Suggested Reading for

NAVY TEAM

We are one Navy Team – comprised of a diverse mix of active duty and reserve Sailors, Navy Civilians, and our families – with a history of service, sacrifice and success. We will build on this history to create a climate of operational excellence that will keep us ready to prevail in all future challenges.


Service

A Navy SEAL at War

By Marcus Luttrell with James D. Hornfischer    [ Link to eBook ]

A thrilling war story, Service is also a profoundly moving tribute to the warrior brotherhood, to the belief that nobody goes it alone, and no one will be left behind. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell returned from his star-crossed mission in Afghanistan with his bones shattered and his heart broken. So many had given their lives to save him-and he would have readily done the same for them. As he recuperated, he wondered why he and others, from America's founding to today, had been willing to sacrifice everything-including themselves-for the sake of family, nation, and freedom.

In Service, we follow Marcus Luttrell to Iraq, where he returns to the battlefield as a member of SEAL Team 5 to help take on the most dangerous city in the world: Ramadi, the capital of war-torn Al Anbar Province. There, in six months of high-intensity urban combat, he would be part of what has been called the greatest victory in the history of U.S. Special Operations forces. We also return to Afghanistan and Operation Redwing, where Luttrell offers powerful new details about his miraculous rescue. Throughout, he reflects on what it really means to take on a higher calling, about the men he's seen lose their lives for their country, and the legacy of those who came and bled before.

Humility is the New Smart

By Edward Hess    

We are on the leading edge of a Smart Machine Age led by artificial intelligence that will be as transformative for us as the Industrial Revolution was for our ancestors. Smart machines will take over millions of jobs in manufacturing, office work, the service sector, the professions, you name it. Not only can they know more data and analyze it faster than any mere human, say Edward Hess and Katherine Ludwig, but smart machines are free of the emotional, psychological, and cultural baggage that so often mars human thinking.

So we can’t beat ’em and we can’t join ’em. To stay relevant, we have to play a different game. Hess and Ludwig offer us that game plan. We need to excel at critical, creative, and innovative thinking and at genuinely engaging with others—things machines can’t do well. The key is to change our definition of what it means to be smart. Hess and Ludwig call it being NewSmart. In this extraordinarily timely book, they offer detailed guidance for developing NewSmart attitudes and four critical behaviors that will help us adapt to the new reality.

The Last Warrior

Andrew Marshall and the Shaping of Modern American Defense Strategy

By Andrew F. Krepinevich and Barry Watts

In The Last Warrior, Andrew Krepinevich and Barry Watts—both former members of Marshall's staff—trace Marshall's intellectual development from his upbringing in Detroit during the Great Depression to his decades in Washington as an influential behind-the-scenes advisor on American defense strategy. The result is a unique insider's perspective on the changes in US strategy from the dawn of the Cold War to the present day.

Covering some of the most pivotal episodes of the last half-century and peopled with some of the era's most influential figures, The Last Warrior tells Marshall's story for the first time, in the process providing an unparalleled history of the evolution of the American defense establishment.

HIS EXCELLENCY: George Washington

By Joseph J. Ellis    [ Link to eBook ]

To this landmark biography of our first president, Joseph J. Ellis brings the exacting scholarship, shrewd analysis, and lyric prose that have made him one of the premier historians of the Revolutionary era. Training his lens on a figure who sometimes seems as remote as his effigy on Mount Rushmore, Ellis assesses George Washington as a military and political leader and a man whose “statue-like solidity” concealed volcanic energies and emotions.

Here is the impetuous young officer whose miraculous survival in combat half-convinced him that he could not be killed. Here is the free-spending landowner whose debts to English merchants instilled him with a prickly resentment of imperial power. We see the general who lost more battles than he won and the reluctant president who tried to float above the partisan feuding of his cabinet. His Excellency is a magnificent work, indispensable to an understanding not only of its subject but also of the nation he brought into being.

THE ACCIDENTAL ADMIRAL

A Sailor Takes Command at NATO

By James Stavridis    [ Link to eBook ]

The Accidental Admiral offers an intimate look at the challenges of directing NATO operations in Afghanistan, military intervention in Libya, and preparation for possible war in Syria—as well as worrying about the Balkans, cyber threats, and piracy, all while cutting NATO by a third due to budget reductions by the twenty-eight nations of the alliance.

