Best books for military English learners

Military reading

You could notice that my site lacks a section called “blogroll” or any of such a type. Instead, to support your self-studies, here is the additional list of the best books to read and the best sites to visit while learning military English.

Course book reviews

Most of the books mentioned below are the books I have already read and thorougly studied. That’s why I have no scruples about recommending it to the military English learners.

1) “Command English” by James Arnold and Robert Sacco. It is the first book featuring military vocabulary I have Command English - a basic military English course bookread in my life. It’s a well recognized and received publication, which thanks to many illustrations enables beginners to familiarize with the military vocabulary. The whole book is divided into 20 units, all of them featuring thematic vocabulary on a particular subject – an area of military life. The book also contains four progress tests, each of them testing 5 subsequent units. To help the reader out with word search there is also a vocabulary list at the end of the book. In this list, you can easily find an unknown word and refer to the proper chapter for its usage. The book was published by Longman – Pearson Education (in 2011 rebranded to Pearson: http://www.pearsoned.com). Pearson no longer offers this book.

On Polish web book shops it is hard to obtain. You can find only the teacher’s book on Bookcity for only PLN 69.30. It’s a bargain if you take into account it hasn’t been republished for ages! I found second-hand copies on Amazon and eBay, however. It costs £9.91 on British Amazon and £3.47 on Australian eBay. It’s a must for the beginners! What’s more – it’s a British book set in British Army reality so “it is lovely.”


2) “Campaign” by Simon Mellor Clark & Yvonne Baker de Altamirano. Unlike the previously described “Command Campaign - 3 level course for military English studentsEnglish”, the Campaign series earned wider recognition or was simply marketed in a more offensive and efficient way. It’s enough to mention that McMillan English , the book publisher, devoted a seperate website to this product. You can find a summary of this military course and additional resources on http://www.campaignmilitaryenglish.com.

As the publisher claims:

“Campaign” meets the English language needs of military personnel on international operations peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and training exercises.

I can only confirm that it does. The three level course book is suitable for students ranging from begginers to advanced learners. The whole set is served with multiple illustrations and real military texts from armed forces of different countries. If you buy audio CDs for the course, you will be equipped well enough to seriously study military English or… conduct such a course if you happen to be a teacher willing to teach military-related personnel. You can buy original, new student’s books for £24.50 and audio CD for £42.00. Teacher’s book will cost you £25.20. And this is just one level set.


3) Command & Control - a student's book from Career Paths by Express PublishingCareer Paths: Command & Control by John Taylor & Jeff Zeter. This series was published by Express Publishing. On Amazon, you can find the student’s book for $25.88, eBay requires AU $30.52. It turned out that the best bargain on-line is offered by Express Publishing! They sell the book for €15.18 and only €28.08 if you decide to buy the whole pack (Teacher’s book, Student’s book, Audio CDs). In Poland it’s available at http://www.jezykowa.ksiegarniaht.pl. This book is the last one I used and I would like to recommend.


Z angielskim do NATO - język angielski dla wojskowych. Podręcznik do nauki angielskiego.4) “Z angielskim do NATOjęzyk angielski dla wojskowych” by Marcin Szymański & Waldemar Kniewel. This is the book I included thanks to Hubert – the recent contributor (already a moderator). As Hubert mentioned in the comments, it’s a great coursebook for the Polish learning English. It was one of the first Polish coursebooks designed to lead the Polish military through the English phraseology used within NATO. That’s why it includes multiple comments and exercises to practise military English in the new contexts. It features also some texts translated into Polish. Unfortunately, that book is no longer available at REA publishing house – they have ceased printing it. Nor is it available at any of the auction sites.


speaking and writing expert - Stanag6001 level 3

speaking and writing expert – Stanag6001 level 3

5) “Speaking And Writing Expert. How to Pass Stanag6001 English Exam Level 3” by Małgorzata Mazurek. The book was issued in February, 2017. Unlike the other positions on this list, it is not a course book, but a complete guide preparing for the exam itself. It deals with speaking and writing on level 3. It lists types of required tasks, tasks samples and possible answers, as well as some useful tips and hints. Everything you need to familiarize with the military English exam and its requirements. Read also my detailed review of this book.


Of course, there are many other course books offered in different countries by local publishers, but those mentioned above are probably the most popular and the most comprehensive ones. If you know any other worth mentioning here, let me know in the comments or via e-mail.

