Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History
College of Arts and Sciences
Topics: military history
B.S., U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. (1982)
M.A., Military History, The Ohio State University (1992)
Ph.D., Military History, The Ohio State University (1995)
M.S.S., Strategic Studies, Army War College (2003)
Col. Peter Mansoor, U.S. Army (Retired), is the Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair of Military History at The Ohio State University, a joint appointment between the Department of History and the Mershon Center. He assumed this position in September 2008 after a 26-year career in the U.S. Army that culminated in his service in Iraq as the executive officer to Gen. David Petraeus, the commanding general of Multi-National Force-Iraq, during the period of the surge in 2007-08.
A 1982 distinguished graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, Mansoor served in a variety of command and staff positions in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East during his military career, including postings with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Bliss, Texas; 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Bad Hersfeld and Fulda, Germany; Opposing Forces at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif.; and commander of the 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry (the "Buffalo Soldiers") and G-3 of the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Hood, Texas. He also served on the Joint Staff as the special assistant to the director for strategic plans and policy during a period that included the Bosnian peace support operation, Operation Desert Fox, and the Kosovo conflict.
In the early 1990s Mansoor attended graduate school at Ohio State, after which he taught military history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. During this period he authored a monograph on the combat performance of U.S. Army infantry divisions in Europe during World War II. The GI Offensive in Europe: The Triumph of American Infantry Divisions, 1941-1945 was published by the University Press of Kansas on the 55th anniversary of D-Day and was awarded the Society for Military History distinguished book award and the Army Historical Society distinguished book award in 2000.
Mansoor commanded the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division from 2003 to 2005, including 13 months in combat in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from July 2003 to July 2004 -- service for which his brigade was awarded a President Unit Citation for collective valor in combat. He has captured the essence of the experience of his brigade’s deployment and the difficulties of the U.S. war in Iraq during the crucial first year of conflict in a personal memoir, Baghdad at Sunrise: A Brigade Commander's War in Iraq, published in September 2008 by Yale University Press. In 2009 the Ohioana Library Association honored the account as its non-fiction book of the year.
After relinquishing command, Mansoor resided at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York as a senior military fellow. He then served as the founding director of the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he helped to edit the counterinsurgency field manual, which was used to reshape the conduct of the Iraq War. In Fall 2006 he also served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff Council of Colonels that reexamined the strategy for the war in Iraq.
Since coming to Ohio State, Mansoor has published Hybrid Warfare: Fighting Complex Opponents from the Ancient World to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2012), edited with Williamson Murray and based on a 2010 Mershon Center conference. In 2014, his book Surge: My Journey with General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War will be published by Yale University Press.
Mansoor is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Alpha Theta. His research interests include modern U.S. military history, World War II, the Iraq War, and counterinsurgency warfare.