The Washington Times published Colonel Gary Anderson's review of Al Gray, Marine: Early Years, 1968-1975 Vol. 2. Below is an excerpt of the review, the full review can be viewed here.
AL GRAY, MARINE; The Early Years, 1968-1975 Vol. 2
By: Scott Laidig
Reviewed by: Gary Anderson
When Marines talk about the great Commandants in the history of the Corps, Al Gray is always on the short list. The Marine Commandant is as close to the Papacy that America gets in the absolute exercise of authority; when the Commandant says jump, the rest of the Corps only asks, “how high?” Very few Commandants have used that power to reshape the Marine Corps as effectively or lastingly as General Gray. This book is the second volume in the trilogy of Gray’s biography. It covers his years as a field grade officer (major through colonel). It was a formative period of his life and goes a long way toward understanding the Commandant he became.
The book period corresponds with the draw down from Vietnam and the final fall of South Vietnam. Gray was involved in virtually every event that the Marine Corps participated in, and also had a hand in many of the technological innovations in intelligence and military electronic warfare in those periods when he served outside the Corps. His observations on what the Marines were doing right and where the Corps needed improvements were the foundations of the innovations he would institute as Commandant in making profound changes to the way the Corps fights, trains and educates its Marines.
Scott Laidig is an experienced historian/author. In writing this biography, he is fortunate in that the subject and many of the key participants are still alive for interviews. The volume is well written and any military acronyms are clearly defined.
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