The Marine Corps Professional Reading Program Began as the Commandant's Reading List in 1988, although recommended reading lists have been generated for Marines since the 19th century. Each Commandant since 1988 has placed his personal stamp on the program, but many of the books have remained constant.
The list is heavily weighted towards "classics", and has been streamlined to five titles and one capstone doctrinal publication per grade, and is only one part of a larger professional reading program for Marines. There are hundreds of books published annually that are important to Marines. The Marine Corps professional Reading Program website offers an opportunity to recommend numerous readings across a variety of subjects. Lists have been or will be created by function (combat arms, intelligence, logistics), world region/culture (Middle East, Asia, Africa), and topic (irregular warfare, leadership, biography). The Commandant of the Marine Corps Reading List should be limited to those titles that reflect his planning guidance. A smaller list is more manageable and has a realistic expectation of actually being attempted by busy Marines.