Annotation: With Earth embroiled in a vast interplanetary war with the “Bugs,” a young recruit in the Federal Reserves relates his experiences training in boot camp and as a junior officer in the Terran Mobile Infantry.
From the Publisher: Starship Troopers is a classic novel by one of science fiction’s greatest writers of all time and is now a Tri-Star movie. In one of Heinlein’s most controversial bestsellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the universe -- and into battle with the Terran Mobile Infantry against mankind’s most frightening enemy. (www.barnesandnoble.com)
Questions for Starship Troopers
1. On pages 5-8, the reader sees the preparation for combat that NCOs conducted before a “drop.” Do the same preparations take place for your unit? How important is NCO supervision over their men in preparation for combat?
2. On pages 50-53, Sergeant Zim discusses the importance of maintain proficiency in “low tech” forms of war, such as knife throwing, on a battlefield full of high-tech weapons. Do his thoughts hold true today? Why or why not? Compare his thoughts to the Navy’s view of the Army on page 160.
3. On page 106, PFC Dutch Bamburger instructs Trooper (Private) Rico, the “boot” of the group who had been assigned as his supernumerary, “Listen, boot, you stick close behind me and stay out of my way. You go slowing me down, I break your silly neck.” Has this happened to you when you checked aboard a unit? Does it happen in your unit now? Discuss the importance of properly integrating new joins into a unit.
4. On page 116, Rico describes the actions of the new platoon leader after the death of Lieutenant Rasczak: “He left our combat team organization almost unchanged; instead of shifting everybody around…” Does you unit change billet holders too frequently? If so, why? How can this be prevented?
5. On pages 163-166, the author reveals how “lean” the Mobile Infantry is as a fighting force. Based on its mission, should the Marine Corps be that lean? Why or why not?
6. On page 164, Rico states: “… the M.I. is a free man; all that drives him comes from inside – that self-respect and need for the respect of his mates and his pride in being one of them called morale, or esprit de corps.” Does this statement describe your unit? Why or why not? If not, what can you do to change it?
7. Explain the difference or similarities of the Mobile Infantry NCO and the Marine Corps Strategic Corporal.