Army Chief of Staff Offers Reading List

Washington Report

(August 22, 2017) More than 100 books are on the U.S. Army’s Chief of Staff Professional Reading List released recently and available at is external).

The books are separated into six categories: strategic environment, regional studies, history and military history, leadership, Army profession and fiction. They are intended for soldiers, Department of Army civilians and others “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,” according to an introduction to the list.

The Army today “confronts extraordinary complexity in the strategic environment with new and emerging missions competing with core war fighting requirements to challenge Army professionals,” the introduction continues. “This reading list is intended to serve as a guide to the many topics worthy of professional consideration, contemplation, and serious discussions.”

Reading lists from the Army’s senior officer, who is now Gen. Mark A. Milley, have been released nearly every year since 2011 and are available on the link listed above.

Books on this year’s list include new ones, such as “A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order” by Richard Haas published this year, and older ones, such as “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers; Economic Change and Military Conflicts from 1500 to 2000” by Paul Kennedy published in 1987.

The history books are heavy on examinations of World War II, but also include a history of Rome and a look at the Pelopennesian War in the fifth century B.C.

Books on leadership include biographies of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Gen. George C. Marshall, but also more sweeping looks at leadership failures and successes.

The list includes “The Art of War,” written by Sun Tzu more than 2,000 years ago and “Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung.”

The fiction list includes Homer’s “The Iliad and the Odyssey,” a description of the war between the Greeks and Trojans, and a novel about the war in Vietnam.