Sharpening the thinking and fighting edge

Published on LEUT Ryan Zerbe (author), CPOIS Cameron Martin (photographer)

Topic(s): Chief of Navy

Navy’s people are being challenged to sharpen their mental edge and fighting mindset using the Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Michael Noonan’s latest Professional Resource List. (photo: CPOIS Cameron Martin)
Navy’s people are being challenged to sharpen their mental edge and fighting mindset using the Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Michael Noonan’s latest Professional Resource List.

In 1889, British Lieutenant General William F Butler wrote “The nation that will insist on drawing a broad demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to have its fighting done by fools and its thinking done by cowards.”

Now, the Royal Australian Navy’s people are being challenged to sharpen their mental edge and fighting mindset using the Chief of Navy’s 2019 Professional Resource List.

The annual list references books and online resources recommended by Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, and other key Navy leaders to encourage personal intellectual growth and professional development, in keeping with CN’s intent for the Australian Navy to be renowned as a ‘thinking, fighting and Australian’ Navy.

The list of recommended books includes military fiction and non-fiction titles covering current affairs, strategic thinking, and leadership as well as wartime memoirs.

Importantly, the Resource List is not focused on military history, but reflects the best of contemporary leadership and management discussion, thought-provoking works on building and optimising individual mindset, as well as challenging Navy members to think about the impact of technology on their professional lives.

Vice Admiral Noonan said the resources would challenge people and he hoped they would generate conversations in the workplace.

“Our success as individuals and as a Navy will come, in part, through the pursuit of personal intellectual growth and development,” he said.

“This is not a resource list for officers, nor a list for sailors; it is a list for all in and supporting our Thinking, Fighting and Australian Navy.

“I’m looking forward to discussing these resources with our people as I engage with them, wherever they are in the Fleet, and learning what they’re doing to further their own professional development,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.

In a first, this year’s list also includes a range of online audio books, TED Talks and podcasts, reflecting a more contemporary approach to learning, particularly for busy people. 

“In my travels and engagement across Navy since assuming Command, I have had the pleasure of meeting with many of our sailors and young officers, who have suggested podcasts and videos as resources they have found useful in their professional and personal growth,” Vice Admiral Noonan said. 

“Not everyone is a natural reader, but using electronic titles is great for making the most of your commute or travel time.

“I hope that just starting with one book or one podcast will set people on a journey of continual learning which will contribute to our Navy’s fighting edge,” he said.

The 2019 Chief of Navy’s Professional Resource List can be found here:
http://www.navy.gov.au/media-room/publications/cn-resource-list-2019.