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Professional Reading

This page will grow to include any literary references I cite in my articles, as well as generally recommended reading for the post-modern warfighter, both non-fiction doctrinal and non-doctrinal, as well as interestingly relevant fiction in a few, very limited cases.

You’re not going to learn to fight and win from a book, but they serve as a useful reference for developing a training program, as well as keeping your mind in the game.

SH21-75 The Ranger Handbook. I grew up with the 1992 edition, and still have my old, stained, dog-eared copy that I carried as a Ranger private, through Suck School, and as an NCO. I just don’t know what box it’s packed away in. I currently run a 2006 edition, and while there were some changes, they’re really not that big a deal. I also saw the other day that they have a 2010 edition out.

Any edition should suffice. This is the BIBLE of small-unit tactics. Learn it, know it, live it.

FM 7-8 The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad. The non-Ranger Bible of SUT. Get the 1992 edition. The new, differently numbered one from 2003 is ridiculously long and focuses as much on vehicle convoy operations in Strykers as it does on SUT. While it’s certainly useful to have, and know, the 1992 edition, if you don’t have a Ranger Handbook, is more user-friendly and will fit in the cargo pocket of a pair of BDU or ACU trousers.

Nagl, John, LTC; Eating Soup with a Spoon. This is a discussion of the counter-insurgency efforts of the British Army in Malaysia and the U.S. Army in Vietnam. I have the newer, paperback edition, which discusses some of the efforts that the author’s unit made in Iraq to transition from a conventional force armor unit to performing unconventional, COIN operations. Good read.
Mao Tse-Tung on Guerrilla Warfare; Samuel Griffith translation. Mao is, in most circles, considered the quintessential resource on successful guerrilla operations. While, like much Oriental literature, it can talk around a subject in a very obtuse manner, it’s worth reading several times, slowly, and contemplating what he is saying, to fully grasp the understanding.
Guevara, Che; Guerrilla Warfare; Regardless of your opinions on Che, he WAS a seriously successful guerrilla operator. Not reading this work—and understanding it—means you don’t take the subject seriously.
Howarth, David; We Die Alone; This is the story of a single operator escaping and evading Nazi forces in Norway during WW2. Essential reading for understanding the reality of E&E. It’s not some Hollywood adventure epic.
Bowden, Mark; Blackhawk Down; I knew a lot of the guys involved in the 3OCT93 fight. While most agree that this is not an entirely accurate depiction of the battle, they also agree it’s the best you’re going to find. It provides a pretty good understanding of how the Skinnies fought, and demonstrated some weaknesses that even the special operations community had, at the time. That having been said, by 1994, less than six months later, the community had taken a hard look at the lessons learned and began changing some things.
Boston T. Party; Boston’s Gun Bible; As I have stated previously, I certainly don’t agree with everything Boston concludes in this book. As an overall, open-source reference on various fighting rifles and carbines though, it’s certainly not a bad reference.
Howe, Paul MSG; Training for the Fight, and The Tactical Trainer; MSG Howe was a SFOD-D gunslinger. He’s a horrendous writer, God bless him, and needs a seriously talented editor. That having been said, despite my background, and having attended many of the same schools, I managed to learn quite a bit from both of these books. There is now a second edition of Training For the Fight available, that combines both titles into one volume and is readily available through mainstream booksellers like Barnes and Nobles.
Lundin, Cody; 98.6 Degrees, and When All Hell Breaks Loose; A long-haired, back-to-nature kind of guy, it’s pretty apparent that Lundin knows his shit. I’ve taught these skills, in different venues, and I don’t disagree with anything the guy says. I really appreciate the humorous, irreverent attitude he takes, even though I probably couldn’t pull it off. Essential reading for the time you need to dump everything and hit the tree line on the run, with nothing but a pocket knife.
Anderson, Steve; Refinement and Repetition: Dry Fire Drills for Dramatic Improvement; A book of dry-fire pistol training drills, written for the gamer crowd, this is nevertheless, a spectacular book on developing fundamental shooting skill with dry-fire.
Seeklander, Michael Ross; Your Competition Handgun Training Program; Mike is a close friend of some close friends of mine. He is a spectacularly good coach, by all accounts. I also like that he uses the same “end goal, performing goals, enabling goals” model that I was taught. It’s also focused on gaming pistol craft, but again, it will do a lot for improving your shooting abilities. It’s also easy to modify his program for your carbine/rifle.
Starr, Bill; The Strongest Shall Survive; Bill was one of the first professional strength and conditioning coaches in the NFL (if not THE first). He focuses on multi-joint, compound movement strength training exercises; the kind that builds the strength you want to win fights. This, and Rippetoe’s book are my primary references when I develop strength training programs for people.
Gallagher, Marty; The Purposeful Primitive; Gallagher is the same kind of power-lifting/O-lifting advocate as Rippetoe and Starr. This is an interesting compilation of articles on legendary stars of the strength game and how they train. (Once, watching a special operations unit perform CQC, I saw an operator enter the room, following the breach, and have his MP5SD malfunction. With a “bad guy” role player directly in front of him, on the other side of a couch, I watched said operator hurl the couch at the BG—one-handed! The couch hit the role-player so hard, it knocked him out, as his head got bounced off the wall. I’m a BIG advocate of serious strength for combat. It certainly seldom hurts.)

