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From the Green Notebook | My thoughts on war, warfare, and leadership


Stashed in: Military!, Leadership, Military

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“How do I know what I think until I see what I say?”

-E.M. Forster

By Joe Byerly

From the time I commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army I’ve been told that I should read because it was my professional duty as an officer. For years, that is exactly what I did. I felt that as long as I was reading, I was keeping my end of the bargain. Yet, as my reading progressed from Gates of Fire to On War, the level of critical thinking required also increased. The concepts presented by the authors became more abstract, the articles and books no longer agreed with each other; I found myself mentally wrestling with the texts, my personal theories of war and leadership (which I didn’t realize I had), and the lessons gained from my experiences. It was through this struggle that I realized that we shouldn’t approach professional reading with a checklist mentality, but instead put forth a more comprehensive effort that goes beyond “reading a bunch of books.”

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