Dr. Don M. Snider

Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, West Point; Adjunct Research Professor, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

Commissioned from West Point in 1962, Dr. Snider has served the Republic for over five decades as both Soldier and scholar. As a Soldier he served three combat tours as an infantry officer in Vietnam, decorated for both valor and wounds. After battalion command in the 7th Infantry Division, he specialized in strategy and defense policy as Chief of Plans for Theater Army, Europe; Joint Planner for the Army Chief of Staff; and, Federal Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institution. In 1987 he joined the staff of the National Security Council in the White House as Director, Defense Policy, serving in both the Reagan and Bush Administrations. In his final active duty position he served in the Office of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, retiring in 1990 with award of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal by General Colin Powell.

Since then as a scholar, he served for many years on the faculty at West Point. While teaching and mentoring future leaders for the Army, he led the Academy’s effort, and more recently those of our other services, to renew the study of military professions, their ethics, and their civil-military relations. He developed privately-funded research projects with scholars from across America and abroad and then published four important books and authored numerous articles in respected military and academic journals on the Army Profession and the moral development of its leaders. Dr. Snider departed the Academy in 2008 as Professor Emeritus, the second civilian in the Academy’s history to be so honored.

He subsequently joined the faculty at the Army War College as Professor of the Army Profession, and the Center for the Army Profession and Ethic (CAPE) as a Senior Fellow. In these positions he helped lead a two-year effort to produce the first-ever doctrine on the US Army as a military profession (ADRP-1, The Army Profession, 2013). He then assisted another such effort in 2015 that redefined the Army’s Professional Ethic. Dr. Snider retired in October 2016 after 53 years of service within DoD, assuming Adjunct status. His recent publications include: “Will Army 2025 be a Military Profession?” (Parameters, Winter 2015-2016); and “Five Myths about the Army Profession” (Parameters, Autumn, 2016).

In the fall of 2015, Dr. Snider received from the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society the Morris Janowitz Career Achievement Award. This was the eleventh such award in the fifty-five years of this prestigious international seminar. In the spring of 2017 he received from the International Society for Military Ethics the inaugural Malham Wakin Founder’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the field of military ethics. In the summer of 2017 he received from the Royal Institute’s Center for Studies of Armed Forces and Society in Stockholm, Sweden the Bengt Abrahammson Award for lifetime contributions to the international study of military professions.

<<< Back to Faculty & Staff