Here is my list of suggested reading for Battalion Commanders in the Army National Guard and Army Reserves. Most of these books I have read myself and some of the other titles were recommended to me by some of my former Battalion Commander friends. They are listed in no particular order.
- Battalion Commanders at War: U.S. Army Tactical Leadership in the Mediterranean Theater (1942-1943) by Steven Thomas Barry
- Challenge of Command by Robert Nye
- A Year in Command in Afghanistan: Journal of a United States Army Battalion Commander by Michael Forsyth
- The Mask of Command: Alexander the Great, Wellington, Ulysses S. Grant, Hitler and the Nature of Leadership by John Keegan
- It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership by Colin Powell
- We Were Soldiers Once… and Young: Ia Drang – The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam by Hal Moore
- The Art of Command: Military Leadership from George Washington to Colin Powell by Jeffrey Matthews
- Bleeding Talent: How the Military Mismanages Great Leaders and Why It’s Time for a Revolution by T.J. Kane
Of course, this is not an ends all reading list. But I think my suggested reading list for Battalion Commanders is a good starting point. I suggest you read these titles BEFORE you take Battalion Command. Even if you learn just one helpful tidbit from each book, it will be money well spent. The lessons will definitely help you prepare for Battalion Command.
On the other hand, if you’ve already taken command, I would still buy these books, read them, and add them to your leader’s library. It’s money well spent.
What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you have any other titles that you suggest we add to our suggested reading list for Battalion Commanders? If so, leave a comment and tell us about it, or contact us to provide your suggestions.