Behind the Curtain: A Novel
Established in 1801, Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., is located on 8th and I Streets in southeast Washington, and is known as “the Oldest Post in the Corps.” The Home of the Commandants, one of the few Washington structures to have survived the War of 1812, stands sentry over the grounds, an entire city street block.
This is the story of one year at the Barracks in the mid-1990s. Under the command of Colonel Joshua Chamberlain Mansfield, the Barracks began to slowly change. Having served as a first lieutenant at the Barracks fifteen years earlier, he’s intent on modernizing it, by incorporating women and racial minorities into its ranks. He’s also intent on making the Barracks and the people who serve there live up to his expectations of everything the Marine Corps stands for: an in-the-flesh representation of the Marine Corps’ creed of honor, courage, and commitment, with an added emphasis on the quality of grace under pressure, with the goal of absolute perfection.
Over the last sixty years, the Barracks has evolved to become the ceremonial command of the Marine Corp and is the home of the U.S. Marine Corps Band, the Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Silent Drill Platoon. But it’s most famous for its parades, which take place during the summer: the Friday Evening Parade at the Barracks and the Tuesday Evening Parade, historically held at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington. These parades combine patriotic and popular music, along with the perfectly choreographed marching of infantry Marines and their officers, to not only create an unforgettable performance but more importantly, a lasting impression of the class and eliteness of the Marine Corp.
In this final book of the “Marine Corps trilogy” featuring Jules Walker, she, as the first female Adjutant at the Barracks, takes us “behind the curtain” of life at 8th and I.
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