Naval War College Review


Victor “Brute” Krulak is a legend within the U.S. Marine Corps. That may be a cliché, but it is true. This reviewer personally witnessed this phenomenon at the Naval War College, in Newport, Rhode Island, nearly four decades after Krulak left the service. While delivering a lecture at the College, I flashed a pic- ture of Krulak on the screen. Instantly, audience members began to call out Krulak’s nickname—“Brute! Brute!” The fact that Krulak’s son became Commandant of the Corps only en- hanced his reputation. The funny thing about Krulak’s being so admired is that he never held a major combat command as a general officer. He was brave, and he won hero medals in World War II, including the Navy Cross, but as a general during the Vietnam War he was in Hawaii instead of in country. Flag and general officers usually need to be combat leaders during a war to reach iconic status.