After he was selected to be NATO’s sixteenth Supreme Allied Commander, The New York Times described Jim Stavridis as a “Renaissance admiral.” A U. S. Naval Academy graduate with a master’s degree and doctorate from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, conversant in both French and Spanish, this author of numerous books and articles impressed the Navy’s leaders and senior Pentagon civilians with his wide range of interests, educational background, keen understanding of strategic doctrine, mastery of long-range planning, and command of international affairs. Since NATO had previously been led by generals, Stavridis saw his assignment as the first admiral to take command as somewhat “accidental.” As the American and NATO commander in Europe responsible for 120,000 coalition troops serving in fifty-one nations, on three continents and at sea, he had come a long way since almost leaving the Navy for law school five years after receiving his commission.

More than just describing the history of the times, Stavridis also shares his insights into the personalities of President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretaries of Defense Robert Gates, Leon Panetta, and Chuck Hagel, Afghan President Hamid Karzai; Generals David Petraeus, Stanley McChrystal, John Allen, and many more. Known as an innovator and an early adopter of technology and social media, Stavridis’ ability to think “outside the box” and sail in uncharted waters is unmatched. He shares his insights on leadership, strategic communications, planning, and the convergence of threats that will confront the United States and its allies in the near future. Stavridis is an advocate of the use of “Smart Power,” which he defines as the balance of hard and soft power. He explains that in creating security in the twenty-first century it is critical to build bridges, not walls, and stresses the need to connect international, interagency, and public-private actors to achieve security.

GRANT

Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant and Selected Letters 1839 - 1865

Edited by William S. McFeely and Mary McFeely    [ Link to eBook ]

Twenty years after Appomattox, the Civil War’s greatest general fought his last campaign against death and time. Stricken by cancer as his family faced financial ruin, Ulysses S. Grant wrote his Personal Memoirs to secure their future, and in doing so won for himself a unique place in American letters. Acclaimed by readers as diverse as Mark Twain, Matthew Arnold, Gertrude Stein, and Edmund Wilson, the Personal Memoirs demonstrates the intelligence, intense determination, and laconic modesty that made Grant the Union’s foremost commander. This Library of America volume also includes 174 letters written by Grant from 1839 to 1865. Many of them are to his wife, Julia, and offer an intimate view of their affectionate and enduring marriage; others, addressed to fellow generals, government officials, and his congressional patron Elihu B. Washburn, provide a fascinating contemporary perspective on the events that would later figure in the Memoirs.

Grant’s autobiography is devoted almost entirely to his life as a soldier: his years at West Point, his service in the peacetime army, and his education in war during conflicts foreign and domestic. Grant considered the Mexican War “one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation” and thought that the Civil War was our punishment for it; but his retrospective disapproval did not prevent him from becoming enchanted by Mexico or from learning about his own capacity for leadership amid the confusion and carnage of battle. His account of the Civil War combines a lucid treatment of its political causes and its military actions, along with the story of his own growing strength as a commander. At the end of an inconsequential advance in Missouri in 1861 he realized that his opponent “had been as much afraid of me as I had been of him.” Fort Donelson and Shiloh taught him to seize the initiative, while his success in living off the land during the Vicksburg campaign inspired William T. Sherman to undertake his marches through the interior of the South. By 1864 Grant knew that the rebellion could be suppressed only by maintaining relentless pressure against its armies and methodically destroying its resources. As the Union’s final general-in-chief, he acted with the resolve that had eluded his predecessors, directing battles whose drawn-out ferocity had no precedent in Western warfare. His narrative of the war’s final year culminates in his meeting with Lee at Appomattox, a scene of quiet pride, sadness, and humanity. Grant’s writing is spare, telling, and quick, superbly evocative of the imperatives of decision, motion, and action that govern those who try to shape the course of war. Grant wrote about the most destructive war in American history with a clarity and directness unequaled in our literature.

TEAM OF TEAMS

New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World

By Stanley McChrystal    [ Link to eBook ]

What if you could combine the agility, adaptability, and cohesion of a small team with the power and resources of a giant organization? When General Stanley McChrystal took command of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in 2004, he quickly realized that conventional military tactics were failing. Al Qaeda in Iraq was a decentralized network that could move quickly, strike ruthlessly, and then seemingly vanish into the local population. The allied forces had a huge advantage in numbers, equipment, and training—but none of that seemed to matter. It’s no secret that in any field, small teams have many ad­vantages—they can respond quickly, communicate freely, and make decisions without layers of bureaucracy. But organizations taking on really big challenges can’t fit in a garage. They need management practices that can scale to thousands of people.

