Posted on Aug 12, 2014
SSG Fire Control Platoon Sergeant
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Reading was never something I wanted to do, a few months ago I picked up a couple of books that were on the SMA's reading list. I've read two of them so far and they were definitely worth reading and I encourage anyone who has a few minutes of nothing to do everyday to pick one of them up. It can't hurt.

I am now looking for the next book to sit down and read. So, is there one book that you can say changed your leadership style or affected your life in a positive way? Is there a book that you would recommend to your subordinates? Is there a book that you would make part of a professional reading list?

If you could also leave a brief description along with how it affected you and why you would recommend it, it would be greatly appreciated.
Posted in these groups: Professionalism_logo ProfessionalismEducation_logo Education Studies
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SFC Mark Merino
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The timeless classic on every leader's shelf....."Art of War".
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MSG Brad Sand
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I have seen similar questions and being Summer and trying to something that has value but also a top read for the professional warrior. Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers. Not the movie, read the book. I think it should actually be core reading for everyone in the military. If you have not read it, read it.

Next, get out the US Constitution and read it. DO NOT forget to read the Amendments especially the first 10...the Bill of Rights.

Then I would say there are many excellent books to consider but you may want to shape toward your interest and career? Then Interrogators was really interesting to me and may be to you as well?
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1LT William Clardy
1LT William Clardy
5 y
MSG Brad Sand, right behind "Starship Troopers", I always recommend "West of Honor" by Jerry Pournelle. The technology is not so shiny, the enemy is composed of rational men, the preaching is more subdued, and it's a good read. (Back when I was enlisted, it was one of the books I kept spares of, because half the time a copy I loaned out would get chain-loaned further out so that I would never get it back.)
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MSG Brad Sand
MSG Brad Sand
5 y
1LT William Clardy

Have not read Pournelle...or at least that I recall...been reading a lot of non-fiction as of late...just finished reading about William Marshall but not sure many would find it as interesting as I did. It is Summer so I might need to do some lighter reading.
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1LT William Clardy
1LT William Clardy
5 y
MSG Brad Sand, it's a fast read, told from the perspective of a (self-described) "very junior lieutenant of CoDominium Marines, only three months out of the Academy and green as grass", one of three fresh Academy graduates who are the only officers in the 501st Provisional Battalion, and under the command of the youngest captain in the Line Marines.

You can sample the first few chapters online:
http://www.baenebooks.com/chapters/ [login to see] /West_of_Honor.htm
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SSG George Holtje
SSG George Holtje
11 mo
I attempted to make the Constitution an inspectable item on my squads smartphones. I always had one with my ranger handbook and notepad
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SCPO Intelligence Specialist
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I have a different approach than many to professional reading (some who know me would say I could have accurately ended that sentence after "approach.") First, my BA is in History and I enjoy reading history, "both real and feigned" to quote Tolkien. Historical works that have affected my view of leadership and my life include:

"The Generals" by Tom Ricks - a view of the decline of accountability in our senior leadership. He raises some excellent points although his conclusions may be a touch facile.

"So Far from God: The War with Mexico, 1846-1848" by John S.D. Eisenhower - strikingly shows the influence of leaders on the course and success of a conflict.

"A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam" by Neil Sheehan - also shows how leaders can shape events and how character influences a leader's ability to lead.

Then there's the novels that illustrate rather than discuss leadership. Some of the raise profound questions of who really influences events - the recognized leaders on horseback or the unsung, unnoticed who sway others accusing things to happen that might never have otherwise:

"The Lord of the Rings" by JRR Tolkien - "all that is gold does not glitter, not all who wander are lost..."

"The Pelbar Cycle" by Paul O. Williams - is inclusive or dominating leadership more powerful and lasting?

The Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey - who is more powerful, the diminutive woman who motivates through love or the brilliant manipulator? How is loyalty earned?
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Sgt Tom Cunnally
Sgt Tom Cunnally
5 y
"A Bright Shining Lie" by Neil Sheehan was excellent....You may like "The Best And The Brightest" by David Halberstam It is also about the role of government and the military in the Vietnam Era..
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