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


"The Professional Reading List is a list for all leaders. We can never spend too much time thinking about our profession. These readings deepen our understanding of the timeless constraints of the Army's values and traditions and the enduring dynamics of the human face of battle. There is no better way to develop the sure knowledge and confidence required of America's most demanding occupation than a disciplined, focused commitment to a personal course of reading and study."

--Eric K. Shinseki, Chief of Staff, Army


As a Soldier in the United States Army, you have chosen a highly challenging profession, one that takes a lifetime to master. While practical experience, realistic training, and formal education are indispensable for the the development of first-class military leaders, so too is independent study. A program of independent reading keeps the mind fresh and inculcates professionalism. Achieving a greater appreciation for our heritage also reinforces our efforts to transform the United States Army for the twenty-first century, for by deepening our understanding of the past we become better equipped to address the future. The Chief of Staff of the United States Army's Professional Reading List is designed to assist you in this quest by stimulating critical thinking about the profession of soldiering and the continuing role of land power.

The list is divided into four sublists, each targeted to a particular level of experience and responsibility, from cadet and enlisted soldier to general officer. The readings provide a progressive course of study that will help prepare you for your next level of responsibility and the next set of readings. The books complement materials used in the Army educational system and will help bridge the intervals between formal study at Army schools. While the list is intended for independent study, you can also use it as the basis for establishing book clubs, discussion groups, and other professional development activities.

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