Starship Troopers (book)

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Perhaps best known to the general public for its portrayal of future infantry using powered exoskeleton suits dropped from space, this 1959 book, by Robert A. Heinlein, was the first to make the professional reading list of all four U.S. military services. The movie version shares little besides the title; there are no serious plot similarities.

From the professional military education view, the valuable lessons are in military ethics, motivation and, above all, responsibility. The combat technologies, while fascinating and well handled in the plot, are, in many respects, not that more advanced than things on or coming to the modern battlefield. Some of the most spectacular technologies, dropping troops from spaceships and the powered exoskeletons, are unlikely to be implemented as described, as detailed analysis reveals they might well be tactically useless. Alternative methods can accomplish the same goals. Electronics and sensors of the book are comparable, and even in some cases behind, current methods.

It is not accidental, however, that chapters begin with historical quotes, as certain of the leadership principles were as true in the Roman legions.