The first edition of the SAF Professional Reading Programme, published in Mar 1999, had 84 titles. The second edition, published a year later, had 105 titles. This edition has 120 titles, a modest increase of 14 percent despite the proliferation of new books and emergence of new issues of concern to the SAF. We are able to keep the number of titles in this edition manageable by replacing some books with more current versions, by streamlining previously recommended titles for certain topics and being selective in the choice of new titles. Hence, readers may be pleased to know that of the 120 titles in this edition, 55 are new titles not found in the previous edition.
Besides new titles, we have also introduced two changes to this Reading Programme. The first is to replace the grouping of books according to ranks with a grouping based on their degree of complexity and war coverage. Previously, the titles are grouped by three categories: 2LT/LTA, CPT and MAJ/LTC. This grouping is not ideal as there are titles suitable for two or all categories but these would still be slotted under one of the three groups. We have now replaced these categories with Basic, Intermediate and Advanced groupings. This new categorisation spells out clearly the intention of the Professional Reading Programme as a recommended reading list for all officers, including our Warrant Officers.
This brings us to the second change that has been introduced. Previous editions were meant for SAF officers only. This third edition extends this Reading Programme to the Warrant Officer corps. This is a timely move as our Warrant Officers' professional and educational profile has risen and as more senior Warrant Officers are being deployed to officer-grade appointments. This move is also in line with the recent policy to include Warrant Officers as automatic subscribers for the POINTER journal.
The new titles in this third edition are selected based on recommendations from MINDEF HQ, the staff of Military History Branch and Pointer Section, and subject matter experts within the SAF. We welcome suggestions on new titles from our readers for the next edition which would be due within the next few years. POINTER readers are strongly encouraged to visit the Professional Reading Programme website in the Intranet (located under SAFTI Military Institute website) and give your views and comments on the recommended readings in the Readers' Forum page. In the meantime, I hope that our SAF officer and warrant officer corps will find the recommendations in this edition useful for their professional development. Happy reading!
MR WONG CHEE WAI
Head, Military History Branch
SAFTI Military Institute