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Dr. Mark E. Grotelueschen

Deputy Department Head for Academics

Department of Military & Strategic Studies

Dr. Grotelueschen
Contact Information

(719) 333-3281



Mark E. Grotelueschen, PhD, currently teaches a range of strategic studies courses and serves as the Chief of Academic Administration in the Department of Military and Strategic Studies at the USAF Academy near Colorado Springs, Colorado.  He previously served as Professor of History and Director of Academics while holding a Senior Military Faculty position in the Department of History.  During more than a decade of teaching at the Air Force Academy he has taught a wide variety of courses covering strategy, military thought, history, statesmanship, and area studies.  He has previously served as the Chief of the Military History Division, the chair of the Academy’s African Area Studies Group, and a member of the Scholars Program Advisory Council. He is the recipient of the Outstanding Academy Educator Award, the McDermott Award for Research Excellence, and the Orrison Award for cadet advising and mentoring .  A 27-year Air Force veteran and former aircraft maintenance officer, he worked directly with many different types of aircraft (A-10, C-12, C-17, C-130, E-3, F-16, KC-10, KC-135, RQ-4, and U-2), and commanded the 380th Expeditionary Maintenance Operations Squadron at Al Dhafra Air Base, UAE, in 2004-2005.  Dr Grotelueschen also served as the Deputy Chief of Engagement Integration in the Strategy, Plans, and Programs Directorate (A5) at US Air Forces Africa, Ramstein AB, Germany.  He deployed as a United Nations peacekeeper in the United Nations Mission in Liberia, where he worked in the mission’s Joint Logistics Operations Centre and helped plan and execute the successful national elections there in 2011.  He graduated with Academic Distinction from the USAF Academy, earned an MA in Military and Diplomatic History from the University of Calgary, and holds a PhD in History from Texas A&M University. In 2022 he completed the Indo-Pacific Orientation Course at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies. He is the author or editor of many articles and books, including The AEF Way of War: The American Army and Combat in World War I (Cambridge, 2007), which has been selected repeatedly by multiple US Army Chiefs of Staff for their Professional Reading Lists.  Most recently he edited The Harmon Memorial Lectures, Volume II: 1988-2017 (Air University Press, 2020).


Ph.D., History, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas (2003)

M.A., Military and Diplomatic History, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada (1998)

Bachelor of Science (with distinction), History, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado (1991)

Professional Experience

Professor of History, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. (2015-2018)

Associate Professor, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. (2011-2015)
– Appointed as Senior Military Faculty in May 2013

Staff/Plans Officer, Joint Logistics Operation Centre, United Nations Mission in Liberia, Monrovia, Liberia (2011)

Deputy Chief, Engagement Integration, HQ Air Forces Africa, Ramstein AF, Germany (2010-2011)

Associate Professor, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. (2008–2010)

Air War College, USAF Executive Leadership Course, Montgomery, Ala. (2008-2009)

Assistant Professor, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. (2006-2008)

Deputy Chief, C-17 Program Integration Office, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Anchorage, Alaska (2005-2006)

Commander, 380th Expeditionary Maintenance Operations Squadron, Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates (2004-2005)

Operations Officer, 703rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Anchorage, Alaska (2003-2005)

Air Command and Staff College, USAF Senior Leadership Course, Montgomery, Ala. (2003)

Air Force Institute of Technology Liaison Officer, Texas A&M, College Station, Texas (2001-2003)

Squadron Officer School, Distinguished Graduate, USAF Junior Leadership Course, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. (1999)

Sortie Generation Flight Commander, 75th Fighter Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, Fayetteville, N.C. (1995-1996)

Officer-in-Charge, Propulsion Flight, 23rd Maintenance Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, Fayetteville, N.C. (1994-1995)

Officer-in-Charge, Aerospace Ground Equipment Flight, 23rd Maintenance Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, Fayetteville, N.C. (1993)

Maintenance Officer, 40th Airlift Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, Fayetteville, N.C. (1993)


Honors & Awards

LTC John William Whitman Research Fellowship, Army Heritage Center Foundation (2022)

Ridgway Grant, Ridgway Family Endowment Fund (2019)

LTC John William Whitman Research Fellowship, Army Heritage Center Foundation (2018)

McDermott Award for Research Excellence in the Humanities (2017)
(USAFA’s top research award)

Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award (2015)

Aspen Seminar Fellowship, The Aspen Institute (2013)

Holocaust Education Foundation Summer Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization Fellowship, Northwestern University (2013)

Merrill Center for Strategic Studies Workshop Fellowship, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University (2007)

Outstanding Academy Educator Award (2007)
(USAFA’s top teaching award)

Orrison Award for Excellence in Cadet Advising and Mentoring, Department of History (1999)

Graduate with Academic Distinction, U.S. Air Force Academy (1991)

Research and Scholarly Interests

Indo-Pacific Security Issues

Modern Warfare and the Spectrum of Conflict

Statesmanship, Strategy, and Strategic Thinking

Command and Leadership

Combat Doctrine and Lesson-learning

Peacekeeping, Stability, and Military Occupation

African Security Issues

War Crimes and Genocide


Current Projects:

Completing research and writing for “Saint Mihiel, 1918:  The Birth of Modern American Battle,” which will be the first scholarly monograph ever written on the St. Mihiel Offensive of September 1918.


Editor, The Harmon Memorial Lectures, Volume II: 1988-2017.  Air University Press, 2020.

Into the Fight: AprilJune 1918. Washington, D.C.:  US Army Center of Military History, 2018.              

