Navy’s top admiral quietly removes ‘woke’ books from NOC’s reading list

by John Konrad (gCaptain) Admiral Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations for the United States (CNO), has released an update to the CNO’s Professional Reading Program. Gone from the list are the socially progressive books that inflamed the ire of conservatives last year. Books like Ibram X. Kendi bestseller How to Be an Antiracist and Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

The CNO Professional Reading Program consists of 12 books and is a mix of writing genres, including fiction, non-fiction, military, strategy, management, and technology, among others.

“A learning mindset is key to accelerating our edge in combat,” Gilday said. “A navy that learns, adapts and improves the fastest will be the most successful. Knowledge sharing is key to creating a culture of learning.

Last year, Gilday received praise from Democrats and scorn from several Republicans for choosing books that tackled the issue of race in America.

“If you want to understand a country’s military, take a look at what its officer corps reads,” Tucker Carlson said on Fox News. “So with that in mind, what are American military officers reading these
days? Well, let’s see, an under-literate pamphlet about how the United States is a filthy immoral country that needs to be changed immediately and forever.

Congressional critics included Representative Jim Banks, a U.S. Navy Reserve officer, who sent a letter to Gilday on February 26, 2021 arguing that the views promoted in Ibrahim X. Kendi’s “How to Be an Anti-Racist” on the Chief of Naval Operations Professional Reading Program (CNO-PRP) are “explicitly anti-American” and asked Gilday to explain the Navy’s decision to include or remove it from the reading list.

Gilday refused to remove the books last year, saying in a letter to Banks that some of the books on the CNO-PRP reading list were recommendations from Task Force One Navy, which he contacted “to identify and breaking down racial barriers, improving inclusion efforts, creating new opportunities for professional development, and eliminating barriers to entry into the Navy.

At a subsequent congressional hearing last summer, a visibly distraught Gilday fired back at Banks: “I’m not going to sit here and defend handpicked quotes from someone’s book,” a- he declared. “It’s a bigger issue than Kendi’s book. What it’s really about is trying to paint the US Army and US Navy as weak, as woke…we’re not weak. we are strong.”

The stated goal of the CNO Reading List program is to contribute to a culture dedicated to war and learning, while simultaneously supporting the personal and professional development of sailors beyond that of their primary indicator. or note.

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“We are running a fleet-wide self-improvement campaign,” Gilday said on Friday. “We need to foster an organization that supports and enables seafarers to have an independent quest for knowledge through reading and sharing information. What you know and how fast you learn are relevant in this age of strategic competition. »

Gilday didn’t comment in the official release on why he didn’t include any social progressive books on this year’s list. He also did not mention why the list does not include any books written by black authors.

Near the bottom of the list, Gilday includes a few increasingly leaning women’s books, including Gayle Lemmon’s bestselling Ashley’s War about a team of female special ops soldiers and Brene Brown’s book Dare To Lead.

The following books are included in the recently released update:

  1. “To Rule the Waves” by Bruce Jones
  2. “A Brief Guide to Sea Strategy” by James Holmes
  3. “China as a 21st Century Naval Power” by Michael. A.McDevitt
  4. “Not an Inch” by Mary E. Sarotte
  5. “The Sailor’s Library: Fifty Books for Knowing the Sea” by Admiral James G. Stavridis
  6. “Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War” by Paul Scharre
  7. “Fortune favors audacity” by Barry Costello
  8. “The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the United States Navy’s Finest Hour” by James Hornfischer
  9. “Second World War at Sea: A World History” by Craig Symonds
  10. “Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Female Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield” by Gayle T. Lemmon
  11. “Dare to Lead” by Brene Brown
  12. “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck

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