Archive for the Reading Lists Category

The Junior Officer Reader ~ Not (Just) Another Reading List

Posted in Books, Reading Lists, Reading Room with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2012 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

REUTERS/Erik De Castro

Last week, Don Gomez, of the blog Carrying the Gun, posted The Junior Officer Reader – two down.  The post was a plea to fellow bloggers and readers for titles of books written by junior officers or soldiers about their military experiences.  He listed a few that he had in his library, but wanted to know of other books he may not be aware of.  There are two purposes for this post: 1) What books are you aware of to answer Don’s question?, and 2) To answer his question with a few resources recently posted on the internet.

One of the blogs I follow is Time Magazine‘s Battleland, where there are quite the opinionated blog posts about the United States military and defense policy.  But, this morning, they sent out their daily digest of articles which included an article entitled, Not (Just) Another Reading List.  Within this article may be a few of Don’s answers.  From the article:

…I have a shelf of books I own solely because some previous commander put it on his mandatory reading list. These lists are handed down as part of the boilerplate leadership model every commander (in the Army at least) learns early on…I thought it might be interesting to put together a list of literary works that soldiers and others would find helpful or at least interesting and worthwhile…I won’t make this a top-ten list, but rather just a list of a couple handfuls of books and why I think they’re worth including on soldiers’ reading lists…

——-> Continue reading Not (Just) Another Reading List

A link within the above article went to The Junior Officers’ Book Club.  Here, the author may have come a bit closer to Don’s answer.  The links within the below excerpt from the article lead to additional book lists and resources:

This is the second time in six months I’ve written about military reading lists. In August, we looked at the books then Army Chief of Staff, now Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Martin Dempsey asked his soldiers and officers to read as part of their professional development. Reading lists are interesting because they’re the books commanders and superiors want their troops to be reading in their free time, which is a precious commodity in the military…In this month’s ARMY magazine, which is published by the Association of the United States Army, company level officers weighed in on the books that had an impact on their effectiveness as platoon leaders and company commanders. What makes this list noteworthy is that the suggestions are by company-grade officers, for company-grade officers–young leaders telling their peers and those coming through the ranks behind them what was important…

——-> Continue reading The Junior Officers’ Book Club

And, as I was preparing this post, I got a Tweet from The Command and General Staff College (@USACGSC).  It was a link to an article written by Admiral James Stavridis, the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe and Commander, US European Command.  The article, entitled Twenty Great Novels for Summer Reading, is more a list of literary works, with a few military and war-oriented titles.  From Admiral Stavridis’ article:

We learn so much from reading. In a sense, every novel we pick up and read allows us to live another life entirely.  As we head into the summer, I went back to some of the great reads of the last century in fiction.  Some are famous and well known to generations of high school and college students — but might deserve a re-read. Others are less well known to broad audiences…

——-> Continue reading Twenty Great Novels for Summer Reading

I’d love to hear about other great literary works on the wartime experience.  What else should we be reading?  What books had the biggest impact on your effectiveness as a leader?

Related Articles –

H.R. McMaster: The Warrior’s-Eye View of Afghanistan (

Professional Reading is Essential – An Introduction (

The Development of a Reading Program (


The Development of a Reading Program

Posted in Books, Inaugural Posts, Reading Lists, Reading Room with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2011 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Reading about Leadership, and the Introduction of my Reading List

In my last post, I introduced you to The Pentagon’s library of current reading lists.  This, along with many other valuable resources, exists to provide military and civilian personnel in the Department of Defense the best choices of literature to expand their knowledge of military heritage, leadership and the principles of war, among other topics.  A Professional Reading Program, and the development of a regular reading regimen, provides an opportunity to continue life-long learning, to expand one’s sphere of knowledge and exposure to great minds of the past, and to practice critical thinking.[i]  Regular and routine reading is an integral and fundamental part of one’s continued education, and to expand awareness of tools and information meant to improve their skills and wisdom.

Also in my last post, I encouraged you to put together your own reading list; a list of books, articles, ebooks, etc. that you have read, or have the desire to read.  I am eager to see your responses, as I am always interested in expanding my awareness of good reads that could help advance my education.  I have put my own list together, and would like to share it with you.  I have divided it into three categories; military leadership, memoirs & biographies, and general management.  Today, I will reveal my military leadership portion of the reading list.  The books in the following list are only some of my many books related to military leadership.  Over time, I will reveal to you my entire library of books that relate to the premise of this blog, as well as share with you my “wish list” of books I want to add to my collection and read.

Presented as a bibliography, the following list are books in my military leadership category that I intend to read in 2012:

Abrashoff, D. Michael. It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy. New York: Warner Books, 2002.

