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Chief of Army's Reading List 2007

The Chief of Army, LTGEN Peter Leahy, recites the Ode at the Reserve Forces Day commemoration ceremony at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne on 1 July.
31 August 2007
Lieutenant General Peter Leahy AC, Chief of Army

As members of the profession of arms, in the service of our nation, we have an obligation to each other and to the Australian public to excel at what we do as soldiers. We have great equipment, sound and exemplary leaders, world-class doctrine and training and an inspiring set of values and ethos that make us proud to be Australian soldiers. We train hard and work hard in order to cope with the challenges of today’s battlefield. We must also look to the future and be prepared to face the complex and uncertain challenges that lie ahead.

War is both physical and intellectual. As well as having the right equipment and being physically fit we must also be intellectually fit. This reading list is designed to help you get intellectually fit. It is designed to help you understand your profession, your role as a soldier and, as an Army, help us become flexible, agile and adaptable.

This reading list consists of works of fiction and non-fiction. It is firmly based on history and contemporary commentary. It tells us about our own journey as an Army and it also shows the journey of other armies through history. Many of the stories are inspiring and uplifting, some will make you angry as you read of avoidable mistakes and unnecessary deaths. There is much to learn from these books.

This list is designed to enable progression through the whole of an individual’s career. You will note that there is a different emphasis for each rank from Private through to senior officers. It is advisable to bring yourself up-to-date by reading those works from more junior ranks that you are not familiar with.

In so doing it is wise to adopt the technique advocated by the late Colonel EG Keogh, whose intellectual contribution to the Australian Army was enormous. Some of my earliest forays into military professional reading were facilitated by this officer through his contributions to the earlier version of the Australian Army Journal. His essay on how to effectively utilise military history contains timeless wisdom. Start reading now—enjoy, learn and become better as a professional soldier.

PF Leahy
Chief of Army
September 2007

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Last updated
5 December 2017
Army: Courage. Initiative. Respect. Teamwork.
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