Career Level Officer: CWO2, CWO3, Captain
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel exerted an almost hypnotic influence not only over his own troops but also over the Allied soldiers of the Eighth Army in the Second World War. Even when the legend surrounding his invincibility was overturned at El Alamein, the aura surrounding Rommel himself remained unsullied. As a leader of a small unit in the First World War, he proved himself an aggressive and versatile commander, with a reputation for using the battleground terrain to his own advantage, for gathering intelligence, and for seeking out and exploiting enemy weaknesses. Rommel graphically describes his own achievements, and those of his units, in the swift-moving battles on the Western Front, in the ensuing trench warfare, in the 1917 campaign in Romania, and in the pursuit across the Tagliamento and Piave rivers. This classic account seeks out the basis of his astonishing leadership skills, providing an indispensable guide to the art of war written by one of its greatest exponents.
This is the story of a small group of soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division’s fabled 502nd Infantry Regiment—a unit known as “the Black Heart Brigade.” Deployed in late 2005 to Iraq’s so-called Triangle of Death, a veritable meat grinder just south of Baghdad, the Black Hearts found themselves in arguably the country’s most dangerous location at its most dangerous time.
Hit by near-daily mortars, gunfire, and roadside bomb attacks, suffering from a particularly heavy death toll, and enduring a chronic breakdown in leadership, members of one Black Heart platoon—1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion—descended, over their year-long tour of duty, into a tailspin of poor discipline, substance abuse, and brutality.
Infantry In Battle (FMFRP 12-2)
FMFRP 12-2 Infantry in Battle (click for full copy)
Lt. General Frank E. Petersen’s autobiography provides a critical examination of this remarkable Marine’s career, from his accomplishments as the first black pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps to his promotion to Lieutenant General and final service as Commander U.S. Marine Corp Base Quantico, Virginia. At the time of his retirement in 1988, General Petersen was the first and only black pilot to hold command and the only black general in the Marine Corps.
Marine general Victor “Brute” Krulak offers here a riveting insiders’s chronicle of U.S. Marines – their fights on the battlefield and off, and their extraordinary esprit de corps. He not only takes a close look at the Marine experience during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam – wars in which Krulak was himself a participant – but also examines the foundation on which the Corps is built. In doing so, he helps answer the question of what it means to be a Marine and how the Corps has maintained such a consistently outstanding reputation.
R.V. Burgin reveals his experiences as a Marine at war in the Pacific Theater, where Company K confronted snipers, ambushes along narrow jungle trails, abandoned corpses of hara-kiri victims, and howling banzai attacks as they island-hopped from one bloody battle to the next. During his two years of service, Burgin rose from a green private to a seasoned sergeant, and earned a Bronze Star for his valor at Okinawa.
With unforgettable drama and an understated elegance, Burgin’s gripping narrative chronicles the waning days of World War II, bringing to life the hell that was the Pacific War.
There is a story that is usually told about extremely successful people, a story that focuses on intelligence and ambition. Gladwell argues that the true story of success is very different, and that if we want to understand how some people thrive, we should spend more time looking around them-at such things as their family, their birthplace, or even their birth date. And in revealing that hidden logic, Gladwell presents a fascinating and provocative blueprint for making the most of human potential.
George MacDonald Fraser—beloved for his series of Flashman historical novels—offers an action-packed memoir of his experiences in Burma during World War II. Fraser was only 19 when he arrived there in the war’s final year, and he offers a first-hand glimpse at the camaraderie, danger, and satisfactions of service. A substantial Epilogue, occasioned by the 50th anniversary of VJ-Day in 1995, adds poignancy to a volume that eminent military historian John Keegan described as “one of the great personal memoirs of the Second World War.”
Gary Klein studies decision-making in the field, tagging along with firefighters, standing by in intensive-care units, and watching chess masters play lightning-fast “blitz” games to learn how people make choices with time constraints, limited information, and changing goals. From this research, he and his associates have developed a theory of “naturalistic decision-making.”
Grossman investigates the psychology of killing in combat. Stressing that human beings have a powerful, innate resistance to the taking of life, he examines the techniques developed by the military to overcome that aversion. His provocative study focuses in particular on the Vietnam war, revealing how the American soldier was “enabled to kill to a far greater degree than any other soldier in history.” Grossman argues that the breakdown of American society, combined with the pervasive violence in the media and interactive video games, is conditioning our children to kill in a manner siimilar to the army’s conditioning of soldiers: “We are reaching that stage of desensitization at which the infliction of pain and suffering has become a source of entertainment: vicarious pleasure rather than revulsion. We are learning to kill, and we are learning to like it.”
I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. So begins Alexander’s extraordinary confession on the eve of his greatest crisis of leadership. By turns heroic and calculating, compassionate and utterly merciless, Alexander recounts with a warrior’s unflinching eye for detail the blood, the terror, and the tactics of his greatest battlefield victories.
The U.S. Constitution
The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. Amendments 1-10 constitute what is known as the Bill of Rights. Several changes and additions have been made over the past 200+ years (Amendments 11-27).
National Archives Digital images and text transcript
Combining gripping narrative history with wide-ranging analysis, War Made New focuses on four “revolutions” in military affairs and describes how inventions ranging from gunpowder to GPS-guided air strikes have remade the field of battle and shaped the rise and fall of empires.