Rippetoe, Mark; Starting Strength; This is THE quintessential beginner’s guide to getting seriously strong in a hurry. Focusing on developing proper form on the most important, multiple-joint, compound movement exercises of strength training, and solid exercise programming, you will NOT go wrong following the strength training advice of Rip.

Stanford, Andy; Combat Rifle Marksmanship Exercises and Surgical Speed Shooting; I’m 100% sold on the “Modern Isosceles” pistol shooting method. Stanford’s Surgical Speed Shooting is the reference I hand to people when I am trying to describe the value and benefits to die-hard Weaver Stance advocates. I don’t agree with the value of all the exercises in CRME, but I do use some of them. If I didn’t have the background and experience I do, I feel confident that training the drills in this book would put me light years beyond most gun owners, including military and law-enforcement veterans.
Lawrence, Erik & Pannone, Mike; Tactical Pistol Shooting; I didn’t learn anything, at all from this book…But that’s because I had both of these guys as instructors in SF, so it served more as a review. As far as novice shooters though, it’s a good reference.
Kipp, Bill; Turning Fear Into Power; Kipp was formative in the development of “reality-based adrenal stress training” in the self-defense world. This book is geared towards that, but is useful for ideas on developing realistic training scenarios, as well as the why of doing so.
STP 31-18-SM-TG Soldier’s Manual and Trainer’s Guide, MOS 18, Special Forces Common Tasks; This is the “bible” of individual skills training for all SF soldiers. While not all the skills will apply to the actual guerrilla, developing the useful ones will go a long way towards making you an effective guerrilla/unconventional warfare fighter. I doubt you’ll find a copy, since it’s a restricted document. I happened to keep mine when I ETS’d.
FM3-05.222 Special Forces Sniper Training and Employment; I got my hard copy from a buddy who is still at Group. I’ve since found that this is—strangely—pretty commonly available online in PDF form. I say strangely, since it’s also a restricted document. Apparently, someone didn’t appreciate OPSEC. Bad on them, good for you, right?
FM21-75 Scouting, Patrolling, and Sniping, 1944; My father picked up this hard copy somewhere, several decades ago. Initially, I held on to it because I kind of aspire to collecting old books. I think in some ways however, these older tactical manuals will have more value for inexperienced guerrillas. They were written for draftees, not professional soldiers, so they are much more plainly written. I’ve also found this one available as a PDF recently, as I was looking for downloadable resources I can point right-minded people towards.
Larsen, Christopher; Light Infantry Tactics for Small Teams; Basically, Larsen re-wrote the old FM7-8, in layman’s terms, without the doctrinal MTOE of the regular Army. It’s well worth the read for one look at SUT.
Chittum, Thomas; Civil War Two: The Coming Break-Up of America; While I don’t agree with Chittum that Balkanization will be strictly along racial lines, I do think he gets a lot of the ideas right. I don’t see all other ethnic groups as my enemy, any more than I expect a Black man to see me as his enemy solely on account of my race. Unfortunately, too many people in influential positions are busy leveraging this bullshit into creating fractures in the social network.
Wade, Paul; Convict Conditioning; A look at serious, bodyweight-only strength conditioning, as opposed to the typical calisthenics bullshit. Good shit for the guerrilla who won’t have ready access to a weight room. While it’s certainly not the equal of a solid iron-game based strength training program, it’s far superior to the old-school calisthenics for building endurance type of PT program.
