Below are the 9 books on the Space Force Reading List
SpOC CC’s 2022 reading list
Space Operations Command / Published March 11, 2022
- Active Defense: China’s Military Strategy since 1949 (ONA Recommended DoD Sr Leader China Reading) Since the 1949 Communist Revolution, China has devised nine different military strategies, which the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) calls “strategic guidelines.” What accounts for these numerous changes? Active Defense offers the first systematic look at China’s military strategy from the mid-twentieth century to today. Exploring the range and intensity of threats that China has faced, Fravel illuminates the nation’s past and present military goals and how China sought to achieve them, and offers a rich set of cases for deepening the study of change in military organizations. Drawing from diverse Chinese-language sources, including memoirs of leading generals, military histories, and document collections that have become available only in the last two decades, Fravel shows why transformations in military strategy were pursued at certain times and not others. He focuses on the military strategies adopted in 1956, 1980, and 1993 — when the PLA was attempting to wage war in a new kind of way — to show that China has pursued major change in its strategic guidelines when there has been a significant shift in the conduct of warfare in the international system and when China’s Communist Party has been united.
- Space 2.0: How Private Spaceflight, a Resurgent NASA, and International Partners are Creating a New Space Age We’re on the cusp of new era in the great adventure of space exploration, but what does the future hold? In Space 2.0, space historian Rod Pyle, in collaboration with the National Space Society, will give you an inside look at the next few decades of spaceflight and long-term plans for exploration, utilization, and settlement. No longer the exclusive domain of government entities such as NASA and other national agencies, space exploration is rapidly becoming privatized, with entrepreneurial startups building huge rocket boosters, satellites, rocket engines, asteroid probes, prospecting craft, and even commercial lunar cargo landers to open this new frontier. Research into ever more sophisticated propulsion and life support systems will soon enable the journey to Mars and destinations deeper in our solar system. As these technologies continue to move forward, there are virtually no limits to human spaceflight and robotic exploration.
- Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin’s Most Dangerous Hackers (Recommendation from Col Rockwell) In 2014, the world witnessed the start of a mysterious series of cyberattacks. Targeting American utility companies, NATO, and electric grids in Eastern Europe, the strikes grew ever more brazen. They culminated in the summer of 2017, when the malware known as NotPetya was unleashed, penetrating, disrupting, and paralyzing some of the world’s largest businesses—from drug manufacturers to software developers to shipping companies. NotPetya spread around the world, inflicting an unprecedented ten billion dollars in damage — the largest, most destructive cyberattack the world had ever seen. The hackers behind these attacks are quickly gaining a reputation as the most dangerous team of cyberwarriors in history: a group known as Sandworm. Working in the service of Russia’s military intelligence agency, they represent a persistent, highly skilled force, one whose talents are matched by their willingness to launch broad, unrestrained attacks on the most critical infrastructure of their adversaries.
- A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II. In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent transmission: “She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her.” The target in their sights was Virginia Hall, a Baltimore socialite who talked her way into Special Operations Executive, the spy organization dubbed Winston Churchill’s “Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.” She became the first Allied woman deployed behind enemy lines and — despite her prosthetic leg — helped to light the flame of the French Resistance, revolutionizing secret warfare as we know it. Based on new and extensive research, Sonia Purnell has for the first time uncovered the full secret life of Virginia Hall — an astounding and inspiring story of heroism, spycraft, resistance, and personal triumph over shocking adversity. A Woman of No Importance is the breathtaking story of how one woman’s fierce persistence helped win the war. Distributed Teams: The Art and Practice of Working Together. If you are working in, joining, or starting a distributed team, this book is for you. This easy-to-read book has short chapters with practical takeaways on topics like:* Why distributed teams are good for business, diversity, employee retention, society and the environment. How to run efficient video calls and meetings while dealing with lots of email and group chat. How to handle complex interpersonal topics such as hiring, firing, one-on-ones, reviews, trust and group culture. Drawn from 26+ years working in distributed organizations, this book gathers what did — and did not — work from the author’s hard-learned lessons, as well as learnings from company founders, hedge fund managers, software developers, data scientists, accountants, book publishers, economists, political organizers, recruiters, military personnel, executive assistants, therapists and medical technicians.
