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E-1.   Professional development, particularly self-development, requires reading. In addition to TMs, FMs, regulations or training circulars, it is worthwhile to read about our profession from the perspective of the many great soldiers who came before us.

E-2.   In June 2000, US Army Chief of Staff General Eric K. Shinseki released a reading list to help soldiers further develop confidence, military knowledge, habits of reflection, and intellectual growth, whether they are officers, NCOs, or junior enlisted soldiers. The books on this list are designed to provoke critical thinking concerning the profession of soldiering and the unique role of our Army. There are works here that address issues and challenges relevant to each of us, from private to general. This list includes books that examine the past and those that consider the future. These readings deepen our understanding of the Army's values and traditions, the human face of battle, and the future's potential to transform the profession of arms in the 21st Century.


E-3.   Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest. Stephen E. Ambrose, Touchstone Books, New York, 1993. During World War II, Easy Company was a world-class rifle company. Its soldiers fought on D-Day, in Arnhem, Bastogne and the Bulge; they spearheaded the Rhine offensive, took possession of Adolf Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden, sustaining 150 percent casualties along the way. Band of Brothers is an absorbing account of some of E Company's most critical moments, providing insight into the lives of regular soldiers and their commanders. The book is based on interviews with survivors and soldiers' journals and letters.

E-4.   The Long Gray Line. Rick Atkinson, Owl Books, New York, 1999. The Long Gray Line follows the 1966 West Point class through its 25-year journey from graduation to Vietnam into the difficulties of the peace that followed. The Class lived during an extraordinary time in US history, and Rick Atkinson speaks poignantly for a generation of people, such as Douglas MacArthur and William Westmoreland, who dealt with that era's turmoil, tragedy and disillusionment.

E-5.   The Greatest Generation. Tom Brokaw, Random House, New York, 1998. Tom Brokaw tells the story of what he proclaims "the greatest generation" through individual stories of people who came of age during the Great Depression and World War II. These people were united by the common values of duty, honor, economy, courage, service, love of family and country and, most of all, responsibility for themselves. Brokaw introduces people who persevered through the Depression, then war, then went on to create the United States as we now know it.

E-6.   This Kind of War: The Classic Korean War History. T. R. Fehrenbach, Brassey's, Dulles, VA, 2000. This book is a classic study in the consequences an army faces when it enters a war unprepared. Fehrenbach examines the challenges of maintaining a professional military force at odds with the society it is intended to defend. With the authority of personal experience, Fehrenbach describes battles and soldiers' hardships during the Korean War, foretelling with eerie accuracy some of the problems the US would face in Vietnam. In a human, realistic, concise manner, Fehrenback provides timeless insight about the US volunteer military.

E-7.   America's First Battles: 1776-1965. Charles E. Heller and William A. Stofft, University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, 1986. The eleven essays in this book focus on the U Army's transition from the parade field to the battlefield during every war in which it has fought. Through careful analysis of organization, training ad doctrine, each essay details strengths and weaknesses evidenced by the outcome of each war's first significant engagement. America's First Batles gives a novel, intellectually challenging view of how the United States has prepared for war, developed tactics and conducted operations.

E-8.   A Concise History of the US Army: 225 Years of Service. David W. Hogan Jr., Center of Military History, US Army, Washington, DC, 2000. In this pamphlet David W. Hogan Jr., traces the US Army's proud 225-year history during the rise of the United States as a nation, detailing the Army's important contributions throughout US history.

E-9.   The Face of Battle. John Keegan, Viking Press, New York, 1995. John Keegan, a senior instructor at Sandhurst, the British Military Academy, tries to answer the question: "What is it like to be in battle?" He examines the battles of Agincourt in 1415, Waterloo in 1815 and the Somme in 1916, comparing and contrasting various battlefield aspects, from hand-to-hand combat to the long-distance, impersonal destruction of faceless men in the industrial age.

E-10.   We Were Soldiers Once...and Young: Ia Drang - The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam. Lieutenant General (LTG) Harold G. Moore and Joeseph L. Galloway, Harper Perennial, New York, 1992. This book is a detailed account of the 1965 Ia Drang Valley Battle that marked the beginning of the massive ground war in Vietnam. As a lieutenant colonel, Harold G. Moore was the battalion commander who led the fight; Joseph L. Galloway was the journalist who accompanied Moore. From their experiences and first-hand accounts, including those of North Vietnamese commanders, they produced this chronicle of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry. The book is a vivid portrait of sacrifice, perseverance and courage.

