CNO Gilday Updates Professional Reading Program

US Navy

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday released an update to the CNO Professional Reading Program, February 23.

WASHINGTON – Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday released an update to the CNO Professional Reading Program, February 23.

The goal of the program is to help Sailors extend their personal and professional development beyond that of their primary designator and ratings. The updated book list can be found on CNO’s Professional Reading Program website.

“It is critically important for our Navy to be a learning organization,” said Gilday. “One of the very best ways to do that is to foster an environment where every Sailor deepens their level of understanding, learning and leadership skills. That’s why this book list is so important.”

With a motto of “Read well to lead well,” this updated reading list aims to:

  • Enhance professionalism and improve critical thinking skills
  • Foster a deep appreciation for naval and military history and heritage
  • Increase knowledge of joint war fighting and strengthen Sailors’ ability to make sound judgements
  • Develop a greater appreciation of the views of others and a better understanding of our changing world.
  • Encourage discussion about the maritime profession and the ever-evolving role of Seapower in today’s day and age.

“Make no mistake, to outthink our competitors today, we must study and apply lessons we’ve learned from our past,” said Gilday.

This CNO-Professional Reading Program includes 53 titles organized into four key lines of effort: Readiness, Capabilities, Capacity, and Sailors. Additionally, they are subdivided into tiers of foundational, advanced and capstone, indicating which books are appropriate during various stages of a Sailor’s career.

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Russell Smith also identified 21 additional books as suggested reading.

“Reading is a fundamental staple in the growth and development of any leader,” said Smith. “For this list, the titles included were methodically chosen in order to provide a specific focus on targeted areas for reinforcement, a focus that will provide enlisted Sailors the greatest benefit given our role in the organization. A focus on team dynamics, on seeking innovative solutions, on leveraging the incredible strengths inherent in the diversity of our enlisted force, and the virtues of altruistic service to a cause greater than ourselves – these are the things that enable the enlisted force to execute the vision of our commanders, leading to unit success and our Navy prevailing in combat when called upon.”

Both CNO’s and MCPON’s lists provide a mix of writing genres including fiction, non-fiction, military, strategy, management, and technology, among others.

Most of the 74 books are available at no cost to Sailors in both E-Book or digital audio format from the Navy MWR digital library collection. Directions on how to sign up for an account and access these books are available at the CNO Reading Program website: and eligible patrons can download the books through:

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