Recommended Reading

#1
Having recently attended a potential officer briefing it was mentioned that during the recruitment process i would likely be quizzed on what i was reading. Can anybody suggest anything which may be of particular military or political significance or anything that might help in any other way?
 
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wooz

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#2
Im currently reading the Junior Officers Reading Club". Its a good read but im not sure if it lacks the depths that they are after.
 
#3
Doesn't matter what the book is. They will want to see if you can asssimilate information and come to an informed opinion. It will also give an indicator as to your interests and what type of person. I suggest you read things that interest you, that will allow you to talk for a bit about them, and will not make you look like you keep someone locked up in the cellar at home.

Also current affairs stuff, newspapers and it would probably help to have an idea of what is militarily topical. Ie this week the conferences on the 'stan and Yemen and the change of direction vice McCrystal (If you are really interested but don't come across as a know it all)
 
#4
A few books that I have read recently and thoroughly recommend are:

*The British Officer: Leading the army from 1660 to present by Anthony Clayton
*On War by Carl von Clausewitz
*Leadership under pressure: Tactics from the front line by Colonel Bob Stewart

-OCS-
 
#6
Thats for pre RMAS reading of a military nature though, Exwing.

Just read some novels that interest you, and be able to talk about a couple when you are in the education interview. The questions aren't particularly thorough: I was asked to detal the plot in brief and say why it interested me, nothing more.
 
#7
Ah yes, sorry! They do ask you about what you are reading...I had to admit to reading Ahmed Rashid's Decent Into Chaos - Global Instability in Central Asia & Pakistan. I don't think the educational advisor believed that I was actually reading it.

No point lying, they ask about your favourite film too...I said Star Wars, and I'm proud! Proud I say!!
 
#8
Exwing said:
Ah yes, sorry! They do ask you about what you are reading...I had to admit to reading Ahmed Rashid's Decent Into Chaos - Global Instability in Central Asia & Pakistan. I don't think the educational advisor believed that I was actually reading it.

No point lying, they ask about your favourite film too...I said Star Wars, and I'm proud! Proud I say!!
One guy in my group said Top Gun.

He passed, so I imagine they don't really care all that much.
 
#9
Haha! I remember my group sitting around worrying about what movie they should say, and listing really thought provoking war films. Don't lie...it was either Star Wars or Land Before Time. I made the right choice.

What did you say Jew_unit?
 
#10
Exwing said:
Haha! I remember my group sitting around worrying about what movie they should say, and listing really thought provoking war films. Don't lie...it was either Star Wars or Land Before Time. I made the right choice.

What did you say Jew_unit?
Shawshank Redemption.

In terms of the thread, I said 'House of God' by Samuel Shem (its like a medical catch 22), 2 people said 'Flashman', someone said Sharpe and I can't remember the two of the remaining three but they were fairly bland. One guy was doing war studies at KCL, so I think he mentioned something pretentions and warry. It certianly didn't outweight the fact that he was a complete c*nt who failed to get on with a group that the rest of us thorougly enjoyed because he failed.


So, really, I wouldn;t worry about reading anything specific. Just be intereting.
 
#11
OcdtSadler said:
A few books that I have read recently and thoroughly recommend are:

*The British Officer: Leading the army from 1660 to present by Anthony Clayton
*On War by Carl von Clausewitz
*Leadership under pressure: Tactics from the front line by Colonel Bob Stewart

-OCS-
I have tried reading the first, need to get back to it, in process of reading a biography version by Hew Strachan and never heard of the third one.

Off to amazon and ebay I go.

edit- regarding current affairs
The week is always good.
The economist is doing a 12 issues for £12 deal at the moment including the audio version.
Newspod on the BBC is pretty good, as it global news. I have a N97 so download them as I'm leaving work via the wi fi and catch up on the days events that way.
 
#12
Reading a fascinating book at the moment called "Hitler's Willing Executioners", which looks at how ordinary German's contributed to the Holocaust. I'd definitely recommend it, though not for light bedtime reading!
 
#13
Just be honest, if I remember rightly I said that my favourite book was the beach and my favourite film was Ferris Buellers day off. It's not a make or break question! If however you say On War then they will know you are definately lying.
 
#16
Just started reading The Making of the British Army by Allan Mallinson. Rather than a detailed history of the British Army it asks how we have got to where we are. So far it's brilliant, well written and has already taught me lots.

Junior Officers' Reading Club is about the best book I have seen depicting reality for young officers in Afghanistan today. An absolute must particularly if you are thinking about the Infantry.

As mentioned above, read stuff that you will enjoy and can talk about with some passion. If you can do that with Clauswitz's On War then you have achieved what I have singularly failed to do during the last 15 years!
 
#17
First things first, nothing trumps Newsnight (to my mind) for high quality, topical, digestable and stimulating news coverage. It's on every day of the week - albeit at 10.30pm

If you watch it regularly and keep BBC News 24 on whilst you're bumming around, you're doing good.

I recently finished Junior Officer's Reading Club and it was a cracking read. If you're going to get a copy, then I recommend torrenting the Panorama episode 'Taking on the Taliban' (the torrent I found rebranded it for Canadian TV as 'CBC The Passionate Eye' instead of Panorama). This episode follows Patrick Hennessey and his men in Afghanistan, which helps to put names to faces.

The Week is great - and a Colonel suggested to me it is often used at Westbury to pick questions. The Telegraph is also a brilliant read - particularly the rear pages where you get commentary.

I don't know if it's of any assistance, but I certainly enjoy reading about the weapons systems used on both the Army website and Wikipedia. At the least, it's nice to know what I'll hopefully be pointing at the bearded bandits in two years time!

Perhaps most importantly, although being balanced and open-minded seems to be a good idea at Westbury, I think trying to form firm opinions and take a stance on any issues you read - slowly forming your own ideology - makes debating and understanding world events far easier.
 
#18
Just finished reading "the junior officers reading club" absolutely brilliant, fast paced, high octane, unforgiving, tense and fun!
The life he describes is exactly what I'm looking for.

As for "On War" I gave up.......
 
#19
I've now met two young Officers who have met Hennessey and both described him as pretty cocky and loudmouthed - although it sounded like they thought he was a decent enough chap otherwise.

I have to say, those are somewhat excusable character traits of a young man - and I'm sure he almost agrees in places of his book! Heh heh.
 
#20
Did anyone else think the editing in The YO's Reading Club was slightly patchy? Certainly worth reading either way.

I recommend Hemingway - For Whom The Bell Tolls is the best war novel I have read, and his writing style is very accessible once you get used to it.
 

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