Marine Corps Reading ListReading Lists

USMC Reading List & How to order it for your Command

The 2020 Marine Corps Reading list was recently published in ALMAR 023/20 and with some major updates. The USMC Reading List contains 50 books and is broken up between Profession Of Arms, innovation, Leadership, Strategy, CMC Choice, Fundamentals, podcast & Periodicals.

Profession of Arms

1 AFTER ACTION: THE TRUE STORY OF A COBRA PILOT’S JOURNEY Dan Sheehan
2 Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent Into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death Frederick, Jim
3 FIRST TO FIGHT: AN INSIDE VIEW OF THE U.S. MARINE CORPS Victor H. Krulak
4 FORGOTTEN WARRIORS: THE 1ST PROVISIONAL MARINE BRIGADE, THE CORPS ETHOS, AND THE KOREAN WAR T.X. Hammes
5 HESITATION KILLS: A FEMALE MARINE OFFICER’S COMBAT EXPERIENCE IN IRAQ Jane Blair
6 MARINE SNIPER: 93 CONFIRMED KILLS Charles Henderson
7 NEPTUNE’S INFERNO: THE U.S. NAVY AT GUADALCANAL James D. Hornfischer
8 THE LAST STAND OF FOX COMPANY: A TRUE STORY OF U.S. MARINES IN COMBAT Bob Drury
9 THE MARINES OF MONTFORD POINT: AMERICA’S FIRST BLACK MARINES Melton A. McLaurin
10 WE WERE ONE: SHOULDER TO SHOULDER WITH THE MARINES WHO TOOK FALLUJAH Patrick K. O’Donnell
11 WOMEN AT WAR: IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, AND OTHER CONFLICTS Jame E. Wise Jr.

Innovation

1 ASSAULT FROM THE SEA: ESSAYS ON THE HISTORY OF AMPHIBIOUS WARFARE Merrill L. Bartlett
2 CODE TALKER: THE FIRST AND ONLY MEMOIR BY ONE OF THE ORIGINAL NAVAJO CODE TALKERS OF WWII Chester Nez
3 COUNTDOWN TO ZERO DAY: STUXNET AND THE LAUNCH OF THE WORLD’S FIRST DIGITAL WEAPON Kim Zetter
4 CURIOUS: THE DESIRE TO KNOW AND WHY YOUR FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT Ian Leslie
5 ISSUES ON MY MIND: STRATEGIES FOR THE FUTURE George P. Shultz
6 MILITARY INNOVATION IN THE INTERWAR PERIOD Williamson Murray
7 ON CALL IN HELL: A DOCTOR’S IRAQ WAR STORY CDR. Richard Jadick
8 SGT RECKLESS: AMERICA’S WAR HORSE Robin Hutton
9 THE MASTER ALGORITHM: HOW THE QUEST FOR THE ULTIMATE LEARNING MACHINE WILL REMAKE OUR WORLD Pedro Domingo
10 THE WHITE DONKEY: TERMINAL LANCE Maximilian Uriarte
11 WIRED FOR WAR: THE ROBOTICS REVOLUTION AND CONFLICT IN THE 21ST CENTURY P.W. Singer
     

Leadership

1 CALL SIGN CHAOS: LEARNING TO LEAD GEN. Jim Mattis
2 DARE TO LEAD: BRAVE WORK. TOUGH CONVERSATIONS. WHOLE HEARTS Brene Brown
3 IT WORKED FOR ME: IN LIFE AND LEADERSHIP Colin Powell
4 LEGACY James Kerr
5 RESILIENCE: HARD-WON WISDOM FOR LIVING A BETTER LIFE Eric Greitens
6 SMARTER FASTER BETTER: THE SECRETS OF BEING PRODUCTIVE IN LIFE AND BUSINESS Charles Duhigg
7 START WITH WHY: HOW GREAT LEADERS INSPIRE EVERYONE TO TAKE ACTION Simon Sinek
8 THE LEADER’S BOOKSHELF James Stavridis
9 TRIBE: ON HOMECOMING AND BELONGING Sebastian Junger
10 UNBROKEN: A WORLD WAR II STORY OF SURVIVAL, RESILIENCE, AND REDEMPTION Laura Hillenbrand
11 YOU ARE WORTH IT: BUILDING A LIFE WORTH FIGHTING FOR Kyle Carpenter