E-11.   Once An Eagle. Anton Myrer, Harper Collins, New York, 2000. This gripping novel portrays the life of one special soldier, Sam Damon, and his adversary Courtney Massengale. Damon is the consummate professional soldier, decorated in both world wars, who puts duty, honor, and soldiers above self-interest. Massengale, the ultimate political animal, disdains the average grunt while advancing his career by making inroads into Washington's powerful elite. Once An Eagle is more than a chronicle of US warfare in the 20th century; it is a study in character and the values the US Army continues to cherish: courage, nobility, honesty and selflessness.

E-12.   The Killer Angels. Michael Shaara, Ballantine Books, New York, 1974. The four days of the Battle of Gettysburg were the four bloodiest, most courageous days in the Nation's history. Michael Shaara recreates the battle in stunning detail. But the true brilliance of this historical novel is its insight into what the war meant. Two armies fought for two dreams: one for freedom, the other for a way of life. This book reveals the compassion of the men who led the Civil War armies, making their decisions understandable and even more admirable in the face of the confusion and panic they endured during battle.


E-13.   Citizen Soldiers. Stephen Ambrose, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1997. A broad look at the American campaign on the Western Front in WW II. The author considers every level of war, from strategy discussions of generals, to the tactics employed by junior officers, and the life of the combat soldier "on the ground." The dominant theme is that the "citizen soldiers" were called from peaceful pursuits of civilian life and matched against the fanaticism of the Third Reich, successfully. Readers gain an appreciation of the magnitude of the victory in Europe as soldiers exercise the utmost in leadership, courage, and innovation. The story is told mainly through a series of vignettes outlining the experiences of junior officers and NCOs. The book should serve any leader well as he or she prepares for the realities of warfare in a democratic society.

E-14.   The War To End All Wars: The American Military Experience in World War I. Edward M. Coffman, Oxford University Press, New York, 1968. The War To End All Wars is the classic account of the American military experience in World War I. Coffman conducted extensive research in diaries and personal papers as well as official records and then filled out the written record with interviews of survivors, including General of the Armies Douglas MacArthur, General Charles L. Bolte, Lt. Gen. Charles D. Herron, Lt. Gen. Ernest N. Huebner, and Maj. Gen. Hanson E. Ely. By using these sources, Coffman sought to convey the human dimensions of the conflict as well as the grand strategy and the tactics of the Western Front. Coffman covers mobilization, the rudimentary training in the United States, the Navy's role in convoying the troops overseas, the organization and training of the American Expeditionary Forces in France, the American role in the air war, logistics, ground combat culminating in the Meuse-Argonne campaign, and demobilization. Coffman is particularly effective in discussing operations at the division and corps levels.

E-15.   Soldier and the State. Samuel P. Huntington, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1957. The author traces the concept of the military professional through the two World Wars. More important, he provides the first thorough analysis of the nature and scope of professional officership. This book contains enough professional fodder to provide inquiring cadets and young officers with an image of what they might be as military professionals. A close reading of the book reveals a staggering challenge to the will and intellect of the aspirant. A classic in the basic tenets required of the professional officer in American society.

E-16.   Embattled Courage: The Experience of Combat in the American Civil War. Gerald F. Linderman, The Free Press, A Division of Macmillan, New York, 1987. Combat studies tend to express themselves in two forms: as narrative accounts of wars, campaigns, and battles; or as accounts of individual soldiers, or groups of soldiers, in combat. Linderman's Embattled Courage, an example of the latter, examines the beliefs and behavior of volunteers from both Union and Confederate sides who sallied forth in 1861 to defeat their enemy. Based as it is on exciting and graphic excerpts from journals and letters of combat soldiers, Embattled Courage brims with authenticity and authority. As such, it offers much to the professional soldier. For those officers and enlisted personnel who have been in combat the book establishes a larger historical context which may help to better understand and digest their own experiences. For those who have not, but who may well do so in the future, Linderman has created a framework which may permit them to grasp, to a degree, the harsh realities, physical as well as psychological, of combat. To the degree which they can know these "harsh realities" through reading and study, they will adapt more quickly and perform more efficiently to a combat environment.

