SMARTleader Program

Idaho State Cadets

The Lightning Press has donated more than $150,000 worth of SMARTbooks to Academy, ROTC and JROTC Cadets!

   Announcing our SMARTleader Program!

The Lightning Press, publisher of the SMARTbook Military Reference series, in partnership with Things We Read, a 501c3 non-profit, has donated more than $150,000 in SMARTbook Military Reference books to kick off their “SMARTleader Program” for aspiring young military professionals.

The goal of the joint effort is to help develop, foster and inspire the cadets attending the academies, ROTC and JROTC programs throughout the country to become intelligent, informed military leaders needed for the Nation’s future.

Purdue Univ Cadets - SMARTleaders

“Great leaders don’t just happen,” said Norman Wade, Publisher and Author of the SMARTbooks series and owner of The Lightning Press. “Great leaders are the ones who start young, putting in the time, effort, hard work and dedication to become informed, strong and resilient. The Lightning Press wants to honor and support the young men and women who demonstrate that commitment through their involvement with USMA, ROTC and JROTC programs and give them a head start.”

“You are not born Great.

There are some things you can be born as – naturally athletic, intuitively smart, or born stronger.

But you are not born into Greatness – naturally tough, intuitively brave, or born a winner.

That comes from adversity, trial, and grit. Training, dedication, and hard work.
In real life, when the the world stands against you like tide to the stones, it doesn’t matter who is the most athletic, the smartest, or the strongest. What matters is who has the will to get it done regardless of what’s in their way.

You know why? Because anyone can be born just as athletic, smart, or strong as you were.

But nobody is born Great.” – Anonymous Quote from the Web


The Lightning Press is donating the books and Things We Read is helping to distribute them through their “Young Leader Series” to the schools and to arrange key leader engagements and leadership development opportunities for the participating schools and cadets.

“SMARTbooks are widely used in the training and execution of military operations around the world. We are honored to work with The Lightning Press to make them available at no cost to the next generation of aspiring military leaders,” said Christopher Molaro, co-founder of Things We Read.

  How can I participate?

We are gearing up for our School Year 2015 donation cycle. Schools and organizations interested in participating should contact with: point of contact, school name, approximate size of the ROTC or JROTC program, and when your respective semesters begin and end. More information on the SMARTleader Program can be found at:

As a dedicated non-profit, 100% of Things We Read’s proceeds go towards donating books to Soldiers deployed overseas and communities in need, and now, with the Young Leader Series, providing leadership material to cadets and our nation’s future leaders. If you’d like to make a tax-deductable donation to Things We Read, 501(c)3 to help pay for the shipping and to help make this program a reality for schools and leadership organizations, please visit their website at:


  About Things We Read!

Co-founded by a couple of junior military officers, who after they deployed with their soldiers to Iraq sought to improve their quality of lives, Things We Read aims at making reading, quality books and furthering education as a primary goal in our society, the younger generation, and the Soldiers and Veteran community. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Things We Read offers an intimate look at the bookshelves of the most influential and interesting people of our time in an effort to inspire reading and setting personal goals, and then offers those quality reads at no cost. As a dedicated non-profit, 100% of their proceeds go towards donating books to soldiers deployed overseas and communities in need, and now, with the Young Leader Series, providing leadership material to cadets and our nation’s future leaders. For more information on how to get involved, please visit: