10th book selected for Commandant’s reading list

TIC chair

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Written by Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft.

At the start of the year, I shared my reading list and leadership philosophy as a launch point for your own renewed reflection on leadership and its enduring tenets. My original list consisted of nine books and I reached out to you for help in selecting a 10th. After looking through the selections – ranging from business case studies to leadership videos – I have selected Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff.

Frozen in Time

Maybe it was the words “epic” and “quest” that first drew me in, but ultimately it was the book’s heroic mission flown seven decades ago that sold me. Frozen in Time tells the story of a 1942 rescue mission in one of the most remote corners of the world and the search to find the Coast Guard’s last two MIA servicemembers – Lt. John Pritchard and Petty Officer 1st Class Benjamin Bottoms. Ensign Nathan Brock, currently a student naval aviator at Air Station Pensacola, wrote it was an “incredible book” in his recommendation and I agree.

My original list consisted of books touching on foundational values, leading people and future challenges. Frozen in Time is a blend of all three and is a reminder of our Service’s legacy of demanding missions in challenging operating environments. At a time where we are seeing increased maritime activity in the Arctic, our mission demand in the region is only increasing. The story of daring WWII missions over Greenland’s ice cap is a reminder of our enduring presence in the polar regions and the current mandate for our presence wherever U.S. national interests require people and ships to operate.

While I selected Frozen in Time, recommendations came in from around the fleet. From an Officer-in-Charge who shared a book on business case studies, to a cadet from the Coast Guard Academy who shared a book on lessons learned in combat, I was energized to see the submissions and have asked all of them to be included below. I have also selected a children’s book from the recommendations that came in – Little Errol – to share with my family, as leadership is for all of us – even the youngest in our family.

Leadership remains at the forefront of my mind in the midst of my preparations for the 2015 State of the Coast Guard Address which I will deliver two weeks from today. During the address, I will share my vision for the Service as we face historic challenges in the years ahead. However, as we strive to meet the demands of Coast Guard operations while remaining prepared for major contingencies, we will remain steadfast in accomplishing the mission through the enduring tenets of leadership, a bias for action and adherence to our Core Values.

Editor’s note: To download the titles from the Adm. Zukunft’s reading list, visit the Navy General Library Program’s online database and click on the “USCG Commandant’s Reading List” collection.

Frozen in Time
Recommended by Ensign Nathan Brock

Little Erroll
Recommended by Sean Williams
Recommended by Lois Davis
Recommended by Lt. Cmdr. Shameen E. Anthanio-Williams

The Finest Hours
Recommended by Jerry Russell

The Mission, The Men, and Me
Recommended by Cadet Joel Geist

Various Ted Talks
Recommended by Cmdr. Andrew Campen

Bulletproof Spirit
Recommended by Dan Willis

Muddy Boots Leadership
Recommended by Chief Petty Officer Kristin Gray

Where Valor Rests
Recommended by Chief Petty Officer Kristin Gray

Broken Windows, Broken Business: How the Smallest Remedies Reap the Biggest Rewards
Recommended by Master Chief Petty Officer Devin Spencer

One Bullet Away
Recommended by Petty Officer 2nd Class Blaine Meserve-Nibley

The Leadership Challenge
Recommended by Charlie Coiro

Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana
Recommended by Lt. Jeremy Rodrigues

Without Hesitation
Recommended by Ernie Tucker

Salt in our Blood
Recommended by Janet Wood

Managing with Aloha
Recommended by Sandra Emerson

The Guardian of Guadalcanal
Recommended by Jennifer Jamison

The Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant
Recommended by Capt. Stephen Chamberlin

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