General McChrystal led a hierarchical, highly disci­plined machine of thousands of men and women. But to defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq, his Task Force would have to acquire the enemy’s speed and flexibility. Was there a way to combine the power of the world’s mightiest military with the agility of the world’s most fearsome terrorist network? If so, could the same principles apply in civilian organizations? McChrystal and his colleagues discarded a century of conventional wisdom and remade the Task Force, in the midst of a grueling war, into something new: a network that combined extremely transparent communication with decentralized decision-making authority. The walls between silos were torn down. Leaders looked at the best practices of the smallest units and found ways to ex­tend them to thousands of people on three continents, using technology to establish a oneness that would have been impossible even a decade earlier. The Task Force became a “team of teams”—faster, flatter, more flex­ible—and beat back Al Qaeda.

In this powerful book, McChrystal and his colleagues show how the challenges they faced in Iraq can be rel­evant to countless businesses, nonprofits, and other or­ganizations. The world is changing faster than ever, and the smartest response for those in charge is to give small groups the freedom to experiment while driving every­one to share what they learn across the entire organiza­tion. As the authors argue through compelling examples, the team of teams strategy has worked everywhere from hospital emergency rooms to NASA. It has the potential to transform organizations large and small.

NAVIGATING THE SEVEN SEAS

Leadership Lessons of the First African-American Father and Son to Serve at the Top of the U.S. Navy

By by Melvin G. Williams, Sr. and Melvin G. Williams, Jr.    [ Link to eBook ]

This book showcases important leadership lessons. The authors are the first African-American father and son to have served at the top in the U.S. Navy. In addition to the engaging biographical content of the book are the Seven C’s of Leadership: Character, Courage, Competence, Commitment, Caring, Community and Communicating that are explained through vivid examples that will serve to guide Sailors and Officers to a successful life and Navy career.

The father and son authors share inspirational lessons that cover all areas of the leadership spectrum, from the makings of a Command Master Chief to the makings and distinct achievement of a Flag Officer. Navy heritage embraces both men’s contributions since both father and son had to open doors that were closed to them due to their race. Melvin G. Williams Senior’s ability to make Fleet improvements and positive recommendations for others was passed on to his own son, who served as Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet and obtained the rank of Vice Admiral.

A VIETNAM EXPERIENCE

Ten Years of Reflection

By James Stockdale

The decade that followed James Stockdale’s seven and a half years in a North Vietnamese prison saw his life take a number of different turns, from a stay in a navy hospital in San Diego to president of a civilian college to his appointment as a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution.In this collection of essays he offers his thoughts on his imprisonment. Describing the horrors of his treatment as a prisoner of war, Stockdale tells how he discovered firsthand the capabilities and limitations of the human spirit in such a situation. As the senior officer in confinement he had what he humbly describes as “the easiest leadership job in the world: to maintain the organization, resistance, and spirit of ten of the finest men I have ever known.”

His reflections on his wartime prison experience and the reasons for his survival form the basis of the writings reprinted here. In subject matter ranging from methods of communication in prison to military ethics to the principles of leadership, the thirty-four selections contained in this volume are a unique record of what Stockdale calls a “melting experience”–a pressure-packed existence that forces one to grow.

OTHER CLAY

A Remembrance of the World War II Infantry

By Charles R. Cawthon

Other Clay is a survivor’s account of World War II infantry combat, told by a front-line officer whose 116th Infantry Regiment landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day and fought its way across Europe to the Elbe. Charles R. Cawthon joined the Virginia National Guard in 1940—to avoid being drafted and to spend his expected one year of service in officer training. When America entered the war, his division was among the first shipped out to England, where they spent two years preparing to spearhead the largest amphibious military operation in history.

On the beaches of Normandy, on June 6, 1944, the U.S. Army suffered its heaviest casualties since Gettysburg. The losses were greatest among the infantry companies that led the assault, and Cawthon describes firsthand the furious and deathly chaos of the daylong battle to get off the beach and up the heights. Reduced by casualties to half its pre-invasion strength, Cawthon’s regiment still managed to fight off German counterattacks and engage in an all-out pursuit across France before the Germans counterattacked again at the Ardennes forest.

