American to the Corps: Iraq, Bosnia, Benghazi, Snowden: A Marine Intelligence Officer’s Journey by Jonathon P. Myers LtCol, USMC (Ret.) (JPMyers, 2021, 302 pages)
“I didn’t know my parents were covertly working as CIA agents until I was seventeen.” This may sound like the start of a young adult novel, but it’s actually the first line in chapter one of Jonathon Myers’ collection of stories from thirty years of service as a US Marine Intelligence Officer. Myers states in the introduction that his primary goal in writing this book is to entertain. He succeeds.
LtCol (RET) Myers shares stories in American to the Corps about how he commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps in 1992. It should be no surprise he becomes an intelligence officer given his parents’ line of work. He goes on to tell about his role in some of the biggest intelligence events over the last thirty years. His story includes the rescue of pilot Scott O’Grady from Bosnia in 1995 and operations in Iraq. He also covers training exercises in Africa and the Marine Corps’ response to Edward Snowden.
It just wouldn’t be a story about Marines unless it also included the “Toys For Tots”. “Toys for Tots” is a charity the Marine Corps famously supports around the holidays. His anecdotes include Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton from the years he worked at the US State Department.
American to the Corps Takeaways
Jonathan Myers writes with a casual and conversational style that includes a good dose of humor. It’s as if you’re sitting around listening to him tell sea stories. Indeed, “Sea stories” is actually the title of one of his chapters.
Like many Marines, Myers displays a no-nonsense attitude and a desire to do things the right way. The drama in many of his stories comes as a result of personality conflicts between himself and others as he does his best to serve his country and his Corps. These conflicts, sometimes with his superiors in the chain of command,may be familiar to many who served.
If you want to learn more about life as an intelligence officer, then enjoy some sea stories told by Jonathan Myer. American to the Corps is an easy and entertaining read that you won’t want to put down.
Book review submitted by Stephen Lepper, who served 21 years on Active Duty with the U.S. Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps. He currently works for CACI International, Inc. as an licensed engineer advisor on Military Construction for an international shipbuilding program. He lives with his family in central Massachusetts and is always on the lookout for what to read next. You can connect with him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephen-lepper.