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Surgeon General's Professional Reading List

U.S. Navy Surgeon General, Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, announced the launching of his professional reading list in a video released in February 2020. “The reading list is comprised of books that have helped shape my perspective as I have developed as a doctor, naval officer, and leader over the course of three decades of service,” said Gillingham. The 37 titles are organized by Navy Medicine’s four priorities—People, Platforms, Performance and Power. Each book was selected to strengthen understanding of these priorities while fostering the skillsets and thinking needed in today’s Navy Medicine. The books cover a wide-spectrum of topics—from management and leadership to history and biography to philosophy and medicine. Although intended for all personnel serving across Navy Medicine, Gillingham explained that the reading list should be considered “a suggested guidepost for independent study” rather than a formal requirement or an “end all to learning.”

SG's Reading List

  • Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character by Jonathan Shay, M.D.
  • Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women by W. Brad Johnson and David Smith
  • Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  • First, Break all the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
  • The Golden Thirteen: Recollections of the First Black Officers by Paul Stillwell
  • How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman, M.D.
  • Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • Make Your Bed: Little Things that Can Change Your Life…and Maybe the World by William McRaven
  • Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming by Jonathan Shay, M.D.
  • The Odyssey of Sergeant Brennan (Graphic Novel) by Bryan Doerries
  • Redeployment by Phil Klay
  • The Road to Character by David Brooks
  • Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War by P.W. Singer and August Cole
  • Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man by Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic
  • On Call in Hell: A Doctor’s Iraq War Story by Richard Jadick
  • Out of the Crucible: How the U.S. Military Transformed Combat Casualty Care in Iraq and Afghanistan by Arthur Kellerman, M.D. and Eric Elster, M.D.
  • The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy’s Finest Hour by James D. Hornfischer
  • Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Approach to Building Cooperative Capacity by Frank Barrett and Ronald Fry
  • Biography of Resistance: The Epic Battle Between People and Pathogens by Muhammad Zaman
  • Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable about Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business by Patrick Lencioni
  • Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again by Eric Topol
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins
  • How Data Science is Transforming Health Care: Solving the Wanamaker Dilemma by Tim O’Reilly
  • Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek
  • Managing the Unexpected by Karl Weick and Kathleen Sutcliffe
  • Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
  • The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner
  • The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson
  • Sailing True North: Ten Admirals and the Voyage of Character by James Stavridis
  • A Sailor’s History of the U.S. Navy by Thomas Cutler
  • Neptune’s Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal by James Hornfischer
  • Nimitz by E.B. Potter
  • On China by Henry Kissinger
  • Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 by Ian Toll
  • The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For by David McCullough
  • The Conquering tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944 by Ian Toll
  • The Fleet at Flood Tide: America at Total War with the Pacific by James Hornfischer
  • Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World’s Oceans by James Stavridis
  • With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by E.B. Sledge

Surgeon General’s Professional Reading List (PDF)

Navy MWR

Many of the titles on this list are available as eBooks and AudioBooks through the Surgeon General’s OverDrive Site (Click here)