2024 US Navy Reading List


You are purchasing a selection of 22 books from the CNO’s Reading List. The CNO’s Official Reading list just received some MAJOR updates this spring. The new reading list includes 22 books organized into three main topics: War-fighting, Warfighters, and Foundation along with a few professional reading options.


While we strive to maintain ready access to every book in the military reading list; there are some books that go out of print or are no longer reasonably available during my required processing time. Please refer to our Out Of Stock Policy for up-to-date information. 

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The Chief of Naval Operations Reading List

War-Fighting: Deliver Decisive Combat Power

  • WAR TRANSFORMED: by Mick Ryan War Transformed: The Future of Twenty-First-Century Great Power Competition and Conflict provides insights for those involved in the design of military strategy, and the forces that must execute that strategy.
  • CHINA AS A TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY NAVAL POWER: by Michael McDevitt– Beginning with an exploration of why China is seeking to become such a major maritime power, author Michael McDevitt first explores the strategic rationale behind Xi’s two objectives. China’s reliance on foreign trade and overseas interests such as China’s Belt and Road strategy.
  • RED STAR OVER THE PACIFIC: by Toshi Yoshihara and James Holmes– Combining a close knowledge of Asia and an ability to tap Chinese-language sources with naval combat experience and expertise in sea-power theory, the authors assess how the rise of Chinese sea power will affect U.S. maritime strategy in Asia.
  • THE SEA IN RUSSIAN STRATEGY: by Andrew Monaghan and Richard Connolly– The sea in Russian strategy is the first sustained examination of Russian maritime power in the period since the fall of the Soviet Union. It brings together leading specialists from public policy and academia to reflect on historical and contemporary aspects of Russia’s naval strategy and capacities.
  • ARMY OF NONE: by Paul Scharre– Paul Scharre, a leading expert in next-generation warfare, describes these and other high tech weapons systems―from Israel’s Harpy drone to the American submarine-hunting robot ship Sea Hunter―and examines the legal and ethical issues surrounding their use.
  • THE LAST STAND OF THE TIN CAN SAILORS: by James Hornfischer– “This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we can.” With these words, Lieutenant Commander Robert W. Copeland addressed the crew of the destroyer escort USS Samuel B. Roberts on the morning of October 25, 1944, off the Philippine Island of Samar. On the horizon loomed the mightiest ships of the Japanese navy, a massive fleet that represented the last hope of a staggering empire. All that stood between it and Douglas MacArthur’ s vulnerable invasion force were the Roberts and the other small ships of a tiny American flotilla poised to charge into history.
  • THIS KIND OF WAR: by  T.R. Fehrenbach– Updated with maps, photographs, and battlefield diagrams, this special fiftieth anniversary edition of the classic history of the Korean War is a dramatic and hard-hitting account of the conflict written from the perspective of those who fought it.

Warfighters: Strengthen the Navy Team

  • LEARNING WAR: by Trent HoneLearning War examines the U.S. Navy’s doctrinal development from 1898–1945 and explains why the Navy in that era was so successful as an organization at fostering innovation. 
  • WINNING A FUTURE WAR: by Norman Friedman– To win the Pacific War, the U.S. Navy had to transform itself technically, tactically, and strategically. It had to create a fleet capable of the unprecedented feat of fighting and winning far from home, without existing bases, in the face of an enemy with numerous bases fighting in his own waters. 
  • MINDSET: by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.– After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. 
  • TEAM OF TEAMS: by U.S. Army Retired General Stanley McChrystal– In Team of Teams, McChrystal and his colleagues show how the challenges they faced in Iraq can be rel­evant to countless businesses, nonprofits, and or­ganizations today. 
  • THE BOYS IN THE BOAT: by Daniel James Brown– It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler.

Foundation: Build Trust, Align Resources, Be Ready

  • FREEDOM’S FORGE: by Arthur HermanFreedom’s Forge reveals how two extraordinary American businessmen—General Motors automobile magnate  William “Big Bill” Knudsen and shipbuilder Henry J. Kaiser—helped corral, cajole, and inspire business leaders across the country to mobilize the “arsenal of democracy” that propelled the Allies to victory in World War II.
  • ENGINEERS OF VICTORY: by Paul Kennedy In January 1943, FDR and Churchill convened in Casablanca and established the Allied objectives for the war: to defeat the Nazi blitzkrieg; to control the Atlantic sea lanes and the air over western and central Europe; to take the fight to the European mainland; and to end Japan’s imperialism. Astonishingly, a little over a year later, these ambitious goals had nearly all been accomplished. With riveting, tactical detail,Engineers of Victory reveals how.

CNO Professional Reading


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