Steven Preece was a Royal Marine Commando from 1983 to 1990, serving first at entry-level and then as a lance-corporal. Amongst the Marines is Steven's first-hand account of his years as an elite soldier, focusing directly on the excessive and often shocking lifestyle of the Marines during this time, and impact this had on his own personality and behaviour.
Preece fulfilled his childhood ambition by earning the coveted Green Beret when he was 18. He was unaware, however, of the brutal rite of passage that awaited him and all the other 'pieces of skin' [new recruits]. Violence in the Marines, as Steven discovered, was not limited to the battlefield but a continual part of a pervasive culture of bullying and aggression.
It did not take long for Preece to be accepted into this culture and to adopt it as his own. On duty he was fit, committed and loyal, while off duty he displayed a mammoth capacity for drinking, fighting and womanising. On home leave, Steven found it increasingly hard to adapt to civilian life. His drinking sessions in local pubs frequently ended in fights with the locals and even in violence against members of his own family. Preece earned a reputation amongst his fellow Marines for pranks and dangerous behaviour; and this eventually led him to be court-maritialled. To his relief and surprise, however, Preece was fully acquitted by the court.
Amongst the Marines is an unflinching exposé of the culture of the Marines, from foul practical jokes and rough justice to the off-duty orgies of drink, sex and violence. It is a no-holds-barred account of the many shocking incidents Preece witnessed and participated in, from his first day as a new recruit to his exit from the Marines with his reputation intact and his scores settled once and for all.