United States Air Force Academy

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Dr. Justin Simundson

Assistant Professor of History

Department of History

Official Photo of Justin Simundson
Contact Information

(719) 333-2119




Dr. Justin Simundson is an Assistant Professor of History and the U.S. Air Force Academy.  He earned his PhD in History from Texas Tech University in 2017.  His academic work focuses on the politics and propaganda of counterinsurgency in the Vietnam War.  He is the editor of Crooked Bamboo: A Memoir from Inside the Diem Regime by Nguyen Thai, which highlights Mr. Thai’s experiences as a high-level South Vietnamese propaganda official and as a personal aide to President Ngo Dinh Diem.  Dr. Simundson’s current project examines the creation and failure of the combined South Vietnamese and American propaganda effort in South Vietnam from its beginning in the 1950s to its virtual collapse before the beginning of America’s Vietnam War.

Dr. Justin Simundson is a native of South Dakota and attended the US Naval Academy for three years.  After a medical separation from the Navy, Dr. Simundson completed his undergraduate work at Augustana University and his MA at the University of South Dakota.  He spent two years teaching and researching in Vietnam as part of his graduate work.  Dr. Simundson got married in Saigon and he now lives in Colorado Springs with his wife and two stepchildren.  He enjoys hiking, camping, lifting weights, and woodworking.


PhD, History, Texas Tech University, 2017
Dissertation: Propaganda Images and Manufacturing Consent in “Free” Vietnam, 1950-1963

MA, History, The University of South Dakota, 2009

BS, History with Departmental Distinction, Augustana University, 2008

Professional Experience

Senior Counselor, International Sponsored Student Programs, Texas Tech University, 2017-2020

Adjunct Professor / Graduate Part-Time Instructor, Texas Tech University, 2013-2020

English Instructor, Yola Institute, Vietnam, 2014-2017

Honors & Awards

Staff Excellence Award nominee, Texas Tech, 2018

Strive for Honor Award nominee, Texas Tech, 2018

Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Texas Tech, 2016-2017

AT&T Chancellor’s Fellowship, Texas Tech, 2009-2013

Research and Scholarly Interests

Military and Diplomatic history

Vietnam War

Cold War

propaganda / public diplomacy

insurgency and unconventional warfare


Editor with Introduction, Crooked Bamboo: A Memoir from Inside the Diem Regime, by Nguyen Thai – 2019, Texas Tech University Press.

“Review of Max Boot, The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam,” Passport 49, no. 2 (September 2018): 66-67