CSAF reading list: Combining TED, Hollywood and the written word

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kali L. Gradishar
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Over the last few years, I've become incredibly aware of the vast information scurrying across my desktop: frequent fleeting e-mails, vexing electronic staff summary sheets, appointment requests and copious article suggestions. There is one bit of information, though, that I'm looking forward to perusing - this year especially.

Get ready to embark on a journey of enlightenment, education and professional growth with the 2012 CSAF Professional Reading List.

According to the Air Force website, Gen. Ronald Fogleman created the program in 1996 to develop a common frame of reference among Air Force members - officers, enlisted, and civilians - with the desired effect of becoming better, more effective advocates of air and space power. Each CSAF since then has enhanced and continued the program.

In this round of the Air Force Chief of Staff's reading list, the content extends beyond the written word into the world of Hollywood and TED briefings.

If this is an effort to encourage a wider range of people to become more aware of their past, present and future, then I applaud the endeavor.

While past CSAF reading lists consistently do well to include stimulating and enriching books, the addition of historical, as well as revolutionary, works reaches into a whole new realm. There is the occasional lapse in generational interests - those younger adults who would rather sit down with a good book instead of a handy, electronic reading gadget. However, adding edifying productions such as films and conferences to the mix has the potential to reach an entirely different category of people.

Featured on the CSAF film list are such hits as "Apollo 13" featuring Tom Hanks and "Thirteen Days" featuring Kevin Costner.

Also exciting about this reading list makeover is the inclusion of TED - or Technology, Entertainment, Design - briefings. The briefings vary in focus, but are all based on the spread of great ideas. TED briefings included on the CSAF list range in topic from innovative leadership to robots to the future relationship between countries.

So whether you're stationed in the U.S. or overseas, or if you're career field is heavily or lightly tasked, take some time to review the CSAF reading list for ways to advance your knowledge of the world surrounding you.