MARINE CORPS PROFESSIONAL READING PROGRAM

Date Signed: 5/14/2008
ALMARS Active Number: 030/07

UNCLAS 051134Z MAY 07
CMC WASHINGTON DC(UC)
AL ALMAR(UC)
ALMAR
ALMAR 030/07
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC DMCS//
SUBJ/MARINE CORPS PROFESSIONAL READING PROGRAM//
REF/A/MSGID:MSG/CMC WASHINGTON DC/082020ZFEB2005//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1.  REFERENCE A IS CANCELLED.
2.  PURPOSE.   THE PURPOSE OF THIS ALMAR IS TO HIGHLIGHT A KEY ASPECT OF OUR DISCIPLINED, EDUCATED APPROACH TO THE PROFESSION OF ARMS.  THE MARINE CORPS PROFESSIONAL READING PROGRAM BEGAN AS THE COMMANDANT'S READING LIST IN 1988, ALTHOUGH RECOMMENDED READING LISTS HAVE BEEN GENERATED FOR MARINES SINCE THE 19TH CENTURY.  EACH COMMANDANT SINCE 1988 HAS PLACED HIS PERSONAL STAMP ON THE PROGRAM, BUT MANY OF THE BOOKS HAVE REMAINED CONSTANT.  THE 2007 READING PROGRAM HAS THREE COMPONENT PARTS:  A "MARQUEE TITLE" OF ONE BOOK THAT BEST INFORMS READERS OF THE CURRENT CHALLENGES WE FACE AND IS REFLECTIVE OF MY PLANNING GUIDANCE; A STREAMLINED CMC READING LIST, COMPOSED OF BY-GRADE TIMELESS CLASSICS; AND BROADER WEB-BASED READING LISTS ORGANIZED AROUND FUNCTION, REGION, AND TOPIC. 
3.  ACTIONS
A.  I REQUIRE ALL MARINES TO READ AND DISCUSS THE MARQUEE TITLE, LTGEN BRUTE KRULAK'S "FIRST TO FIGHT:  AN INSIDE VIEW OF THE US MARINE CORPS."  THIS BOOK DEPICTS AN ELITE, ECONOMICAL FORCE THAT RELIES ON ADAPTABILITY, INNOVATION, AND ESPRIT TO SUCCEED.  IT DESCRIBES OUR CORPS, AND I WANT EVERY MARINE TO UNDERSTAND WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE ARE ABOUT.
B.  I EXPECT ALL MARINES TO READ THEIR GRADE APPROPRIATE BOOKS - THAT IS THE MINIMUM STANDARD.  NO ONE GRADE HAS MORE THAN SIX BOOKS.  ONCE YOU HAVE ACHIEVED THE MINIMUM,  YOU CAN THEN EXERCISE THE INITIATIVE TO READ MORE BROADLY. 
C.  I REQUEST THAT COMMANDERS VIEW THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF THEIR SUBORDINATES AS A DIRECT RESPONSIBILITY OF THEIR PERFORMANCE AS COMMANDERS, AND TO DEVELOP LOCAL PROGRAMS THAT EMPHASIZE READING AND SELF-DIRECTED STUDY.  IN ADDITION TO THE BY-GRADE LISTS OF REQUIRED READING TITLES, DISCUSSION GUIDES AND INSTRUCTIONS FOR GETTING THE MOST FROM A READING PROGRAM ARE AVAILABLE ON THE MARINE CORPS PROFESSIONAL READING PROGRAM WEBSITE AT WWW.MCU.USMC.MIL/READING/.
D.  I EXPECT COMMANDERS TO EXECUTE A UNIT READING PROGRAM TAILORED TO THE MISSION NEEDS OF THE ORGANIZATION.  ASIDE FROM THE MARQUEE TITLE AND COMMANDANT'S READING LIST, LISTS HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED BY FUNCTION, REGION, AND TOPIC.  FOCUS ON THOSE TITLES THAT ARE MOST APPROPRIATE TO ORGANIZATIONAL REQUIREMENTS.
E.  THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DIVISION (PRODEV DIVISION) AT MARINE CORPS UNIVERSITY SERVES AS THE EXECUTIVE AGENT FOR THE PROGRAM AND WILL ENSURE IT IS CLOSELY COORDINATED WITH THE STATED NEEDS OF LEADERS THROUGHOUT THE CORPS.  SUBMIT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ADDITIONS TO THE PROFESSIONAL READING PROGRAM TO PRODEV DIVISION, MARINE CORPS UNIVERSITY, 2076 SOUTH STREET, QUANTICO, VA 22134-5076 OR VIA THE WEBSITE AT WWW.MCU.USMC.MIL/READING/.
4.  THE OBJECTIVES OF THE PROFESSIONAL READING PROGRAM ARE TO ENHANCE THE WARRIOR ETHOS OF THE CORPS, ENCOURAGE CRITICAL THINKING, AND BROADEN UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT OPERATING ENVIRONMENT.
WHEN COMBINED WITH FORMAL TRAINING AND EDUCATION, SELF-DIRECTED READING CREATES SMARTER, MORE ADAPTABLE WARFIGHTERS.
5.  SEMPER FIDELIS, JAMES T. CONWAY, GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS.//