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NEWPORT, R.I. - U.S. Naval War College Professor John E. Jackson, manager of Navy's Professional Reading Program, discusses the origins, impact and future of the program in an interview published Sunday, July 12 on the "Navy Reads" blog.
On the origins of the program, Jackson said, "The 'spark' that got it started came directly from the Chief of Naval Operations, and it continues to have the personal interest and support of ADM Roughead and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick West."
Many commands have NPRP titles in their libraries or in offices, available for loan.
As examples of how the program is deployed, Johnson noted, "Aboard USS Vella Gulf (CG-72), the CO established a "Heritage and History Leadership Essay" contest where Sailors could win cash awards for writing about books from the NPRP. The skipper of USS Stockdale (DDG-106) asked for a NPRP library during their pre-commissioning work-up, since he felt these books would help shape his crew into the cohesive fighting unit they are destined to become."
Last February the CNO released the first revision to the NPRP, known as NPRP 2.0. This revision added five new titles to the NPRP library:
"Lone Survivor" by Marcus Luttrel
"Aircraft Carriers at War" by James L. Holloway, III "The Elephant and the Dragon" by Robyn Meredith "Forgotten Continent" by Michael Reid "Six Frigates" by Ian Toll
"We also recommend Wired for War by P.W. Singer (about the robotics revolution) and Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen (about promoting peace through education)," Jackson said.
As for what's ahead for the NPRP, Jackson said that the Navy is embracing technology.
"We are experimenting with e-book readers such as the Kindle to see if this technology is a good way to get our books in the hands of our readers. We have purchased "Playaway"-brand audio-books for patients in Navy hospitals who cannot read, or hold a book, but still want to participate in the NPRP. We are hoping to sponsor author book signings with our partners at the Navy Exchanges, and we continue to make our website as interesting and functional as possible."
To see his entire interview, visit Navy Reads.
Jackson was interviewed by Navy Reads blogger Bill Doughty, who reviews and discusses NPRP titles and related works, putting them in the context of history, philosophy, diversity and other perspectives.  Some of the comments and suggestions on Navy Reads come directly from Sailors serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.