Websites worth visiting

1) NATO – the best site for military-political news. If you want to know what is going on in the world, what the NATO structure looks like, where the main corps, commands and centres are situated, this is your site.

2) Military.com – news from the field, but what is more important here, it refers also to out-of-war time, to military spouses, leasure time, vets and many other factors, which make a community out of banch of military families.

3) Stars And Stripes – the best American military propaganda information website. Nonetheless, it’s a perfect source of well written English texts, reports and pieces of news designed for the American soldiers. I mean it couldn’t be more simple and straightforward. Anything to keep them happy and fighting.

4) The Duffel Blog – it’s a humorous alternative to pompous government-driven news. Despite totally different goal, the authors follow all the best  journalist standards, preparing fake news you won’t distinguish from the real one.

5) British Army  – military news and articles with a British twist.

6) USA TODAY – an on-line version of a well-known  newspaper. I love them for a layout on the pages and the choice of articles. It’s never boring.

7) The Guardian – in my opinion the best British newspaper on-line. With multiple articles and video materials it’s perfect for practising your reading and listening skills. And it’s British! I love that accent.

More education-related links, for general language improvement, will be assembled in my second blog at http://www.LinguisticAtelier.com/wordpress.

All pictures used are scans of the book covers or adapted from Publishers’ websites.

  • Justyna

    hey,
    you’re doing a wonderful job and making ours easier!:) I have a question. Where do you get sample tests? I’ve just started a course for Italian officers, captains to be exact, and our target is SLP 3333. The problem is that we, the teachers, are not allowed to access any past JFLTs. It’s “top secret” and we can’t even take a look. It makes our job pretty stressful as we’re “walking in fog”. Do you have any tips?

    • Hi Justyna,
      It’s great that you found our web content useful. As regards past English tests, it’s not a problem to find such English resources on Polish websites. If you go to the tab “Links” you will find the Polish organization from Łódź, which is the central examination board responsible for exam sheets and tests. They list some resources but, for God knows what reason, only in Polish version of the site. Generally speaking, they set standards in English teaching within the Polish Armed Forces.
      If you refer to the tests, already published on our site, most of them come from their pages, and some of them are our own product, still according to the principles of STANAG 6001.
      The general factor is that the higher level the course is the less tests are available. In case of the fourth level, half of the tests I had to develop myself.
      Feel free to use it and stay connected. RSS subscription will keep you informed about new entries on the blog. We are also on Facebook, Twitter and some general English articles appear on Linguistic Atelier blog here.
      Regards

  • Talking about books for military English it is worth to mention ‘Dictionary of Military Terms’ by Richard Bowyer and published by MacMillan English as a part of Campaign course (here)
    This dictionary provides a basic vocabulary (acronyms and abbreviations are also included) of British and American terms relating to the three services and covers subjects such as rank, organization, training, operations in the field, logistics, radio communications and some of the more common weapons and equipment currently in use. Encyclopedic comments are provided where necessary and most entries include example sentences, showing how the words and expressions are used in practice. Phonetic symbols are used as well to show the correct pronunciation.

    For those cooperating with or being under command of US Army or USMC, FM 1-02 ‘Operational Terms and Graphics’ Field Manual could be useful (FM 1-02). In addition to operational terms, acronyms and abbreviations, unit and equipment symbols are presented.

  • Let’s continue with books for military English learners.
    I found ‘Z angielskim do NATO’ by Marcin Szymański and Waldemar Kniewel recently, however I haven’t checked it yet. I hope Brig. Gen. Stachowiak and Col. Czerwiński as consultants confirm it is worth using.
    http://www.bookcity.pl/z-angielskim-do-nato-jezyk-angielski-dla-wojskowych/pid/9404

    • Thanks for another contribution to the list of readings. In fact, I know that book but completely forgot about it. Glad that you mentioned it because it is really good, especially for the Polish. And it’s good despite rather than thanks to high ranking officers recommending it. :-)

  • As Hubert suggested, one more coursebook was included in the article. As regards the “Campaign” dictionary it’s been already a part of the recommended publication.

  • Great publications, great subject. You know guys what you are talking about.

  • My first publication I learned military English on, was ATP-35(B). Translating it from English into Polish was very educative and beneficial. Then I discovered that the Polish translation of ATP-35(B), which by that time was available in the Polish military contained multiple errors. And I was capable of identifying those errors still being an English student. Everything thanks to good coursebooks described above.