Skip to content Skip to footer

Backbone: History, Traditions, and Leadership Lessons of Marine Corps NCOs

Gold Medal Winner from the Military Writers Society of America

Noncommissioned officers stand as the backbone of the United States Marine Corps. The Corps is among the most lasting institutions in America, though few understand what makes it so strong and how that understanding can be applied effectively in today’s world. In this insightful and thoroughly researched book, Julia Dye explores the cadre of noncommissioned officers that make up the Marine Corps’ system of small-unit leadership.

“OUTSTANDING! A great capture of the Marine NCO. This should be required reading for all Devil Dogs. A big ‘atta boy’ goes to the author. Any businessman, or anyone in a leadership position, will benefit greatly by reading this book.”
—GySgt R. Lee Ermey

Author: Julia Dye

Additional information

Buy the Book

Description

Noncommissioned officers stand as the backbone of the United States Marine Corps. The Corps is among the most lasting institutions in America, though few understand what makes it so strong and how that understanding can be applied effectively in today’s world. In this insightful and thoroughly researched book, Julia Dye explores the cadre of noncommissioned officers that make up the Marine Corps’ system of small-unit leadership.

To help us better understand what makes these extraordinary men and women such effective leaders, Dye examines the fourteen leadership traits embraced by every NCO. These qualities—including judgment, enthusiasm, determination, bearing, and unselfishness—are exemplified by men like Terry Anderson, the former Marine sergeant who spent nearly seven years as a hostage in Beirut, John Basilone, the hero of the Pacific, and many others. To assemble this extraordinary chronicle, Julia Dye interviewed Anderson and dozens of other Marines, mining a rich trove of historical and modern NCO heroes that comprise the Marine Corps’ astonishing legacy, from its founding in 1775 to the present day.

“This remarkable book cracks the bone and examines the ‘marrow’ of leadership. One of the best books ever written about leadership, with powerful, riveting examples and direct application to the business world, or any other field of endeavor. Required reading for every Marine, for everyone who honors and studies our military, and for everyone who studies and strives in the field of leadership.”
—LtCol Dave Grossman, USA (ret.), author of On Killing and On Combat

“Dr. Julia D. Dye has written an absolutely fascinating book on U.S. Marine Corps noncommissioned officers (NCOs)—the backbone of the Corps….I predict that Dr. Dye’s book will be required reading for anyone who aspires to improve themselves or, more importantly, desires to wear the earned and respected chevrons of a Marine NCO.”
—Dr. Charles P. Neimeyer, Director and Chief, USMC History

Backbone is essential reading for everyone in a position of leadership—and all who aspire to lead—no matter their walk of life. Julia Dye nails it—and her exemplars are the finest leaders on the planet—people who know the meaning of ‘Semper Fidelis.'”
—LtCol Oliver North, USMC (Ret.), Host of “War Stories” on FOX News Channel

Go to Top