Strategy

1 A NEW CONCEPTION OF WAR: JOHN BOYD, THE U.S. MARINES, AND MANEUVER WARFARE Ian T. Brown
2 CYBERSECURITY AND CYBERWAR: WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW P.W. Singer
3 FLEET TACTICS AND NAVAL OPERATIONS (3rd ED.) Wayne Hughes
4 GOOD TO GREAT: WHY SOME COMPANIES MAKE THE LEAP AND OTHERS DON’T Jim Collins
5 HUMILITY IS THE NEW SMART: RETHINKING HUMAN EXCELLENCE IN THE SMART MACHINE AGE Edward D. Hess
6 LIKEWAR: THE WEAPONIZATION OF SOCIAL MEDIA P.W. Singer
7 MONSOON: THE INDIAN OCEAN AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN POWER Robert D. Kaplan
8 ONE HUNDRED DAYS : THE MEMOIRS OF THE FALKLANDS BATTLE GROUP COMMANDER Sandy Woodwards
9 RED STAR OVER THE PACIFIC: CHINA’S RISE AND THE CHALLENGE TO U.S. MARITIME STRATEGY Toshi Yoshihara
10 THE UNDOING PROJECT: A FRIENDSHIP THAT CHANGED OUR MINDS Michael Lewis
11 THINKING, FAST AND SLOW Daniel Kahneman

CMC Choice

1 THE KILL CHAIN: DEFENDING AMERICA IN THE FUTURE OF HIGH-TECH WARFARE Christian Brose

Foundational

1 CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA James Madison, et. al.
2 LEARNING (MCDP-7) by United States Marine Corps United States Government US Marine Corps (Author)
3 WARFIGHTING (MCDP-1) by United States Marine Corps United States Government US Marine Corps (Author)

Podcasts

  1. Sea Control (CIMSEC) 
  2. DODReads: What Are You Reading?
  3. The Dead Prussian 
  4. Horns of a Dilemma 
  5. Net Assessment (War on the Rocks)
  6. Modern War Institute Podcast 
  7. War Room (US Army War College)
  8. Wavell Room: Contemporary British Military Thought 
  9. TED Talks Daily 
  10. WSJ The Future of Everything 
  11. Global News Podcast (BBC)
  12. The Truth of the Matter 
  13. The Security Studies Podcast
  14. US-China Dialogue Podcast 
  15. Council on Foreign Relations 
  16. The Backstory 

Periodicals

  1. The Cove
  2. The Forge
  3. Grounded Curiosity
  4. Journal of Advanced Military Studies (JAMS)
  5. Leatherneck
  6. Marine Corps Gazette
  7. Modern War Institute
  8. Proceedings (US Naval Institute)
  9. Small Wars Journal
  10. The Strategy Bridge
  11. War on the Rocks
  12. Yellow Sheet (Marine Corps Aviation Association)

How to Order the Commandants Reading List

Marine Unit Library Program  — The Marine unit library program is a program run by the Marine Corps Association & Foundation, a professional military organization founded over 100 years ago by General John Lejeune and are noted for their two iconic magazines “Leatherneck” and “Marine Corps Gazette”.   The foundation arm of the MCAF provides money for the Marine Unit Library Program. This an unconditional gift from MCAF to the unit commanding officer for the purchase of the Marine Corps Reading List.

Once approval for funding is given units will have 90 days to fill out and return the book selection form for processing. Units are able to receive library support every 12 months.
For questions or additional information regarding the Marine Unit Library program, please contact SgtMaj Kevin Bennett, USMC (Ret) at k.bennett(at)mca-marines.org, 703-640-0132 or Mrs Beth Murphy at b.murphy(at)mca-marines.org, 703-640-0144.

DODReads:  If the above option does not meet your needs the Army, Navy, Air Force, USMC and Coast Guard reading list can be purchased directly from us. DODReads can process online purchases, quotes, and for larger purchases, we accept payments through Contracting / SAM.   We also reinvest our profits into connecting military leaders with reading that challenges. Get a quote here

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