FM3-25.150 Combatives; The Army’s combative doctrine. A well-written manual on utilizing grappling-based combatives system, and a training program. SFC Matt Larsen, the primary author, was one of my instructors at RIP. I remember him being a seriously scary dude. Available on-line in PDF form.
CIA Psychological Operations In Guerrilla Warfare; This is the infamous manual put out for use by the Contras in the 1980s. It’s hardly the quintessential guide to PSYOPs that the Left made it out to be. It’s got some useful concepts in it though.
Mack, Jefferson; Secret Freedom Fighter; This is the only one of Mack’s books I’ve read, but it was good. For those that have asked about specific recommendations on actions for the subversive underground and auxiliary support, his books are recommended.
Lamb, Kyle, SGM; Green Eyes, Black Rifles and Stay in the Fight! A former SFOD-D shooter as well, SGM Lamb currently owns Viking Tactics. While I don’t agree with the focus on 25M and closer CQM that USASOC has, at least for the guerrilla, these are spectacular beginner references. We need to be able to shoot BETTER than Federal forces, so we need to master these skills, but at a more extreme level. Study these manuals and check out the SGM’s YouTube channel for specific drills. Then, practice the drills at longer distances (out to 50 meters is my standard).
Poole, H. John; Tactics of the Crescent Moon, The Last Hundred Yards, and The Tiger’s Way; While Poole is, in some circles, considered persona non grata within the special operations community and the conventional force as well, this is unfortunate, since the man has a lot of value to add to the conversation. While he has a disturbingly gay fascination with the “ninja” mythology, I can overlook his apparent love of bad 1980s action movies. Poole does a good job at pointing out not only the tactical lessons that are to be learned from the enemy, but also ways to improve the training of western forces. His belief that the U.S. military lacks any true light infantry capability is certainly spot-on in my experience. When we’ve got “light infantry” guys packing 120-130 lbs loads up the mountains, trying to chase down experienced mountain guerrillas who are carrying twenty pounds, at the maximum, we need to seriously re-think the fieldcraft we are teaching (actually, we don’t really teach fieldcraft in the conventional force anymore, do we….?)

Diaz, David; Tracking: Signs of Man, Signs of Hope; Written by a former SF soldier, who is a little bit of a legend in some SF circles for his tracking abilities, this is one of two absolute, must-have manuals on tracking that should be in the library of every UW student-practitioner.

Kearney, Jack; Tracking: A Blueprint for Learning How; Kearney was a Border Patrol agent for decades, and is THE godfather of USBP tracking. This is THE first book on tracking skills development that the UW S-P should have on his shelf. More importantly, between this and Diaz’s book, if you actually get off your ass and go practice it, and LEARN the material, you will end up as a damned good journeyman man-tracker, at the least.

Hurth, John; Combat Tracking Guide; Written by another former SF soldier, from 1SFG(A), president of TYR Tactical. A solid manual not only on learning to man-track, but the tactical implications of the task, as well as battle drills and collective skills training issues specific to Tactical Tracking. Highly recommended and should definitely be on the top of the list. Additionally, for those of you on FB, he puts out a lot of instructional material on his company FB page.