E-17.   Company Commander. Charles B. MacDonald, Burford Books, Springfield, NJ, 1999. Original edition, 1947. Company Commander is Charles MacDonald's memoir of his experiences in World War II. Placed in command in September 1944 of Company I, 23d Infantry at the age of twenty-one, MacDonald, who had never been in battle, quickly underwent a harsh baptism of fire. He commanded his company until the end of the war, leading his men throughout the Battle of the Bulge, an unforgiving test of his and his company's mettle. MacDonald knew that he was responsible for other men's lives and that any mistake by him could mean someone's death. Written shortly after the war, the book communicates a keen sense of what it was like for an inexperienced officer to be thrown into a leadership role in combat, the personal skills it took to survive, and the intangibles that held small units together in the face of danger and deprivation. This book is less about tactics and weapons than what it takes on the personal and psychological level to fight and survive and be a company commander.

E-18.   Men Against Fire: The Problem of Battle Command in Future War. S.L.A. Marshall. Reprint, Gloucester, Massachusetts: Peter Smith, 1978. Originally published by Infantry Journal Press, 1947. An examination of the infantry commander's problems in motivating soldiers in combat. Through a series of interviews with soldiers, the author describes how men can be conditioned to act as a cohesive unit under the stress of battle. Marshall raises many fundamental questions, still germane today, about why soldiers fail to fire their weapons in battle and how the lack of moral leadership can destroy the effectiveness of fighting organizations.

E-19.   For the Common Defense, A Military History of the United States of America. Alan R. Millett, and Peter Maslowski. The Free Press, New York, 1984. For the Common Defense is one of the leading textbooks of American military history. The volume examines the American military experience from colonial times up to the fall of Saigon in 1975. Although the book describes the nation's major wars and military operations, its true focus is the evolution of American military policy. For the Common Defense puts narrower historical studies into a broader historical and intellectual context. It is vital that soldiers be acquainted with these broader themes if they are to understand the American military experience.

E-20.   Certain Victory. Robert H. Scales, Jr., U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Press, Reprint, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 1994. A history of the US Army in the Gulf War (and related support activities) produced by the Army's Desert Storm Special Study Group, which was commissioned by Chief of Staff General Gordon H. Sullivan and directed by Brigadier General Robert H. Scales, Jr. The book provides one of the best summaries of how the professional of the 1980s differed from the drug-riddled and racially divided Army of the 1970s. Additionally, it shows the value of state-of-the-art weaponry and what a well-trained and equipped professional force can accomplish. The book also does an excellent job of outlining how the Army planned to transition the force and lessons learned from Desert Storm to the Army of the future. A careful and informed reading of Certain Victory will provide the reader with a view of the US Army that by 1990 knew a lot about ground combat. It was also an Army that realized you needed good people, well trained, with quality weapons and equipment to be successful on the modern battlefield. A must read for the officer wanting to understand where his Army is tending.

E-21.   George C. Marshall: Soldier-Statesman of the American Century. Mark A. Stoler, Twayne Publishers, Boston, 1989. This fast-moving account summarizes the life and career of the foremost American soldier-diplomat of the twentieth century. He was born in a small town of an isolationist nation but took leading roles in an industrialized world power. He was trained as a nineteenth century citizen-soldier but commissioned in a twentieth century army of empire. Finally, he was the first soldier to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. In filling a series of high-level positions--Army chief of staff, special envoy to China, secretary of state and of defense--Marshall consistently acted as the dispassionate pragmatist, carefully weighing pluses and minuses to the ultimate benefit of his country. Repeatedly, Marshall mastered the nuances of congressional appropriations, coalition diplomacy, and fast-changing foreign policies as the Cold War overtook the wartime alliance, all the while retaining a fine sense of the limits of military power as well as an appreciation of the linkage between economic, military, and political issues. Marshall never let his ego get in the way of a job to be done, never confused his personal interests with those of his country.

E-22.   Buffalo Soldiers (Black Saber Chronicles). Tom Willard, Forge Press, New York, 1996. The stories of black cavalrymen fighting along side their white counterparts against the Plains Indians. Told through the eyes of Samuel Sharps, a young man saved from slavery, who will go on to become a sergeant major. This is the story of the all black unit nicknamed the "Buffalo Soldiers" by the Indians they fought. The book provides the reader with an appreciation of the hardships of war and frontier life and an important social commentary related to the Buffalo Soldiers as free men.


