APL Colloquium

May 12, 2006

Colloquium Topic: The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: A Junior Officer’s Perspective on What We’ve Learned and Where We’re Going

As a former captain in the Marines' First Recon Battalion, who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, Nate Fick will reveal how the Corps trains its elite and will offer a point-blank account of twenty-first-century battle. Fick will unveil the process that makes Marine officers such legendary leaders and will share his hard-won insights into the differences between the military ideals he learned and military practice, which can mock those ideals.

Colloquium Speaker: Nathaniel Fick

Nathaniel Fick was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated with high honors from Dartmouth College in 1999, earning degrees in Classics and Government. While at Dartmouth, Fick captained the cycling team to a U.S. National Championship, and wrote a senior thesis on Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War and its implications for American foreign policy. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps upon graduation, and trained as an infantry officer. Fick led his platoon in Afghanistan and Pakistan only weeks after 9/11, helping to drive the Taliban from Kandahar. After returning to the U.S. in 2002, he was invited to join Recon, the Corps' special operations force. Fick led a reconnaissance platoon in combat during the earliest months of Operation Iraqi Freedom, from the battle of Nasiriyah to the fall of Baghdad, and into the counterinsurgency conflict that followed. Fick left the Marines as a captain in 2003 and is now pursuing a master's degree in International Security Policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and an MBA at the Harvard Business School. He has contributed to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and many other newspapers. Fick is a frequent guest on CNN, FOX, and MSNBC. His combat memoir, One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer, was named one of the "Best Books of 2005" by The Washington Post.