Essential Reading

I'm going to down to apply for officer training next monday (hoping for RA), and I was wondering if anyone could recommend some essential reading, or anything that could help me.


p.s. is there a army office nearer to aberystwyth than swansea?
Call me old fashioned, but I would like to see future leaders of Men, at least get their grammar correct.

Edited because my grammar was incorrect.
But I'm not an officer
Right.....there are a few good places in Reading. I'd recommend anywhere down by the Oracle. Some good bars. Or, if you're in the old town, Yate's/Reflex/etc. All full of good girls :)
I'm reading "The British Army Officer: 1660 - Present" by Anthony Clayton. I think it's a fantastic read and contrasts the priorities of the modern officer against those of earlier officers very well. That recommendation assumes that you have taken the time to read the 90 essential pages of AOSB queries.
Hate to be pedantic old boy but there’s no comma after ‘Men’ :wink:

Bugles & a Tiger always worked for me! :)

Depends what you want to learn really Mr Paddy, these forums provide a wealth of information for the Chap Factory et al.

My advice, for what it’s worth, would be to read & memorise the latest events & news from respectable sources such as Reuters & The Daily Telegraph/Times et al. Then at least you’ll have a well rounded knowledge for what’s going on in the world & ergo, be able to make better judgement.

Leadership & officer qualities, imho, are things you can’t really learn from a book, although I’m sure the latest paperbacks about Afghanistan will certainly give you the guidelines.

You could also observe the great leaders from history & try to learn from them, I think the most valuable thing for an officer to attain is the art of inspiring others.

If you search this forum you might come accross a similar discussion I posted a while back, there were some excellent suggestions which I have subsequently read and enjoyed- proved very useful.
PaddyP91 said:
I'm going to down to apply for officer training next monday (hoping for RA), and I was wondering if anyone could recommend some essential reading, or anything that could help me.


p.s. is there a army office nearer to aberystwyth than swansea?
Is there not one in Shrewsbury area?
If you fancy something not strictly connected to the british army, but a great read all the same, try starship troopers, by Robert Heinlein (and yes, it is sci-fi, but the good sort). It's actually on the US Army reading list, and has some really interesting ideas about what the infantry is, how it (ideally) could work etc.

John Adair's "Great Leaders". ISBN 0951183575

I quote.."after lecturing at Sandhurst, became the world's first Professor of Leadership Studies at the University of Surrey."

He can take you from Socrates, via Slim to the requirements of the AOSB and thus spotlight your own inadequacies, if you take the time to absorb the detail.

And yes, Masters' "Bugles and a Tiger", and "The Road Past Mandalay" are first rate.

Old Rat
Readers Wives ?
If you trot down to the TAC (behind the Police station) you should find a little notice on the door that tells you what days the army careers bloke is in. ;) He will arrange an interview with the Officer Careers chap for you and away you go. :)

It might also be worth having a chat with the OTC or TA on a Tuesday night to find out more about the big green machine.
Nuts and that other one.
Steel My Soldiers' Hearts, by David Hackworth. Because nothing prepares you for the British Army like the account of a hard-as-nails Yank Colonel in Vietnam.
"One Bullet Away" by Nathaniel Fick -ISBN-10: 0297846590

Very good account of what it means to be a platoon/troop commander.
He is very thoughtful individual, so it is not the usual gung-ho rubbish.
He has to make some pretty difficult choices and ends up concluding that in war there are two types of decision "Bad ones and worse ones", and the rammifications of his decisions.
He studied Classical History at Dartmouth, so has a bit of thing about Sparta and the warrior creed. But this does not detract from a well written book which shows all the different facets of command.
A good read for any officer, essential I would say for a Junior Officer.
Puts neatly into sharp focus what is expected of you.
PaddyP, for goodness sake, do not adhere to the leadership style of "Bugles and a Tiger."

I've ranted about this elsewhere, but in essence his decisions counteracted the entire purpose of the Chindit column that he commanded and he delved into an attritional warfare mindset as opposed to the daring manoeverist approach that had brought about their inception in the first place.

It's very easy for me sitting behind my comfy desk etc etc, I know, it's a good read, but be wary of the author's spin on things. Oh, and if you ever end up as Chief of Staff of a Brigade, don't ever b*gger your blokes about just for the furtherance of your own career!
B_a_RD. I think you're referring to Masters' sequel to 'Bugles and A Tiger' - 'The Road Past Mandalay'.
In 'Bugles' Masters gives an account of his life from RMC up to becoming Adj of his Bn - 2/4GR on the NWFrontier in 1940 - A good guide for POs? Perhaps not - though it's a good read.
'With The Jocks' by Peter White or 'Lion Rampant' by Robert Woolcombe give a better insight into commanding a platoon of British soldiers. The latter two authors also had a little more integrity than the former - one of the basic qualities of a leader!

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