A Rumor of War

A Rumor of War

by

Philip Caputo

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A commissioned officer. In the U.S. Marine Corps, the rank is divided between Second Lieutenant, who is lower-ranking, and First Lieutenant. A first lieutenant ranks below a captain, or skipper.

Lieutenant Quotes in A Rumor of War

The A Rumor of War quotes below are all either spoken by Lieutenant or refer to Lieutenant. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Heroism and Identity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Owl Books edition of A Rumor of War published in 1977.
Chapter Five Quotes

On the way back, I saw an example of the paradoxical kindness-and-cruelty that made Vietnam such a peculiar war. One of our corpsman was treating the infant with skin ulcers […] At the same time, and only a few yards away, our interpreter, a Vietnamese marine lieutenant, roughly interrogated the woman who had been tending the fire. The lieutenant was yelling at her and waving a pistol in front of her ravaged face […] This went on for several minutes. Then his voice rose to a hysterical pitch, and holding the forty-five by the barrel, he raised his arms as if to pistol-whip her. I think he would have, but Peterson stepped in and stopped him.

Related Characters: Philip Caputo (speaker), Peterson
Page Number: 90
Explanation and Analysis:
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Lieutenant Term Timeline in A Rumor of War

The timeline below shows where the term Lieutenant appears in A Rumor of War. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter One
Heroism and Identity Theme Icon
...in the student union at Loyola University. They have displayed a poster of “a trim lieutenant” with an “athletic, slightly cruel-looking” face.” He looks “like a cross between an All-American halfback... (full context)
Heroism and Identity Theme Icon
...of 1961, Caputo attends Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia. He and the other aspiring lieutenants range in age from nineteen to twenty-one. Those who survive the course will be sent... (full context)
Heroism and Identity Theme Icon
Danger and Uncertainty Theme Icon
...School. There is no more harassment from drill sergeants who now have to call the lieutenants “sir.” Living conditions are also “regal.” The purpose of the school is to turn the... (full context)
Heroism and Identity Theme Icon
Danger and Uncertainty Theme Icon
The senior first lieutenant lectures Caputo and the other junior officers on counterguerrilla operations. The instructor disabuses his students... (full context)
Chapter Two
Heroism and Identity Theme Icon
Loyalty and Camaraderie Theme Icon
...the ranks being filled with enlisted men who went to boot camp together and other lieutenants who graduated from Quantico in the same year. Having done everything together and gone everywhere... (full context)
Heroism and Identity Theme Icon
...a result, he is nicknamed “boot brown-bar,” which is slang for a very fresh second lieutenant. (full context)
Chapter Five
Heroism and Identity Theme Icon
Danger and Uncertainty Theme Icon
...emerges from the trench and Campbell says, perhaps reproachfully, that he did not know the lieutenant was in there. Peterson then comes over the radio and warns Caputo against using up... (full context)
Chapter Six
Danger and Uncertainty Theme Icon
...a grenade instead. Buchanan stands “in a tense crouch” and refuses to look at the lieutenant or take his finger off of the trigger of his rifle. Then, something does indeed... (full context)
Chapter Seven
Heroism and Identity Theme Icon
The Morality of War Theme Icon
War and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...to acknowledge. PFC Lockhart says what many of them are thinking: “They’re just like us, lieutenant. It’s always the young men who die.” (full context)
Chapter Thirteen
The Morality of War Theme Icon
Loyalty and Camaraderie Theme Icon
Danger and Uncertainty Theme Icon
War and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...time, “thinking about those kids.” It is not a confession that colonels usually make to lieutenants, so Caputo does not know what to tell him. Two days later, the colonel is... (full context)