E-23.   Platoon Leader. James R. McDonough, Presidio Press, Novato, CA, 1985. This book is the story of one young lieutenant's growth during the year he fought in Vietnam. It is the story of the hard choices that a leader will have to face in combat. The author's main thesis is that war is a constant struggle between responsibilities of a leader and the desire to abandon your sense of humanity when faced with the gruesome reality of war. This book is a must for any professional soldier's reading list. The lessons that can be derived are as appropriate for the professional NCO as for the professional officer.

E-24.   Small Unit Leadership: A Commonsense Approach. COL Dandridge M. Malone, Presidio Press, Novato, CA, 1983. Malone wrote this book in a way that most soldiers, especially leaders, can understand. It has real life stories from Vietnam. Everything is tied into the five-paragraph field order. His method is very much influenced by the behavioral science.

E-25.   The Red Badge of Courage: An Episode of the American Civil War. Stephen Crane, W. W. Norton, New York, 1982. This book was the first unromanticized novel about the Civil War. Its heroes are not heroic soldiers, but civilians under arms, enduring the test of battle in wonder of fear. Crane describes his central character, Henry Fleming, as a youth whose mind is in the "tumult of agony and despair." This novel exposes the imagination and modern view of the ambiguities of the American character. The Red Badge of Courage has emerged as a bitter statement against the physical and psychological horrors of war.

E-26.   From Shield to Storm: High-Tech Weapons, Military Strategy, and Coalition Warfare in The Persian Gulf. James F. Dunnigan, William Morrow, New York, 1992. Dunnigan explores the interests, motives, and miscalculations of both sides in Operation Desert Shield/Storm. He details how the immense operations that brought coalition forces into the desert were planned and executed, explains why the UN coalition's victory remains uncertain, and why what passes for peace in the Middle East will be only slightly less contentious than combat.

E-27.   None Died in Vain: The Saga of the American Civil War. Robert Leckie, Harper Collins, New York, 1990. Based on solid scholarship and a lifetime of reading, and enhanced by the authors insight as a leading historian and his compelling narrative gift, None Died in Vain is crowded with in-depth profiles of fascinating and important Americans from North and South-soldiers and political leaders, heroes, and rogues. It covers grand strategy, politics, economics, and above all, the war's great battles from the siege and fall of Fort Sumter, the Union defeat at First Bull Run to the siege and fall of Petersburg, and Lee's moving surrender at Appomattox.

E-28.   A Moral Victory. Sidney Axinn, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1989. Should a soldier ever disobey a direct military order? Are there restrictions on how we fight a war? What is meant by "military honor," and does it really affect the contemporary soldier? Is human dignity possible under battlefield conditions? Sidney Axinn considers these basic ethical questions within the context of the law of warfare and answers "yes" to each of these questions. In this study of the conduct of war, he examines actions that are honorable or dishonorable and provides the first full-length treatment of the military conventions from a philosophical point of view.

E-29.   To Hell and Back: The Audie Murphy Story. Audie Murphy, Owl Books, New York, Reprint edition, 2002. America's most-decorated GI recounts his experiences in the foxholes and dugouts of World War II. It is a first hand story of the men who had only their friends and their weapons between them and the enemy. Told in simple and vital language, it is a human record that novelists, reporters, and generals haven't been able to touch. Joining his outfit in Africa, Murphy fought through campaigns in Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany. He emerged from the war as America's most decorated soldier.

E-30.   Brave Decisions: Moral Courage from the Revolutionary War to Desert Storm. COL Harry J. Maihafer, Brassey's, Washington, DC, 1995. This book contains 15 stories of how American soldiers made brave and difficult decisions when faced with the choice of a courageous and ethical path or a safe, easier alternative. Included are Daniel Morgan at the Battle of Cowpens; Jackson at Chancellorsville; Pershing at Abbeville; and William F. Dean in Korea.

E-31.   The Story of the Noncommissioned Officer Corps: The Backbone Of The Army. Arnold G. Fisch, Jr., Center of Military History, Washington, DC, 1989. Published during the 1989 Year of the NCO, this is the first major history of the US Army Noncommissioned Officer Corps. This book provides an overall history of the Corps including vignettes and stories of actual NCOs as well as selected documents related to the history and development of the Corps.

E-32.   The United States Constitution. The Constitution is the document that our Nation is founded on, and is what every soldier promises to support and defend. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention wrote it in plain language in the late summer of 1787. It became effective 21 June 1788 when New Hampshire ratified it, the ninth state to do so. It describes the framework of the United States government, specifies powers granted to the government, and lists some of the individual rights of Americans. In addition to the basic document are 27 amendments, including the Bill of Rights.

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