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Military Education for Starters


We strongly encourage military and civilians alike to grow deeper in their knowledge of human nature, military conflict, military strategy & tactics, morality & ethics, and why peace should be valued.


For those who have never served in the military, have limited exposure to the military lifestyle, have only recently begun their military service, or will be starting their military service soon, the following will introduce you to how you can self-educate and prepare yourself for interacting with those who practice arms.


In general, the best way to educate yourself militarily is to read.  If you're at the beginning of your journey, several of the below lists will have books posted from most elementary (lower ranks) to more advanced (higher/officer ranks).  The books listed will introduce various military topics, conflicts, histories, and stories, but are by no means comprehensive lists.




Most Marines are familiar with the Commandan't reading list.  It contains recommended reading for Marines of all grades.  The reading list changes from time to time.  It's always worth revisiting.


Visit the Commandan't Reading List For Civilians here.  See navigation pane on left-hand side for a lists related to military levels.




So as not to reinvent the wheel, this is just a reposting of a list-of-lists already compiled by USMC.  You will find secitons pertinent to Army, USMC, Navy, Air Force, & Coast Guard.  Additionally, there is an annotated list put out by the Australian Army that provides summaries of various books so that it's easier to determine what might be of interest for your specific situation/tastes.




You should be able to find these titles on Amazon.


On Killing by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman  --  A Must Read

War and Our World by John Keegan  --  War in general

War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges  --  Psychology of War

A Terrible Love of War by James Hillman -- Psychology of War

Retribution by Max Hastings  --  WWII Pacific

Leadership: The Warrior's Art by Christopher Kolenda -- Leadership

The Last Days of Innocence by Meirion & Susie Harries  --  WWI

A History of Warfare by John Keegan  --  Origins of war

The U.S. Marine Corps Story by Moskin

Chesty by Jon T. Hoffman  --  Bio of Chesty Puller

Andrew Jackson: His Life & Times by H.W. Brands  --  Bio of Andrew Jackson

Sherman: A Soldier's Passion for Order by Marszalek  --  Bio of William Tecumseh Sherman

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris  --  Bio of Teddy Roosevelt

The Man Who Saved The Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace by H.W. Brands  --  Bio of U.S. Grant

Agent of Destiny by Eisenhower -- Bio of Winfield Scott

General James Longstreet: The Confederacy's Most Controversial Soldier by Jeffry D. Wert  -- Bio of J. Longstreet

Stonewall Jackson and The American Civil War by Henderson -- Bio of Stonewall Jackson, U.S. Civil War

Ike: An American Hero by Michael Korda  -- Bio of Eisenhower

Adolf Hitler, Volumes I & II by John Toland (1976)  -- Bio on Hitler

Intelligence in War: Knowledge of the Enemy from Napoleon to Al-Qaeda by John Keegan  --  Intelligence


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