Carrison, Dan, and Rod Walsh. Semper Fi: Business Leadership The Marine Corps Way. New York: American Management Association, 1999.

Cohen, William A. The New Art of the Leader: Leading With Integrity and Honor. Paramus, NJ: Prentice Hall P, 2000.

Donnithorne, Larry. The West Point Way of Leadership: From Learning Principled Leadership to Practicing It. New York: Currency Doubleday, 1993.

Freedman, David H. Corps Business: The 30 Management Principles of the U.S. Marines. New York: HarperBusiness, 2001.

Heller, Joseph. Catch-22: A Novel. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1955.

Johnson, W. Brad., and Gregory P. Harper. Becoming a Leader the Annapolis Way: 12 Combat Lessons from the Navy’s Leadership Laboratory. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005.

Kinni, Theodore B., and Donna Kinni. No Substitute for Victory: Lessons in Strategy and Leadership from General Douglas MacArthur. Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT/Prentice Hall, 2005.

Laver, Harry S., and Jeffrey J. Matthews. The Art of Command: Military Leadership from George Washington to Colin Powell. Lexington, KY: University P of Kentucky, 2010.

Montor, Karel, Anthony J. Ciotti, and Malcolm E. Wolfe. Fundamentals of Naval Leadership. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute P, 1984.

Montor, Karel. Naval Leadership: Voices of Experience. Annapolis, MD: Naval Inst. P, 1998.

Newman, Aubrey S. Follow Me I: The Human Element in Leadership. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1997.

Newman, Aubrey S. Follow Me II: More on the Human Element in Leadership. Navato, CA: Presidio, 1997.

Newman, Aubrey S. Follow Me III: Lessons on the Art and Science of High Command. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1997.

Pagonis, William G., and Jeffrey L. Cruikshank. Moving Mountains: Lessons in Leadership and Logistics from the Gulf War. Boston: Harvard Business School P, 1992.

Puryear, Edgar F. American Generalship: Character is Everything : The Art of Command. Novato, CA: Presidio, 2002.

Ruggero, Ed. Duty First: A Year in the Life of West Point and The Making of American Leaders. New York: Perennial, 2002.

Sullivan, Gordon R., and Michael V. Harper. Hope is Not a Method: What Business Leaders Can Learn from America’s Army. New York: Broadway Books, 1997.

Wheeler, Tom. Take Command!: Leadership Lessons from the Civil War. New York: Currency Doubleday, 2001.

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson


[i] “Memorandum for the Air War College Class of 2012 – Professional Reading Program – Instructional Period 6209.”  Maxwell Air Force Base, USAF Air University Public Portal.  Accessed 13 December 2011.

Professional Reading is Essential – An Introduction

Posted in Inaugural Posts, Reading Lists, Reading Room with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2011 by Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

Reading Lists and the Development of a Reading Program

Leadership reading programs exist across all branches of the military, and among many commands.  They are developed to encourage a life-long habit of reading and learning among all military and civilian personnel.  The books included in these collections provide readers with a deeper understanding and appreciation for military heritage, the profession of arms, and the complex modern world in which we operate.  The many books on these reading lists are thought-provoking, and provide a useful course of independent study in the origin of the profession of arms, valuable leadership techniques, the use of our critical thinking abilities, and our Armed Forces and their history.

The Pentagon’s library of current reading lists is a compilation of links to reading lists from each of the branches of the military, as well as a few Department of Defense sectors.  Each list is quite comprehensive.  Members of the military, the civilians who work in the Department of Defense, and anyone with the aspiration to expand their knowledge, with a thirst for learning, should consider using these lists as a springboard for additional reading and study.  Doing so will sharpen their intellects while preparing for their next level of responsibility.  Ultimately, professional reading lists of any kind, for any organization, in any walk of life, are a pillar for leadership development efforts.  Translating written words into sound decision-making, and relating what is read to what is actually done, becomes essential.

I encourage you to compile a list of your own recommended readings (books, articles, online e-books, etc.) that you have read, or have the ambition to read; I will do the same.  Then, once we have put our reading lists together, please post them as comments to this blog discussion, and share your reading list.  As contributors comment and share their recommended readings, We will discuss them together in the ‘Reading Room,’ set as a topic category of this blog.  In this category, and throughout the existence of this blog, we will go into much more detail about our recommended reading lists.  We will expand on what we are learning from what we are reading.  This will add a very interesting and beneficial dimension to this blog, as it will allow us to bring our various thoughts, ideas and knowledge to a unique forum within the Command Performance Leadership blog.

Copyright © Dale R. Wilson

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