‘Freakonomics,’ ‘The World is Flat’ on Navy’s new reading list
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — The best-selling book “Freakonomics” had piqued Navy Capt. Robert Wilson’s curiosity, so when it appeared on one of the lists for the new Navy Professional Reading Program he decided to give it a read.
“There’s a great selection of books on the list,” said the commanding officer of Commander, Fleet Activities Okinawa, or CFAO.
The reading program, introduced this month by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Mullen, is a set of 60 titles divided into five lists aimed at different experience levels.
The lists focus on six areas: leadership, naval and military heritage, joint and combined warfare, regional and cultural awareness, critical thinking, and management and strategic planning.
Sets of the books are going out to all commissioned ships, aircraft squadrons, Navy base libraries and Navy liberty centers, according to an official Navy message from Mullen.
CFAO already has received one set and is requesting additional sets to spread around the island. U.S. 7th Fleet is expecting the new books to arrive soon, according to a 7th Fleet statement. Many of the titles also can be downloaded as audio books from the reading program’s Web site.
The program is similar to the Commandant of the Marine Corps’ Official Reading List. But while that program is quite popular among Marines, many sailors have yet to even hear of the Navy’s version.
Rear Adm. Victor Guillory, who already has a few of the titles on his bookshelf, said he thinks it’s only a matter of time before the program takes off.
“Our sailors have been reading books on ships as long as books have been onboard,” the commander of Amphibious Force U.S. 7th Fleet said in an e-mail. “This program provides guidance to those who are looking for something to read, and as the word spreads throughout the fleet about the great books on the list, they (sailors) will take note.”
CFAO’s Wilson agreed.
“If enough attention is paid by senior leadership I think it will become very popular,” he said.
Although the lists are targeted at specific rank levels, Wilson said he thinks people will pick and chose from among all the titles.
“There are some books on the junior-enlisted list that are interesting,” he said. “I’ll probably read some of those, too.”
Petty Officer 2nd Class Natalie Jianuzzi, a corpsman from Camp Lester who was unaware of the reading list before Tuesday, said she thought it is a good idea as long as the selection is right.
“If the books pertain to how to be better leaders and mentors, then I’m all for it,” she said.
Many of the titles also can be downloaded from other digital stores, such as iTunes. Sailors also will be able to find the books from the Navy’s Top 10 list at base exchanges, according to Jerry Broccoli, general manger for Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores on Okinawa. AAFES started to carry the top-10 lists for all the services in September. Other titles from the reading list can be special-ordered, Broccoli said.
Books that made the list
With Commander, Fleet Activities Okinawa based at Kadena Air Base, most books on the Navy reading lists are available for check-out at the Kadena Liberty Lounge. However, the books for the Senior Leaders Collection can be found at the MWR Training facility. The following are some of the books included in the Navy reading program:
Junior Enlisted Collection:
“Flags of Our Fathers” by James Bradley with Ron Powers“Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card“Time Management from the Inside Out” by Julie MorgensternLeading Petty Officer Collection:
“The Caine Mutiny: A Novel” by Herman Wouk“The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell“The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror” by Bernard LewisDivision Leader Collection:
“The World Is Flat” by Thomas L. Friedman“Freakonomics” by Steven D. Levitt“The Savage Wars of Peace” by Max BootDepartment/Command Leader Collection:
“The Cruel Sea” by Nicholas Monsarrat“Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground” by Robert D. Kaplan“Implementing Diversity” by Marilyn LodenSenior Leadership Collection:
“The Art of the Long View” by Peter Schwartz“Leadership” by Rudolph W. Giuliani“Dying to Win” by Robert PapeComplete lists and more information can be found at: www.navyreading.navy.mil.