Before I joined the military, I’d read dozens of books in all genres that involved all kinds of armies and military forces. It was only after I saw the real thing from the inside that I started to notice the variety of ways authors approach the military in fiction. Authenticity doesn’t impress me; there are plenty of writers who’ve served, or at least done their research. War is a complex subject, and I’m interested in books that have something to say about the real-life issues confronting people in uniform, or broader commentary on the nature of war.
These aren’t necessarily the most high-profile military science fiction and fantasy books, but they all gave me some kind of insight at different points in my life.