The AEF Way of War:  The American Army and Combat in World War I. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. (Repeated selection for US Army Chief of Staff’s Professional Reading List)

Doctrine Under Trial: American Artillery Employment in World War I. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001.

Co-editor: The Officer's Companion to Military History.  New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1999.

Associate editor:  Forged by Fire:  Military History for the Profession of Arms. Needham Heights, MA:  Simon and Schuster, 1998.

Selected Chapters, Articles, Encyclopedia Entries, and Reports: 

“The First World War,” with Derek Varble, for the Oxford Handbook of American Military History, edited by Samuel Watson, for Oxford University Press. Forthcoming 2024.

“Provocative Weakness: The Failure of American Deterrence in 1917,” in From Peace to War, from War to Peace: Conflict Initiation and Termination: Implications for Policy Makers. Edited by Hans-Peter Kriemann and Matej Medvecky. Center for Military History and Social Sciences of the Bundeswehr. Book in publication 2023.

“Umkhonto we Sizwe” and “Azanian People’s Liberation Army” for Modern African Conflicts: An Encyclopedia of Civil Wars, Revolutions, and Terrorism. Edited by Tim Stapleton. ABC-Clio Press, 2022.

“Count Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf and the Failure of Strategic Leadership,” with Derek Varble, for Worst Military Leaders in History. Edited by John Jennings and Chuck Steele. Reaktion Books, 2022.

“Airpower at St. Mihiel: Billy Mitchell, Military Diplomacy, and One of the Great War’s Largest Air Armadas,” in Journal of Character & Leadership Development (Fall 2021): 105-115.

“Colonel George C. Marshall,” with Derek Varble, in Pershing’s Lieutenants: American Military Leadership in World War I. Edited by David Zabecki and Doug Mastriano. Osprey, 2020.

“Saint-Mihiel, Septembre 1918: Naissance de la Bataille Américaine Moderne” in L’engagement des Américains dans la guerre, 1917-1918: La  Fayette nous voilà!  Edited by Olivier Chaline and Olivier Forcade. Sorbonne Université Presses, 2020.

“The Belfort Ruse: The AEF’s Deception Plan at St. Mihiel, 1918,” in Weaving the Tangled Web: Military Deception in Large-Scale Combat  Operations. Edited by Christopher M. Rein.  Fort Leavenworth, KS: Army University Press, 2018.

“Firepower and Breakthrough in the Meuse-Argonne: 1 November 1918,” in Lethal and Non-Lethal Fires: Historical Case Studies of Converging  Cross-Domain Fires in Large Scale Combat Operations. Edited by Thomas G. Bradbeer. Fort Leavenworth, KS: Army University Press, 2018.

“Decisive Factor or Junior Partner?: The American Contribution to Allied Victory in the Great War.”  South Central Review (Fall 2017): 8-30.

Editor, Violence Section. 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, ed. by Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, and Bill Nasson, issued by Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin. https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/contributors/Mark_E._Grotelueschen

“Joint Planning for Global Warfare:  The Development of the Rainbow Plans in the United States, 1938-1941.”  Army History (Fall 2015): 9-26. (Winner of the Army Historical Foundation’s Distinguished Writing Award)

“Pre-colonial Warfare in Africa.” Oxford Bibliographies in Military History. Edited by Dennis Showalter.  New York:  Oxford University Press, 2015.

“Warfare 1917-1918 (USA), The American Expeditionary Forces,” in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, ed. by Ute

Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, and Bill Nasson, issued by Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin 2014-10-08.

“The Doughboys Make Good:  American Victories at St. Mihiel and Blanc Mont Ridge.” Army History (Spring 2013): 6-18.

“Guarding the Vote:  The U.N. Mission in Liberia Secures the Path to Successful Elections,” with David Foster, in ADF: Africa Defense Forum, vol5, 4, 2012: 19-23.

“Calming the Waters:  Operation Horizon Sentinel Fosters Cooperation to Build Maritime Security for Liberia,” with Mike Dudas, in ADF: Africa  Defense Forum, vol.5, no. 3, 2012:  52-55.

“The Junior Partner:  Anglo-American Military Cooperation in World War I,” in Finding Common Ground: New Directions in First World War Studies. Edited by Jennifer D. Keene and Michael S. Neiberg. Boston/Leiden: Brill, 2010.

“Pershing’s Combat Doctrine and Tactics.”  In History in Dispute:  World War I, First Series.  Edited by Dennis Showalter. Detroit:  St. James Press, 2002: 25-28.

“Portal Monitoring: The Monitoring of the Votkinsk Machine Plant for the On-Site Inspection Agency.” OSIA Research Internship Report. Washington, D.C.: OSIA Headquarters, 1990.

Book Reviews:  Approximately twenty reviews in the Journal of Military History; Army HistoryThe US Army War College Quarterly—Parameters; Presidential Studies Quarterly; War in History; Journal of World History; H-War; African Studies Quarterly; The Historian; War, Literature, and the Arts; The Journal of Character and Leadership Development  

Referee:  University of Oklahoma Press; Texas A&M University Press; University Press of Kentucky; University of North Texas Press; Oxford University Press, Brill, Bedford/St. Martin’s, University of Kansas Press; The Journal of Military History; War & Society; The Journal of Policy History; Foundations:  An Undergraduate Journal in History; US Military History Review; War in History; Journal of Military Ethics; Journal of Military and Strategic Studies; Militärgeschichtliche Zeitschrift (MGZ) German Journal of Military History