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New book examines how Marine warfare has changed, and Jim Mattis is in a chapter

December 20, 2017

“The Marine Corps Way of War: The Evolution of the U.S. Marine Corps from Attrition to Maneuver Warfare in the Post-Vietnam Era” by Anthony Piscitelli was recently released and has already taken the history world by storm.

The book has been chosen as the main selection of the History Book Club and offers a unique look at the history of the United States Marine Corps.

“Marine Corps Way of War” features a Foreword by Al Gray, a retired Marine Corps General and former Commandant, and it includes interviews with several former Generals, including John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff for President Donald Trump; and Jim Mattis, the current Secretary of Defense.

Savas Beatie (

Anthony (“Tony”) Piscitelli, Ph.D., is currently an adjunct professor in the Global Transportation Department-SUNY Maritime College, teaching graduate and undergraduate Maritime Security classes. He is an acknowledged expert in security and anti-terrorism physical and electronic security systems, specializing in blast, ballistic and forced entry mitigation.

“‘The Marine Corps Way of War’ is the story of how the U.S. Marine Corps transitioned away from the traditional attritionist posture of warfighting in the post-Vietnam era,” Piscitelli said. “The Corps’ exceptionalism and ethos is responsible for this move to its current maneuverist under-pinnings, which has enhanced its ability to project force in any battle-space. Only by the Marine Corps’ exceptionalism and ethos could this have been accomplished during the Al Gray Renaissance years.”

Chapter 8 of the book, published by Savas Beatie, entitled “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” includes a letter provided by General Mattis to the author.

In the letter, General Mattis addresses the Marines’ 1st Division in regard to Saddam Hussein and his reign of terror: “For the mission’s sake, our country’s sake, and the sake of the men who carried the Division’s colors in the past battles – who fought for life and never lost their carry – carry out your mission and keep your honor clean. [You will] demonstrate to the world, there is ‘No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy’ than a U.S. Marine.”

Savas Beatie (Facebook)

In an interview with Savas Beatie, Piscitelli explains how he got the inspiration for the book.

I learned from General Gray about how and why the Corps works, and how this also applied to all businesses in general and my business in particular. I simply needed to learn about how it all came to be. During my research I discovered that this fundamental shift in the Corps’ philosophy from an attritionist mindset to one of maneuver warfare — an epic evolution — has never been put into book form. It is astounding how few people outside the Corps know of it, or understand how it all came about. I found my niche. That resulted in my dissertation, which evolved into this, my first book.”

Although Piscitelli is not a Marine himself, he has great respect for the men and women in uniform. In the same interview, Piscitelli told Savas Beatie: “I am a big fan and supporter [of] The Semper Fi Fund and the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation. Both are 5-Star charities that I am pleased to help support. In fact, all the royalties from this book will be donated to The Semper Fi Fund.”

The Semper Fi Fund provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post-9/11 combat wounded, critically ill and catastrophically injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. They deliver the resources they need during recovery and transition back to their communities, working to ensure no one is left behind.