''One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer'' is Nathan Fick's autobiography, describing his training as a Recon Marine, his brief time in Afghanistan and his part in the invasion of Iraq.

Fick is perhaps better known for appearing in another work: Evan Wright's ''GenerationKill'', and the HBO series based on that book.

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!!This work contains examples of:

* BloodKnight: Discussed via internal monologue. He's concerned he may be learning to enjoy their firefights.
* CulturedWarrior: He studied classics at Dartmouth.
* ElitesAreMoreGlamorous: The Recon Battalions are legendary within the Marines and this is one of the reasons Fick decides to join[[note]]It's also so that he can continue commanding troops in the field. Once his tour with his current platoon was over, he would likely be relegated to a staff position[[/note]]. He also makes sure the reader is aware that the only reason Recon is not a special operations unit is semantics.
* HeroicBSOD: When Fick thinks the command is going to refuse to treat a wounded Iraqi boy, he actually--if momentarily--contemplates shooting his Captain.
** Invoked and Subverted on a training exercise at Quantico. He is secretly ordered to fake a HeroicBSOD during a field exercise to give the current leader training in dealing with battlefield fatigue. After a few days of getting berated for dragging ass and confronted by his friends, he eventually reveals the ruse.
* MexicanStandoff: {{Discussed}}. Fick refers to a situation this way, and Espera pretends to take offense.
* TheNeidermeyer: 3rd Platoon's Captain (codenamed "Captain America" in ''GenerationKill'') Though he hides it, Fick doesn't like third platoon's captain any more than the enlisted men do.
* NotSoAboveItAll: When their unpopular captain calls cadence at PT, the Marines sullenly mumble along. When Gunny Wynn takes over and the Marines shout the numbers back at him like they're in boot camp, Nate just grins to himself and tries to out-shout them all.
* OfficerAndAGentleman: Fick is educated, erudite, takes his duties to his men seriously and does his best to make ethical decisions despite the fog of war.
* OvertOperative: It's common knowledge that the "military contractors" one of their first bases in Iraq are special forces operators.
* PerspectiveFlip: Of ''GenerationKill''.
* SemperFi: The Marines [[SincerityMode unironically]] love the Corps, despite their many sarcastic jokes.
* ShaggyDogStory: Not an extreme case, but Fick and his men are disappointed to realize [[spoiler:their part of the invasion was a feint]].
* ShapedLikeItself: Mocked in training, as the pre-mission briefings for the various training missions (at Quantico) all describe the area as "Quantico-like terrain." It becomes a RunningGag for the officers.
* ARealManIsAKiller

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