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The U.S. Army Chief of Staff's
Professional Reading List

U.S. Army Chief of Staff - Professional Reading List
General Raymond T. Odierno

A course of personal study and contemplation is an essential component for the individual development of every Army professional. Each of us faces busy schedules every day and finding time to read and think is a recurring challenge. But even as we train our units and physically condition our bodies, we must improve our minds through reading and critical thinking.

Our Army operates in a complex strategic environment that demands each of us improve our knowledge of not only military affairs, but economics, politics, and international affairs. We must know how to train for new types of missions, how to deploy forces rapidly to distant regions around the world, and how to pursue innovation and change while preserving the Army's core capabilities in an era of fiscal constraint. The books on this list can sharpen our understanding of strategic landpower as an instrument of national power, the indispensable role of ethical leadership, and the extraordinary demands of land combat. I challenge each of you to read these books and to discuss, debate, and think critically about the ideas they contain.

Since 1775 our Army has safeguarded the United States, its allies, and our interests and served as an example of professional excellence. We have succeeded because our Soldiers, families, veterans, and civilians have selflessly trained and prepared themselves in both peace and war. Our Army heritage is distinguished. As we read and study our profession, we create new opportunities to serve our nation today and in the years ahead.


About the Program

The U.S. Army Chief of Staff's Professional Reading List is divided into three categories:

  • Armies at War: Battles and Campaigns
  • The Army Profession
  • Strategy and the Strategic Environment

These sub-lists are intended to steer readers to topics in which they are most interested. Each of these books is suitable for readers of any rank or position.

The books included in this list offer entry points into the many publications available regarding military art and science. They are provided as selected works that can help Soldiers, Department of the Army Civilians, and anyone interested in the Army to learn more about the Army profession and to sharpen their knowledge of the Army's long and distinguished history, as well as the decisive role played by landpower in conflicts across the centuries.

A sustained personal commitment to critical study of a wide range of readings constitutes an essential professional responsibility for members of the Army profession. The U.S. Army today confronts extraordinary complexity in the strategic environment with new and emerging missions competing with core warfighting requirements to challenge Army professionals. This reading list is intended to serve as a guide to the many topics worthy of professional consideration, contemplation, and serious discussion.

The appearance of a title on this reading list does not imply that the Chief of Staff endorses the author's views or interpretations. Nevertheless, these books contain thought-provoking ideas and viewpoints relevant to our Army.



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