Required Reading about the Armed Forces
August 21, 2013 7:27 AM   Subscribe

I've started to become more and more interested in parts of military operations and I can use some help finding the hopefully all encompassing resources available. Specifically how certain characteristics are developed and decisions are made.

I've noticed in alot of the books/articles i've read that the parts regarding the role the military played and how a decision was made really stuck out to me and its an area that I'd like to know more about. Currently the SEALs have received a majority of attention in the articles I've read, so any drill down information about that group would be fantastic as well.

I'm looking for indepth reading material related to:

- discpline and skill training
- terminology
- military culture
- tactical principles

Ideally Non-political as possible.
posted by ACEness to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This is the US Marines required reading list: Is this what you had in mind? It has some political material in there, inevitably, but a lot of 'practical' manuals/books/etc. reading material as well.
posted by Marcc at 7:33 AM on August 21, 2013

The (UK) Chief of Defence Staff's (CDS) recommended reading list:

- Context
- Strategy
- People
- Partners
- Warfare
- Organisation

The British fighting man is worth four Germans, three Americans, two Frenchmen or one and a half Aussies so the CDS is definitely a man worth listening to.
posted by MuffinMan at 7:40 AM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you want to learn more about how elite forces are trained, I really like Dick Couch's books. He's a former SEAL himself, and he's written extensively about their selection and training. Of his books, I've read Warrior Elite (Navy SEAL selection/training) and Warrior Elite (Spec Ops selection/training.)

Both are great reads- apolitical, not annoyingly rah-rah/jingoistic, and really well written, with a lot of respect for the men and the institution.
posted by Tamanna at 7:56 AM on August 21, 2013

I have found that most books focus only on the good decisions that get made, particularly at the tactical level; my experience as an infantryman back in the day was that many bad decisions are made as well. There are a few books that I have found that talk about both:

Blackhawk Down
We Were Soldiers Once, and Young
Red Circle (to some extent, and is about SEALs)

I highly recommend the first two.
posted by procrastination at 8:34 AM on August 21, 2013

Cynthia Enloe is a feminist writer who does brilliant work on the impact the US military has on the lives of women as soldiers, partners, and locals
posted by spunweb at 9:22 AM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Further to Marcc and MuffinMan, here is the Canadian Army Reading List.
posted by Clandestine Outlawry at 11:15 AM on August 21, 2013

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