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Why It’s Time to Start Reading | U.S. PATRIOT NEWS & REVIEWS

Why It’s Time to Start Reading

In this technological age when it is more common to check social media than the nearest library, service members, professionals, and children alike are becoming more attune to turning on complex Wi-Fi devices than picking up a book. The results are stunning. A 2014 study by the PEW research center identified that 24% of Americans age 16-29 read at least once a week. This contrasts to the 18% of Americans older than 30 that read something at least once a week. Something important is being lost.

Reading seems to be becoming a lost art. A 2004 Scottish Analysis identified that 33% of students never or hardly ever read for pleasure with 22% stating that it was a waste of their time and 40% only reading when they absolutely have to.

Considering these statistics, it should come as a surprise to many people that reading is at the core of officer and NCO professional development. Leaders cultivate their subordinates by providing them with guidance and recommendations often in the forms of reading lists. The books provided can run the spectrum from academic to first-hand accounts of events. What is common about them all is that they tend to make the reader think.

Read BooksThe human brain has the ability to make connections between events and help to make decisions. When someone has never been put in the situation before, they are challenged to pick the best choice available, often not seeing opportunities to influence and improve the situation. This is where reading comes in. By taking the time and absorbing the experiences of others, we can help to enrich our experiences and provide connections which can be made when similar situations occur.

Some of these may be looks at tactical decisions that were made in the heat of battle. Others may reflect personal decisions made in the office place where conflict arose. By understanding the dynamics, seeing the solution, and evaluating the effectiveness of the resolution, we as readers can empower ourselves for future events.

Reading also introduces us to the manner in which people write. The more intelligently the book is written, the more we familiarize ourselves with intellectual sentence structure and grammatical usage. As a culture, we mimic those things that we like. Therefore, by reading we facilitate future speaking, writing, and understanding on those topics. We add to the breadth of our grammatical knowledge.

Perhaps most importantly though, reading affords us the opportunity to take a break from the world around and to immerse ourselves into somewhere new. A good book can help us to realign our thoughts, influence our perspectives on ideas, and inform us of important events. For the military folks in the room, books can help to keep us alive when our intuition is not enough. They can coach and mentor through the written words of great leaders who have long since passed on. While no one book is the epitome of this, each person will find their passion somewhere and should embrace it as often as possible.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Kyle Soler

Kyle Soler is an active duty Infantry Officer serving in the US Army. He has served in the military for more than 10 years, working his way from an Infantry Squad Leader to a Company Commander with multiple combat deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan in between. Kyle earned his bachelor’s degree in History from Willamette University, and three Master degrees from Jones International University in Information Security Management, Health Care Management, and International Business. He also holds certifications in Six Sigma Lean and Six Sigma Lean Black Belt. His primary focus is realigning organizational priorities to get the most out of the time available in terms of training and development. Prior to entering military service, he worked as a fire fighter and an EMT. His areas of knowledge include military, training, leadership, disaster and continuity planning.
Kyle Soler

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  1. All the western Culture and politics is based on that people do read books – countries which lose the interest in reading and standing on the toes for reaching knowledge, are bound to fall deeply. In countries like China and Japan – they do read and study for their intellect. This is a dramatical loss for many countries in the western Culture whose populations are just fed by bad and more or less stupid television. Aux livres, citoyens!

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