Each  Commandant of the Marine Corps has a suggested reading list for professional development that they recommend to their Marines. When a new Commandant is named, a new reading list is developed that reflects what the new commandant believes will make Marines into the best war-fighters and leaders possible.

There are specific reading lists for each stage of a Marines Career that range from a junior enlisted reading list, all the way to a Senior Commissioned Officer list, and all career phases in between. The current Commandant of the Marine Corps, Robert B. Neller, has developed the current list below specifically for Non-Commissioned Officers or NCOs and is designed to not only develop NCOs into better leaders but also to give them a further understanding of military and Marine Corps history. Through the study of past conflicts, it not only allows the reader to develop an intimate knowledge of strategies used in previous wars such as the Civil War and WWII but also first-hand accounts of the feelings and experiences that troops felt during these conflicts.