- Distributed Teams: The Art and Practice of Working Together. If you are working in, joining, or starting a distributed team, this book is for you. This easy-to-read book has short chapters with practical takeaways on topics like: Why distributed teams are good for business, diversity, employee retention, society and the environment. How to run efficient video calls and meetings while dealing with lots of email and group chat. How to handle complex interpersonal topics such as hiring, firing, one-on-ones, reviews, trust and group culture. Drawn from 26+ years working in distributed organizations, this book gathers what did — and did not — work from the author’s hard-learned lessons, as well as learnings from company founders, hedge fund managers, software developers, data scientists, accountants, book publishers, economists, political organizers, recruiters, military personnel, executive assistants, therapists and medical technicians.
- My Remarkable Journey: A Memoir. In this memoir, Katherine shares her personal journey from child prodigy in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia to NASA human computer. In her life after retirement, she served as a beacon of light for her family and community alike. Her story is centered around the basic tenets of her life — no one is better than you, education is paramount, and asking questions can break barriers. The memoir captures the many facets of this unique woman: the curious “daddy’s girl,” pioneering professional, and sage elder. Infused with the uplifting wisdom of a woman who handled great fame with genuine humility and great tragedy with enduring hope, My Remarkable Journey ultimately brings into focus a determined woman who navigated tough racial terrain with soft-spoken grace — and the unrelenting grit required to make history and inspire future generations.
- Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries (Recommendation from BGen Whale) Loonshots reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs. Bahcall, a physicist and entrepreneur, shows why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing new ideas to rejecting them, just as flowing water will suddenly change into brittle ice. Mountains of print have been written about culture. Loonshots identifies the small shifts in structure that control this transition, the same way that temperature controls the change from water to ice. Using examples that range from the spread of fires in forests to the hunt for terrorists online, and stories of thieves and geniuses and kings, Bahcall shows how a new kind of science can help us become the initiators, rather than the victims, of innovative surprise. Over the past decade, researchers have been applying the tools and techniques of this new science — the science of phase transitions — to understand how birds flock, fish swim, brains work, people vote, diseases erupt, and ecosystems collapse. Loonshots is the first to apply this science to the spread of breakthrough ideas, and provides practical lessons creatives, entrepreneurs, and visionaries can use to change our world.
- Liftoff: Elon Musk and the Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX (Recommendation from BGen Whale) Before it became one of the most powerful players in the aerospace industry, SpaceX was a fledgling startup, scrambling to develop a single workable rocket before the money ran dry. The engineering challenge was immense; numerous other private companies had failed similar attempts. And even if SpaceX succeeded, they would then have to compete for government contracts with titans such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing, who had tens of thousands of employees and tens of billions of dollars in annual revenue. SpaceX had fewer than 200 employees and the relative pittance of $100 million in the bank. This is the great American saga of epic risk taking combined with equally epic brilliance and hard work that revolutionizes the aerospace industry. The story is lightening paced with wonderful individual stories bringing to life the youthful SpaceX founders.Musk’s story as the man where it all began takes him from a parody to real person whose skills and drive come alive in spectacular fashion. He has singular relentless focus on clearing the way of any obstacle to the tactical and strategic success of SpaceX. Berger explains the bandwidth of Musk’s abilities and stresses he and his team endured, but SpaceX could only be successful given a passion for rocketry at the exclusion of all else. Must reading for anyone with the slightest interest in rocketry and aerospace.
- The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War (Recommendation from CMSgt Bentivegna) In The Bomber Mafia, Malcolm Gladwell weaves together the stories of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to examine one of the greatest moral challenges in modern American history. Most military thinkers in the years leading up to World War II saw the airplane as an afterthought. But a small band of idealistic strategists, the “Bomber Mafia,” asked: What if precision bombing could cripple the enemy and make war far less lethal? In contrast, the bombing of Tokyo on the deadliest night of the war was the brainchild of General Curtis LeMay, whose brutal pragmatism and scorched-earth tactics in Japan cost thousands of civilian lives, but may have spared even more by averting a planned US invasion. In The Bomber Mafia, Gladwell asks, “Was it worth it?”