With the Old Breed


E.B. Sledge

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Cpl. R. V. Burgin Character Analysis

A Gloucester veteran, Burgin is Sledge’s patrol sergeant on Peleliu and Okinawa, and Sledge respects him immensely for his competence and courage. Burgin is wounded on Okinawa but returns to the war after three weeks of convalescence. He proves to be a reliable, intelligent leader, taking part in various acts of bravery. On one occasion, he successfully coordinates an attack against a pillbox—an action for which Sledge is convinced Burgin should have received an official decoration. Burgin is also confident and capable of asserting his opinion against incompetent officers such as Mac in order to protect the men’s lives.
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Cpl. R. V. Burgin Character Timeline in With the Old Breed

The timeline below shows where the character Cpl. R. V. Burgin appears in With the Old Breed. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 5: Another Amphibious Assault
Death, Horror, and Trauma Theme Icon
Patriotism and Morality Theme Icon
Leadership and Courage Theme Icon
...they are told is empty. When Sledge hears Japanese voices emerging from the pillbox, Cpl. Burgin initially disbelieves him. However, when he goes to look through the ventilator, he sees the... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 9: Stay of Execution
Leadership and Courage Theme Icon
Sledge is grateful for patrol sergeant’s Burgin’s presence, as he mistrusts Mac’s orders. One day, Sledge forms part of a group that... (full context)
Death, Horror, and Trauma Theme Icon
Leadership and Courage Theme Icon
...is shooting it in the jaw to see if he can shoot the teeth away. Burgin and the Marines are disgusted by this behavior. Sledge concludes that if Mac had not... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 11: Of Shock and Shells
Death, Horror, and Trauma Theme Icon
Leadership and Courage Theme Icon
In the meantime, Mac makes some mistakes in judgment, which Burgin, who has the combat experience of three campaigns, is forced to correct. Sledge also recalls... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 12: Of Mud and Maggots
Leadership and Courage Theme Icon
...develops a deep headache. During that period, as Company K moves from fight to fight, Burgin is wounded, although he returns eighteen days later—to the Marines’ joy, as Sledge notes that... (full context)