GuerrillAmerica website;; A solid repository of skills from various authors, including yours truly. Most importantly, check out the information on Intelligence Collection and Analysis. The editor is a former military intelligence guy with a lot of extremely useful information to share.


  1. robroysimmons permalink

    I don’t know if SFC Barry is to be quoted, but he recomended a British manual on the defense of cities which might be advantageous to some.

    • While I don’t agree with the route SFC Barry ended up going re: race issues, The Resistor and the SFU were certainly formative in my early years in the SOF community as far as the development of my political outlook on things. Quote away.


    • Castor Pollux permalink

      The series from “The Resister” of reprints from British Home Guard training materials is available at a Yahoo group called ThePartisanResister. They are still under copyright, for private use only.

      Given the current situation, the one covering the defense of houses might be worth reading.

  2. Some Guy permalink

    Eating Soup With a Knife, correct? Not spoon?

  3. robroysimmons permalink

    I wrote too soon, after checking thru my one ton of back issues of everything those two particular issues did not make one of my moves. Not that I would want to employ a static defense against anything American armed or trained, as I tell my friends, “get static, get dead versus the American military (or even LEO as trained by VT).” But when you get old, your only use in a fight might be the base of fire from an emplacement while the youth E&E, so a place better prepared than a plywood and plaster wall would be more effective.

  4. wonder if I’m among neoconz when they start worrying about ray’cism. S’truth, blacks aren’t going to regard whites as the “enemy”. They are going to regard them precisely as they regard them now: prey, Longpig. Whitemeat. Food. And most whites, present company excluded, are going to be just that.

  5. rivet banger permalink

    I think the professional reading ought to include “You Are Your Own Gym” by Mark Lauren- it’s worth a good kick in the pants to get the process started and keep going with getting into fighting trim. The author’s website also has a forum with more info.

  6. tyroneb permalink

    LOL Long pig!
    Lucifers Hammer anyone? You going to carry the pot? Most ‘city folk’ whites will.

  7. Joshua permalink

    SGT Mosby, thank you for the recommendation of Ripptoe’s “Starting Strength”. I purchased it and today is my first day back into the gym since I was in the Navy. I got out back in 2000. While I am not a tub of lard by any stretch of the imagination, I am out of shape. I plan to start reading more of the books you have mentioned and hope to one day soon be able to take one of your classes. I will be in shape prior to doing that.

  8. Tom Sawyer permalink

    Thank you SGT Mosby for a great professional reading list – Particularly “Starting Strength” and the “Purposeful Primitive”, which I hadn’t heard of.

    Some other titles you may want to check out are the 1966 Special Operations Research Organization publication called “Human Factors Considerations of Undergrounds in Insurgencies” and its 1965 precursor “Undergrounds in Insurgent, Revolutionary, and Resistance Warfare”.

    Along with their historical focus, these publications cover underground and auxiliary organization, logistics, recruiting, security – all the topics which revolve around defending an embryonic guerrilla band from being nipped in the bud by regime security forces. Don’t let the geriatric nature of the material put you off.

    Thought-provoking stuff and both are freely available online in PDF format.

  9. retleo permalink

    SGT. Mosby
    Would you include David-Scott Donnelan’s classes and book on Tactical Training in your Library?

    • I took a class from Donnelan a long time ago and it was really, really good. I think there are instructors out there now with more recent relevant instruction available.
      Check out John Hurth’s Tyr Tactical. I know John also has a book.

