Professor John E. Jackson is the Naval War College’s program manager for the Chief of Naval Operations Professional Reading Program.
The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Admiral Jonathan Greenert, U.S. Navy, recently approved an update to his CNO Professional Reading Program (CNO-PRP) for the 2014 calendar year. He has declared, “I encourage you to read these relevant books—they are about our profession. The list is designed to help us learn more about our proud heritage and gain a greater understanding of what it means to be a 21st Century Sailor.” The update added five new books:
· Cybersecurity and Cyberwarfare, by P. W. Singer and Allan Friedman, is the latest publication from two of the nation’s most forward-thinking intellectuals in the field of advanced technology. Admiral James Stavridis, U.S. Navy (Ret.), describes this book as “the most approachable and readable book ever written on the cyber world. A must-read for practitioners and scholars alike.” The book addresses many of the specific challenges the Department of Defense confronts in keeping pace with the latest technologies and methods for maintaining data security. In this emerging war-fighting area, where tools and tactics are constantly changing, this book will help keep the Navy’s cyber warriors on the cutting edge.
· Leading with the Heart: Coach K’s Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business, and Life, by Mike Krzyzewski and Donald T. Phillips, provides entertaining and informative lessons on how to build a culture of success. The story of Duke University basketball coach Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski is a great example of living the American dream through hard work and dedication. The son of working-class Polish immigrants, he earned a scholarship to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he first played and later coached basketball. His secrets to success are communication, trust, collective responsibility, caring, and pride. The parallels for a military leader—such as in team building, dealing with high turnover rates, and learning to overcome defeat—are readily apparent. As the title advertises, there is something for every reader, in every walk of life, to take away from this inspirational book.
· The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Leader, by Jason Redman and John Bruning, tells the story of Lieutenant Jason Redman’s odyssey as a Navy SEAL and wounded warrior. His experiences as an enlisted man who rose through the ranks and earned a commission reflect the inspiring courage, dedication, and commitment he showed throughout his career. Redman was severely wounded in a firefight in Iraq and earned national attention when he posted a sign on his hospital door at Bethesda warning all who entered not to feel sorry for him because of his wounds. In his introduction to the book, Robert Gates, formerly Secretary of Defense, writes, “There already are many books on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There will be more, including by those who experienced the fire of combat. This story, though, is not just about a SEAL on the Iraqi battlefield, but a SEAL at war with himself and his ultimate victory. I believe his story will inspire the reader, just as it did me.”
· Turn the Ship Around, by Captain David Marquet, U.S. Navy (Ret.), recounts the true story of how the fast attack submarine USS Santa Fe (SSN 763) went from worst to first in the Pacific Fleet. Captain Marquet describes his experience as a new commanding officer of Santa Fe and the creative approach he used as the crew prepared for its scheduled deployment just six months after he took command. This book takes traditional, business-oriented management books one step farther by translating the valuable lessons of seasoned business leaders into a story to which Navy readers can relate—of a typical command overcoming challenges and getting ready to go to sea.
· The Twilight War, by David Crist, details the past three decades of U.S. military operations in the Persian Gulf region, including the formation of U.S. Central Command and the Fifth Fleet Naval Headquarters in Bahrain. Every chapter of The Twilight War pulls back the curtain from previously undisclosed and often underappreciated events that have shaped U.S.-Iranian relations. This masterfully researched historical account focuses on those relations since the fall of the shah of Iran and the beginning of the Iranian Revolution.
The eighteen books in the CNO-PRP provide a wide range of titles that support the CNO’s tenets of “Warfighting First,” “Operate Forward,” and “Be Ready.” The five new titles will be shipped automatically to all ships, squadrons, and major activities during the first quarter of 2014. Pick up a book—and “Read to Be Ready!”
JOHN E. JACKSON
(Thanks to Commander Dan Dolan, U.S. Navy, for assistance with this article.)