 42cdo was called THUG. Every time he went ashore he ended up in a scrap, normally to do with his behaviour. Like some of the lads, if I could, I avoided going ashore with
    him. (My choice)

    Blokes did get kicked out of bed at 40 cdo. Normally all good fun- eyebrows etc etc. From my experience it happened to gob shites and people who werent
    pulling thier weight. I got woken up one night just for not going ashore because I was broke and needed my dosh to go up the line. I saw it as harmless piss taking that came as part of the job (Rough-ty tuff-ty stuff).

    I joined the Rm p troop ( I did the course after Steve) Hence got to hear all about the court martial.. The bloke Steve allegdedly assualted was in my opinion a tosser!! and if it wasnt Steve somebody else would have done
    it...sooner or later...
    Black Rat will no doubt confirm.. The Rmp troop had a few characters in it during the mid to late 80s. I have many stories "the one with a truncheon is famous!!" as is the 9mm episode- but it will remain with those who know or until they decide to write about it. I saw many pi*sed up bootnecks holding their heads the morning after the night before thinking what a prick Ive been!

    As for Steves book.

    I been laughing! Ive been disgusted!! Bootnecks dont surprise me what they can get upto when minging though. (I knew the bootneck/recruit who stole the
    bus in Exmouth and drove it back to CTCRM.... Hes a Merchant banker now doing very well, but cringes like hell when we spoke of the story.) Reading through the first 100 pages I have remembered things I saw in the
    Corps. 50- 60 naked bootnecks causing havoc in a Southport Hotel. Like Steve Im 40ish!! a father of two children and live a respectable life now. At the time we all did things that seemed acceptable at the time. Steve
    Made his mistakes and has written about them.

    His book has been funny and disgusting.. It warns that on the cover? Your choice is to buy it - I did because that was My choice.

    You may or may not like it... If you dont put in some work and write about it? Dont be abusive or roll up your shirt sleeves because I like many people will just get bored of the site.

    Authors dont make that much money considering the amount of hours and soul searching you put into a book. Unless you sell millions like Jeffery Archer.. and he's a clean cut kid
    .Simon Bywater

    4.

    I think i would like to put my two pennorth in here...although i have not read the book (yet) because of unavailibility in Sunny Thailand..i do personally know the Author..and whilst respecting his anonymity..i would like to say this about him...if (like me) you wanted people in your section that could go down the NAAFI and drink like a fish , scrap (if needed) and trap then get up the next day breeze through the BFT and put in a full days work...he was your man.

    5.

    I knew the author at HMS Warrior. The instance’s that took place are true. He may have put in urban myth’s ie; pace stick incident but it is a book, and this makes good reading. The fights, drinking contests and shit bits all happened. The author, was a good marine very capable in his job, and someone I would want in my section, when the shit hit the fan. I left 45 for a JCC immediately after serving on op corporate. At my time of joining 45, beasting’s of new marines straight out of training was common, much the same as my initiation into 41 cdo as a young 17 year old. This is a worrying time for a sprog after the high of finishing training, but was part of the character building that many of us underwent. I find it strange that many people on this forum find this unusual, maybe a lot of members here are national service men. Did you go to a unit together, after finishing training and stay together? If you did, that may explain why these instance’s did not happen. Who didn’t enjoy a fight with the matlos when ever possible or a good grunge contest? The author’s book is a condensed series of run’s ashore, that happened over a 7 year period, how about all the unmentioned run’s ashore that were peaceful. If the exbootneck that live’s in Truro doesn’t believe this book, or the author’s authenticity I will be happy to visit him on my way to Falmouth to prove that it is true, and the author is a bootneck. I enjoyed this book as it brought back memories of youth, good times with little pressures of life, just a sense of belonging.

    They should make a film out this one!!!
     
  5. You're right about this. Civvies don't believe what we got up to. Steven Preece the author of AMONSGT THE MARINES mentions this in his book. However, he doesn't tollerate any slaver the civvies put his way.
     
  6. Hmm. i reckon i'll have to look up this book. Been on a few runs with 45, as well as the others. We pongos always thought royal was a tad odd but they have different traditions and a different culture to the army (some of which involves a disturbing tendency to jump into female clothing at the slightest excuse) 8O

    I think it basically boils down to the old 'work hard, play hard' ethic.

    memories.... can add Vinstra, Ringebu and Åndalsnes to those names

    Actually 45 were up where i live this winter or last (i forget which) and they behaved themselves pretty well ashore.
     
  7. The book is based around the 80's era and starts just after the Falklands war. I think temperaments in the armed forces have changed a lot since the 80's and certain types of bad behavior are no longer tollerated. Steven Preece actually quotes this at the start of his book.
     
  8. You can view the book cover via the www.amazon.co.uk website.
     
  9. I've noticed this book is now out in Australia. Its on www.randomhouse.com.au The book cover is slightly different, but the synopsis appears to be the same.
     
  10. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It brought back some great memories. I guess we were all a little wild in our day. This Steven Preece guy has wrote a book we can all relate to. I guess!!!
     
  11. Quite interesting this, I bought this book some time ago and after reading sections such as the old story of "theres sh1t on the end of this stick..." I thought it was a wind up as there was (as stated above) a lot of urban myths which led me to believe the author was a walt.

    While Marine Preece may have been a good in the field etc etc the guy does come across as (then) a very imature individual of the "I'm a roughty toughty squaddie" school and is in fact, exactly the stereotype that guardian readers love to portray the military as.

    Fair play that he can write about it now warts and all, the cover blurb is right, it will disgust those of a more sheltered experience but it is a different world now, where the lawyer is king :cry: .
     
  12. To paraphrase George Orwell....

    Guardian readers sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf...
     
  13. Fair play I say, the author does state right at the beginning that things are different now and that this type of behavior is no longer tollerated. I also notice that he joined up just after the Falklands war, when he joined 45 commando and got a hostile reception that seemed to mould the violent person he turned into. I guess all our journeys are different in life and our experiences influence the type of people we become!!!
     
  14. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    I decided I'd take a look at this book so to the www I went and googled "amongst marines" (too lazy was I to go to Amazon without help). No result on the book but this caught my eye:

    Dissenting View… **** sex & AIDS ... The masculine Marine: homoeroticism in the US Marine Corps documents, through confidential interviews, that there is widespread **** sex amongst Marines who do ...
    www.garynull.com/Documents/Continuum/ DissentingViewAnalSex&AIDS.htm - 14k - Cached - Similar pages

    Now I have it from several completely independent sources that the USMC are all men among men if you know what I mean and the gist of the article is that everyone is doing some backdoor hunting - the article quotes various bits and pieces and if you wanted to see more try clicking the link below. I'll leave you with this:

    "Straight men are not supposed to engage in receptive **** sex. My experience and various other sources would tend also to lay this myth to rest. Need we remind ourselves of what happens in all-male groups, such as prison or the armed forces? Steve Zeeland in his book The masculine Marine: homoeroticism in the US Marine Corps documents, through confidential interviews, that there is widespread **** sex amongst Marines who do not consider themselves homosexuals. Marines, to a surprising extent, he concludes, are notorious bottoms!"

    http://www.garynull.com/Documents/Continuum/DissentingViewAnalSex&AIDS.htm
     
  15. Mr Happy. What a pile of crap you have wrote. Your statement is about US marines and there are 198,000 of them.

    Amongst The Marines is about Royal Marines and there are about 6 or 7 thousand of them. Our Marines are Commandos, the US marines are not.

    May be you should read Amongst The Marines (The Untold Story). It'll make you realise what a sheltered life you have led and how pathetic your commenst where!!