      • Mr. Mosby.
        I am also a MACVSOG Collector of information, weapons, equipment, uniforms, and AAR’s of their actual missions. I also own a copy of the “Special Forces Recon Manual” which is in some ways different that are different then the “B-52 Tips of the trade”. This breaks down to what each member should carry in each pocket and use of weapons. I also have a copy of an original copy of some Tips & Reminders from MACVSOG dated to 21Feb70 by 1stSgt Norm Dooney. The ones from Mr. Dooney are really interesting and do have some of the B-52 Tips of the Trade. I understand that many of these tactics shown in these books and the copy are probably outdated and occurred in SEA along with weapons such as the: V40, XM177E2, M-14 mines, Use of CS, Claymores, and camouflaged OD’s. I should also state that I still use canteen covers as mag pouches that hold 7-20 round magazines a piece and shoot a replica XM with a 11.5″ barrel in 1-in-9 inch twist.

        So my basic questions for you are:

        1) Should I probably modify my gear to today’s standard (IE., your recommendations?)?
        2) Replace the upper with a 16″ upper?

        and for a totally unrelated question….

        3) Should I be thinking more like a member of the Rhodesian Light Infantry as towards what to wear and carry?


  10. Also, there is a very good reason to why I asked these questions. Please show me some mercy!!

  11. Clay-Daniel:Jones permalink

    howdy chris Carracci s navy seal workout video is worth the cost also matt furey s combat conditioning.

    • I’ve never seen Carracci’s video, but there are far better resources for bodyweight conditioning than Furey’s stuff. Thanks for the input though.

  12. samfisher1994 permalink

    What do you think about mcwp 3-11.2 marine rifle squad ?

  13. Unreconstructedgordo permalink

    Although I started civilian (ie paid ) training under Ray Chapman at Starlight, then sitting at the feat of the Blessed Colonel from 1980 till a couple weeks before he rather disgustedly left this plane, I retrained starting in 1999 Under first Louis Awerbuck , who is indeed Yoda and a living sword saint (who usually own very little BTW) and took all the courses I could get out of him, now settling for infrequent individual “problem solver” courses.
    Plowshares into Swords by Louis Awerbuck (kindle version is cheap)
    Hollywood Scotty is da man, he teaches the correct and proper way to shoot people, I dropped 10 grand in 7 years for his training
    Modern Gunfighting by Scott Reitz

    • Unreconstructedgordo permalink

      When I came to the conclusion in 1974-75 that something was brewing in the homeland that smelled like communism we were living under the growing Soviet threat and world wide spread of it. I went to local John Birch meetings in the late 70s while returning to college for a degree and found Total Resistence by Major Von Dach of the Swiss army and started on the journey to get ready to begin a domestic Phoenix Program I saw how effective it was in VN and watched it voted out of existence by Democrats that obviously did not want that outcome.

      this became my bible and I started gathering the various Field Manual mentioned above (earlier editions) and trade craft ones available from Paladin press such as the Minnery how to kill series, the Black Medicine Series , the Man Trapping series by Ragnar Benson (met him and he was a good guy outdoorsman) but allways come back, even now to Total Resistence! Somewhat old school but reveals truth about how far we have been guided down the path the Communist Party has planned for us to travel. Also lots of real world how to stuff even if somewhat aged.

  14. It may be there but when I scanned through the list I didn’t see it. Sorry if this is a replication:

    I got a lot out of John Robb’s “Brave New War.” The concept of “Open Source Warfare” seems to me to be “doable.”

  15. Palmetto permalink

    For bodyweight exercise I doubt there is a better book than “Never Gymless” by Ross Enamait. This guy “walks the walk” big time. Very no-nonsense, no BS. He understands functional strength for the professional fighter/boxer and the warrior. Check out his website or browse for his videos on YouTube.

    Also, for EMP and post-collapse scenario read “One Second After” by Forstchen. Powerful.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Mosby: Professional Reading | Western Rifle Shooters Association
  2. Professional Reading | Reality Check
  3. Supplementary Materials – 1 June Small Unit Tactics Class | Georgia Force On Force
  4. Material To Be Covered During Upcoming Exams | Western Rifle Shooters Association

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