Kathleen Creel describes serving in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1980 to 1993. She talks about coming from a military family, which influenced her decision to join the Marines. Creel discusses the importance of basic training as well as the necessity of commanding officers and drill sergeants to be hard on their troops, and how those things are not understood by civilians. She recalls her non-commissioned officer [NCO] training at Quantico, Virginia, where she learned management and leadership skills. She talks about the value of Marine Corps training, noting that unlike college, it requires immediate application. She also recalls sending the troops she oversaw overseas during the Gulf War, and the concern she felt wondering if she had prepared them thoroughly for that experience. She clarifies that that anxiety wasn’t based on emotion, but rather concern over whether she did her duty. Throughout the interview, Creel reiterates how proud she is to be a Marine, while acknowledging her struggle to reintegrate into civilian life. She concludes by noting that she and many other Marines feel alone once they leave active duty because being a Marine means being in the Marine Corps.
U.S. Military; U.S. Marine Corps; Marine bases; Quantico, Virginia; Non-commissioned officer [NCO]; Total quality management; Leadership; Military leadership; Military cooks; Desert Storm; Gulf War (1990-1991); Food service management; Camp Lejuene, North Carolina; Esprit des corps; Reintegration; Civilian life
Hawaii; Virginia; North Carolina
The Veteran’s Experience Oral History Project, OH 472
University of Montana. Mansfield Library. Archives and Special Collections
University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library
Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections at the University of Montana, Mansfield Library.
Oral History Number
1 MP3 (00:34:11): digital + 1 transcript (9 pp.: 28 cm.)
Creel, Kathleen, "Kathleen Creel Interview, November 25, 2019" (2019). The Veteran’s Experience Oral History Project. 8.