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What is the point of the military reading lists?

Question by The Questioner: What is the point of the military reading lists?
Like how they suggest you read books like starship troopers, or Tin Can Sailors (I’m using the Navy version of the reading list) and the books change for certain ranks. So what is it for? And why are the suggested books different for different ranks?

Best answer:

Answer by Wine, wine U dirty skunk
Because professional development is a lifelong process…and professional reading..along with PME (professional military education…i.e. NCO and Officer Schools) and civilian education is all a part of that process. Just like a professional in the civilian world..you never stop learning and developing. The minute you do you fall behind your peers..which in the military means getting passed over for promotion and shown the door.

You will notice that the books for more senior ranks concern subjects like international policy and operations at the strategic levels of war. The junior levels look at the more immediate like ethics, history, leadership and operations at the company/battalion level and below. You can’t expect an 18 year old private to comprehend or put into practice the same things a Colonel will read.

Btw..”Starship Troopers” is one of the best books on military ethics ever written. You should read it if you haven’t. The stupid a$ $ movie did that book a HUGE injustice. The author, I am sure, is rolling in his grave. Kind of like “300” did to Gates of Fire. Horrible.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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One comment on “What is the point of the military reading lists?

  • “General Ronald Fogleman created the CSAF Professional Reading Program in 1996 to develop a common frame of reference among Air Force members — officers, enlisted, and civilians — to help each of us become better, more effective advocates of air and space power.”

    And, of course, there are further lists for Officers, SNCOs, and Jr. Enlisted. Why? There is a different emphasis at each of those levels. While management info may be useful to a young airman, it is vitally important that his SNCOs read it and understand different management styles and their implications. A SNCO may also be tasked to read a leadership book that his Commander has given him, to help him understand and be a vital part of that leadership team. The Jr. Enlisted, they need to know about those who came before them, the history and the stories.

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