Thoughtful, candid, and revealing, Cawthon’s memoir is a deeply felt and carefully recollected study of men confronting the face of death—their fear, their courage, their hunger and exhaustion, their loyalty to one another, and their miraculous and unreasoning ability to go one more step, one more day, one more mile.

AT EASE

Stories I Tell to Friends

By Dwight Eisenhower

President Eisenhower here tells a number of stories for the simple pleasure of telling them. In warm and personal terms, he writes about his life, his acquaintances both celebrated and little known, and the history that unfolded before his eyes. In anecdote after anecdote, we learn about life at West Point, in turn-of-the-century Kansas, in an "ordinary" but remarkable family. His storytelling suggests what it was like to grow up and go to school at a time when the wild west had just become the rural west, when the frontier was his home town. It awakened the dreams of adventure in a boy's imagination--and carried him from the wrong side of the tracks in Abilene to the leadership of a great alliance and military expedition, a great university, and a great nation. The young Eisenhower's dreams, he thought, could probably best be realized at Annapolis. And yet--through a fortuitous turn of events--the future naval officer settled in at West Point.

From the Point to the Presidency is a chronicle that now belongs to history, and the author has done his duty in The 'Crusade in Europe', The 'Mandate for Change' and 'Waging Peace'(the White House Years).

CRUSADE IN EUROPE

A Personal Account of World War II

By Dwight D. Eisenhower

Five-star General Dwight D. Eisenhower was arguably the single most important military figure of World War II. For many historians, his memoirs of this eventful period of U.S. history have become the single most important record of the war. Crusade in Europe tells the complete story of the war as Eisenhower planned and lived it. Through his eyes, the enormous scope and drama of the war—strategy, battles, moments of fateful decision—become fully illuminated in all their fateful glory.

Yet this is also a warm and richly human account. Ike recalls the long months of waiting, planning, and working toward victory in Europe. His personal record of the tense first hours after he had issued the order to attack—and there was no turning back—leaves no doubt of Eisenhower’s travail and reveals this great man in ways that no biographer has ever surpassed.

IN LOVE AND WAR

The Story of a Family's Ordeal and Sacrifice During the Vietnam Years

By James and Sybil Stockdale

A unique American chronicle of a Navy family’s life during the Vietnam War years, this widely acclaimed memoir has been updated to include an outspoken account of the Stockdale’s experiences in the seventeen years since Jim’s release from a Hanoi prison.

THE WISDOM OF CROWDS

By James Surowiecki    [ Link to eBook ]

In this fascinating book, New Yorker business columnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea: Large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant—better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future.

With boundless erudition and in delightfully clear prose, Surowiecki ranges across fields as diverse as popular culture, psychology, ant biology, behavioral economics, artificial intelligence, military history, and politics to show how this simple idea offers important lessons for how we live our lives, select our leaders, run our companies, and think about our world.

THE CAINE MUTINY

By Herman Wouk    [ Link to eBook ]

The Novel that Inspired the Now-Classic Film The Caine Mutiny and the Hit Broadway Play The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial Herman Wouk's boldly dramatic, brilliantly entertaining novel of life-and mutiny-on a Navy warship in the Pacific theater was immediately embraced, upon its original publication in 1951, as one of the first serious works of American fiction to grapple with the moral complexities and the human consequences of World War II.

TRIBE

On Homecoming and Belonging

By Sebastian Junger    [ Link to eBook ]

We have a strong instinct to belong to small groups defined by clear purpose and understanding–“tribes.” This tribal connection has been largely lost in modern society, but regaining it may be the key to our psychological survival.Decades before the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin lamented that English settlers were constantly fleeing over to the Indians-but Indians almost never did the same. Tribal society has been exerting an almost gravitational pull on Westerners for hundreds of years, and the reason lies deep in our evolutionary past as a communal species. The most recent example of that attraction is combat veterans who come home to find themselves missing the incredibly intimate bonds of platoon life. The loss of closeness that comes at the end of deployment may explain the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by military veterans today.

Combining history, psychology, and anthropology, TRIBE explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning. It explains the irony that-for many veterans as well as civilians-war feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing, and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. TRIBE explains why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved even in today’s divided world.

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” - John Kennedy