Dr. Swanson’s scholarly interests focus on US History with emphasis on the Colonial/Revolutionary period and 19th century westward expansion. Much of his current research and teaching centers on 20th century US Marine Corps and Navy history. Although not part of the CSC curriculum, he also maintains a strong interest in the history of military medicine. He teaches an elective on the United States in the Pacific covering the period from 1784 to 1945.
Before joining the CSC faculty in 2001, Dr. Swanson served as a Communications Officer in the Marine Corps. He had assignments with the 1st Marines, 7th Marines, 17th MAU, Marine Corps Base Camp Butler (Okinawa), and the Naval Council of Personnel Boards (Arlington, VA). Academic assignments while on active duty included teaching in the Political Science Department at the US Naval Academy, serving as a Field Historian for the Marine Corps History Division, and as the CSC Curriculum Officer at the College of Continuing Educations (now CDET). He retired from active duty in 2001 at the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Dr. Swanson has published articles in the Oxford Companion to American Military History, Fortitudine, Naval History, and The Journal of America’s Military Past. For several years, he lectured on the Pacific War for Annual Congressional World War II Symposiums at the Rayburn House Office Building. He has also given presentations for the World War II Veterans Committee Conference, the Japanese-American Military History Exchange Conference, NDU, and the Joint History Office. He has served as a Visiting Scholar to CDET to Henderson Hall, Norfolk, Cherry Point, Camp Lejeune, Parris Island, Camp Pendleton, Hawaii, and Okinawa. Dr. Swanson has also taught CSC CDET courses while underway for the 22nd, 24th, and 26th MEUs. He actively supports the MCU International Students frequently serving as a guide and escort on their PME and FSP trips to Washington DC, Philadelphia, San Diego, and New York. Additionally, he regularly provides similar support for outside groups like the 82nd Airborne, Wounded Warriors, 8th Communications Battalion, the British Royal Marines, and the Canadian Army.
Major Awards and Decorations
Meritorious Unit Commendation, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (2), Joint
Meritorious Unit Commendation, Civilian Performance Awards (4), Elihu Rose Award (2)