United States Air Force Academy

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Dr. John J. Abbatiello

Division Chief, Research and Scholarship

Center for Character and Leadership Development

Official photo of Dr. John J. Abbatiello (CCLD).
Contact Information

(719) 333-0933



Dr. John J. Abbatiello is the Chief, Research and Scholarship Division, Center for Character and Leadership Development (CCLD), at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He supervises research and assessment efforts for the CCLD and conducts outreach to sister service academies, DOD organizations, and civilian universities and leadership institutes.

John completed high school in Ocala, Fla., in 1983 and graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1987. He attended pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz., and went on to operational and training assignments flying the EC-135C Looking Glass, T-37 Tweet, and KC-135R Stratotanker. He later received an M.A. in War Studies in 1995 from King’s College London with a three-year follow-on assignment teaching military history to U.S. Air Force Academy cadets. John then returned to operational flying at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., where he flew the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) and served as his squadron’s expeditionary director of operations during Operation ALLIED FORCE. He also served as the 93rd Operations Group’s Chief of Standardization and Evaluations, overseeing flight evaluations and publications for two operational JSTARS squadrons and one flying training squadron.

In 2001, John returned to King’s College London to begin work on his doctoral degree. His dissertation focused on Britain’s use of aircraft to counter German U-boats during the First World War, with a focus on leadership, doctrinal change, and technological innovation. Upon completing his Ph.D. in 2004, he returned to the Department of History as the Deputy Department Head.

In 2009, John deployed to Camp Victory, Baghdad, where he served as Multi-National Corp-Iraq Chief of Iraqi Logistics Development and as the U.S. Forces-Iraq Chief of Staff to the Director of Logistics and Sustainment (J-4). During his 25-year USAF career, John logged 3600 hours of flight time, including instructor duty in four USAF aircraft (T-37, T-3, E-8C, and T-52). He retired from active duty as a colonel in 2012 and worked in industry from 2012 to 2016. He assumed his current position in November 2016.

John is the author of Anti-Submarine Warfare in World War I: British Naval Aviation and the Defeat of the U-Boats (Routledge, 2006) and numerous articles and book reviews on airpower, sea power, and military affairs.