He is a U.S. senator. He was once the Secretary of the Navy and an Assistant Secretary of Defense. He is an accomplished writer with a number of very successful books, fiction and non-fiction, to his credit. He has worked in the movie industry. He is controversial. But before he was any of these things, James Henry "Jim" Webb Jr. was a Marine.
When he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968, the Marine Corps was having difficulty making its service-selection quota because of the fierce combat then raging in Vietnam. Not surprising for a young man with a family heritage of combat service, who was an accomplished boxer, and whose nickname was "Spike," Jim Webb volunteered for the Marine Corps.