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Curl up with a book or movie: Gen. Welsh's picks

Feb. 6, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
(Air Force)
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“Zero Dark Thirty,” the controversial 2012 film dramatizing the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, is one of seven films on Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh’s 2014 list of must-sees.

Also on the list is “The Invisible War,” a highly acclaimed documentary looking at rape in the U.S. military. Welsh had screened the film for a November meeting of wing commanders to address the problem of sexual assault in the Air Force.

The Air Force Chief of Staff Reading List 2014 , which also recommends books, art, photography and lectures, “was designed to build understanding,” Welsh wrote in a message accompanying the reading list. “There are stories of airmen, fellow service members and leaders from many different backgrounds. I bet there’s a book, a movie, a piece of artwork or a TED Talk in there that you can relate to. I encourage you to try and find your own story in one of the selections.”

“Zero Dark Thirty” met some controversy in Washington following its release. A Pentagon report claimed that security lapses revealed the names of commanders involved in the raid to the film’s writer. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., called on the Defense Department and CIA to investigate whether any classified information was incorrectly released. The film was largely supported by critics, with nominations for five Academy Awards.

The list includes 12 books, nine picked by Welsh and three by Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody.

First on the list of books is “The Doolittle Raid” by Caroll V. Glines. Welsh’s recommendation comes shortly after the Doolittle Raiders, the B-25 crews who bombed Tokyo as a response to the Pearl Harbor attacks in World War II, held their final toast in November.

Another suggestion, “Worm: The First Digital World War” by Mark Bowden, focuses on cyberspace, an area getting increased attention in the Air Force. The book traces the history of cyber attacks and the threats to both the military and the private sector.

In addition, there are seven TED Talks, artwork, web resources, which include Washington think tanks, and photography from three airmen: Staff Sgt Chris Griffin of the 1st Combat Camera Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, S.C.; Tech Sgt. Manuel Martinez of the Thunderbirds at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.; and Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder of the 3rd Combat Camera Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

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