Enlisted Reading List
The Enlisted Pilot Legacy - By: Lee Arbon
Military pilots' wings were not always an officers' monopoly. Enlisted men flew before and during WWI. A congressional act of 1926 established a theoretical peacetime quota of enlisted pilots. With national mobilization in 1940, men whose formal educational qualifications fell below those required for commissioning were trained as sergeant pilots. In peace or war, however, enlisted pilots were seen as lacking command authority in too many crucial situations. In 1942 the program was abolished; most of its graduates were commissioned.
The Rescue Season:
A True Story of Heroism on the Edge of the World - By: Bob Drury
Dubbed the "unknown tip of the military's rescue spear," the pararescue units of the U.S. Air Force handle some of the military's most dangerous missions, from plucking downed pilots out of combat zones to saving mountain climbers stranded on ice-covered peaks. In order to investigate the units' lifestyle, work ethic and techniques, Drury spent the 1999 climbing season with the parajumpers, or PJs, of the 210th Alaska Pararescue Squadron. Here Drury relates several of their hair-raising missions, interspersing his stories with background details about the unit's history, the PJs' rigorous training and thumbnail biographies of the individual members of the squadron.
The Air War in Europe as Told by the Men Who Fought It - By: Gerald Astor
Astor, a journalist and narrator of popular World War II historical subjects, has combed the latest published memoirs and collected numerous oral interviews to assemble what will probably be the best eyewitness account of the daytime air raids over German-occupied Europe. Besides the usual recollections of bomber and fighter pilots, he also presents the viewpoints of the air gunners and mechanics, bombardiers, and navigators who fought alongside them. Best of all, Astor has the Ernie Pyle-like knack of presenting his subjects as distinct personalities who stay in the reader's mind. The book is intelligently organized, systematically following the Eighth from its hesitant beginnings to its climax as a combat juggernaut, all the while keeping its story in perspective with the larger picture of the European war.
Reflections of Life in Blue (Life and Leadership Lessons Learned through 30 Years of Enlisted Air Force Service) - By: CMSgt Donald Hatcher
Chief Hatcher has crafted a leadership book that has outstanding value at all levels of the leadership spectrum - junior enlisted through senior officer. This occurs rarely. Chief Hatcher has much to share and sincerely aims to help people at all levels to become better leaders. While the experiences are focused on military leadership, they have applicability across of the civilian community. Therefore, this book is a highly valuable read for people across the leadership spectrum - from follower to senior leader - and it should hold a position of respect on any bookshelf.
A Conversation with the Chief Master Sergeants of the Air Force - By: Janet Bednarek
The Enlisted Experience: A Conversation with the Chief Master Sergeants of the Air Force offers a vivid, candid, and highly personal account of military life by four of the first five Chief Master Sergeants of the Air Force. Their recollections, captured in a 1989 interview at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., cover a period of over thirty years-from the early 1940s to the late 1970s. The position of Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, held by only ten individuals since its establishment in 1966, has given all enlisted service members a representative with direct access to and the ability to advise the Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Air Force. It has also imparted to each of the interviewees broad and insightful perspectives on the issues discussed. Their careers and the experiences that shaped them reveal that throughout its brief but eventful history the U.S. Air Force has been able to rely completely on the competence, dedication, and absolute professionalism of its enlisted force. This force has proved again and again up to the host of challenges that have confronted it at home and around the globe-tirelessly maintaining the aircraft and supporting the air crews in War II, Korea, and Vietnam, integrating the ranks and welcoming women as equals into the workplace, obtaining a better quality of life for themselves and their families, and pursuing increasingly demanding education and training programs in fast-changing social and technological service milieus. The stories of the Chief Master Sergeants of the Air Force point to an essential fact - that the service would be unable to carry out its missions successfully in a dangerous world without the genuine cooperation of a motivated enlisted corps. That the Air Force almost flawlessly achieved its objectives in Operation DESERT STORM is in no small measure the result of that corps' tradition of striving and excellence.