New Navy Professional Reading List

The Navy just came out with a new professional reading list that differs greatly from the existing lists (officer and enlisted). The new list has a total of 60 books, 12 for each of five "experience levels": Junior Enlisted (E1-E4), Leading Petty Officer (E5-E6), Division Leader (O1-O3, CWO2, and E7), Department/Command Leader (O4-O5, CWO3-CWO4, and E8-E9), and Command Leader (O-6 and up, CWO5, and CMC) -- I think that's a better breakout than the old "officer/enlisted" lists. Each of the 12 book lists has two books from each of six categories: Leadership, Naval and Military Heritage, Joint and Combined Warfare, Regional and Cultural Awareness, Critical Thinking, and Management and Strategic Planning.

I'm excited to see some of the additions ("Ender's Game" for Junior Enlisted and "The World Is Flat" for Division Leaders), and perplexed about some others ("Starship Troopers" under the Leadership category for Junior Enlisted?), but overall they seem to be pretty good choices. I was disappointed, though, to see two books in particular that didn't make it from the old lists: "Thunder Below" by Gene Fluckey, and "The United States Navy: 200 Years" by Ned Beach. The fact that both were by submariners had nothing to do with my sorrow at seeing them go -- they're just good books. (I'm wondering, though, if Capt. Beach's tendency to take a more "critical" look at some Naval leaders of the past may have led to his book not making the list.)

I think that Navy's plan to give a copy of all the books to each ship (fittingly, USS Constitution got them first) is a great idea; as a taxpayer, I fully approve of this use of the Navy's money. (On a personal note, Master Chief Juskiewicz, SEA CMC, shown in this photo delivering the books to the Constitution, is an old shipmate of mine.)