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BY Joel Junker

4 Reasons JMOs Should Read: E195

Harry Truman, the 33rd President of the United States, said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”

Therefore, JMOs should read.

Leaders read because they continuously pursue learning and development. They know they never “arrive” and know everything. Additionally, whether they are politicians, business people, military leaders, teachers, or wherever they lead, they know their environment is dynamic.  They read to stay sharp, adapt to new challenges, explore new ideas, and understand ideas and views that conflict with their own.

Often when I speak with Junior Military Officers (JMOs) considering the transition, they tell me they have not read much since they left college. I have to admit that I did not read much during my first two years in the military. Fortunately, a new commander implemented a reading program in my third year, and I also started preparing with Cameron-Brooks for my transition. I developed a habit of reading well before the transition that I continue today.

In this podcast, I explain four reasons why JMOs should make a habit of reading before the transition. They are:

  1. Developing a habit of reading that will carry forward to being a business leader post-transition.
  2. Learning business concepts and applying them in the military before transitioning, providing excellent experiences to share in an interview.
  3. When interviewing, the JMO will need to understand the language of business. One would not travel to a foreign country without learning some of the language and customs—the same with transitioning to business.
  4. The need to incorporate business concepts into interview answers. I provide an example where one individual had not developed an understanding or root cause of problem-solving and project management, and as a result, his interview answers lacked depth and specifics.

My colleague, Brock Dudley, wrote a blog post in February 2024 about the correlation between reading and successful interviewing.

JMOs should read — especially if you are making the transition. I highly recommend developing a reading habit today. If you have not already done so, start with PCS to Corporate America, 4th Ed. The book has a recommended reading list at the back. I wrote a blog post on 5 Books Every JMO Should Read ASAP a few years ago.

In the podcast, I mention Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates’ reading lists. You can find them hyperlinked in their names.

Thank you for listening to the Cameron-Brooks podcast! As you consider your potential transition from the military to the business world, if you’d like to talk about your marketability or how Cameron-Brooks can guide you to launching your career, please contact us directly. Schedule a call here. 

Cameron-Brooks has a 50-year track record of guiding military officers to create a step-by-step plan to learn about their options, connect their military experiences directly to opportunities in corporate America, craft a resume that will stand out to hiring managers, and ultimately launch a successful business career.