Dr. Donald F. Bittner

Professor Emeritus of Military History 

Areas of Expertise: General Military History, US Military History, British Military History, Marine Corps History, Research Methodology, General, Historical Amphibious Issues, History of Professional Military Education, Leadership

Areas of Expertise

  • General Military History
  • US Military History
  • British Military History
  • Marine Corps History
  • Research Methodology, General
  • Historical Amphibious Issues
  • History of Professional Military Education
  • Leadership


  • Ph.D.  (History) - University of Missouri - 1974
  • M.A. (History)  – University of Missouri - 1970
  • B.S. Education – 1963 - University of Missouri
  • USMC Command and Staff College (1978), USMC Amphibious Warfare School (1976), and USMC The Basic School (1963), plus various U.S, Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Air Force training schools.


            Dr. Bittner has served as a professor at the Command and Staff College since July 1975:  between 1975 and 1989 as a serving Marine Corps officer, retiring in the grade of Lieutenant Colonel; between 1989 and 2012 as a civilian, Professor of Military History.  Since retirement in 2012 and being awarded Professor Emeritus status, he has taught annually at the college in the Master of Military Studies program and offering the American Indian Wars elective.  A retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel, he served over 28 years in both the regular and reserve establishments, with 21 years of active duty.  His active duty included a variety of assignments, including, 2nd Field Artillery Group; The Marine Barracks, Keflavik, Iceland, and Marine Barracks, Long Beach, CA; 3rd Battalion, 24th Marines; Landing Force Training Command-Atlantic; duty aboard USS Talladega (APA-208) as a Combat Cargo Officer; and, for 14 years in uniform, Military Historian at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College.

Selected Publications

Comenced writing whilst further research:  "’Officers of the Corps:  The Royal Marine

Officers of the 19th Century, From Waterloo to Armistice Day”


A Solider Gone to Sea:  A Memoir of a Royal Marine in Both World Wars,” 

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Frederic Jerram, CMG, DSO, Royal Marines,” (to include the

edited memoir, and the editor's preface, essay on Lieutenant Colonel Jerram, and prepared  appendices, content ends notes, and citations (McFarland Press, 2016)


Royal Marine Officers in the Last Days of the Age of Sail:  Personal and Professional Concerns: Roal Marines Historical Society Special Publication No. 24 (Portsmouth, England, 2003)


General Sir Lewis Stratford Tollemache Halliday, VC, KCB, Royal Marines; Major General

James L. Moultton, CB, DSO, OBE, Royal Marines; Brigaider General Frederick William

Lumsden, VC, CB, DSO, Royal Marines; LtColonel Charles Frederic Jerram, CMG, DSO,

 Royal Marines; and Major Lord Dudley Leigh Aman, DSC, psc, Royal Marines Artillery, in

The Oxford Dicrtionary of National Biography  (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2004)


            "The Military Use of History," in The Oxford Companion to American Military History

             (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)


All (Eight) U. S. Marine Corps entries, in Military Education in the United States

(Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2000)


            The Lion and the White Falcon: Britain and Iceland in the World War II Era (Archon

             Books, 1983)


            A Ghost of a General, and the Royal Marine Officer Corps of 1914.  Royal Marines

             Historical Society Special Publication No. 6  (Portsmouth, England:  Royal Marines

             Historical Society, 1984)


            Curriculum Evolution.  Marine Corps Command and Staff College, 1920-1988  (Marine

             Corps History and Museums Division, 1988)


Editor:  Selected Pagers from the 1992 (59th Annual)  Meeting of the Society for

Military History – Hosted by the Command and Staff College of the Marine Corps

University.  Marine Corps University Perspectives on Warfighting Series Number

Three (Quantico, Virginia:  Marine Corps Command and Staff College Foundation, 1994)


             “Mobilized for War, Demobilized for Peace – and Permanently Retained:  Britain’s

            Royal Marines, 1755-1914,” Proceedings from the XXXV (2009 Meeting, Oporto,

            Portugal) Congress of the International Commission on Military History


            “A ‘Soldier of the Sea’ in Sub-Saharan Africa:  Brevet Major A. R. Chater, DSO, Royal

             Marines, of the Sudanese Camel Corps, 1921-31,” Selected Papers from the 2007

             Naval History Sympoisium (Naval Institue Press, 2009)


 “Taking the Right Fork in the Road:  The Transition of the US Marine Corps from an

 Exeptitionary’ to an ‘Amphibious’ Corps, 1918-1941,” in Battles Near and Far:  A

 Century of Operational Deployment.  The 2004 Chief of Army Military History

 Coinference (Canberra:  Army History Unit, 2005)


"Major General John H. Russell,  U. S. Marine Corps:  The Statesman Commandant,"

 in Commandants of the Marine Corps  (U. S. Naval Institute Press, 2004)


             “Colonel Justice M. Chambers, USMCR – An American Cincinnatus,”  in The Human

Experience in the World War II Era  (Scholarly Resources, 2001)


            "Royal Marine Spy, 1910-1913:  Captain Bernard Frederic Trench:  Royal Marine

             Light Infantry," in Royal Marine Spies of the World War One Era.  Royal Marines

             Historical Society Special Publication No. 15 (Portsmouth, England:  Portsmouth

            University Press, 1993)


“Dreadful!!!  Two Royal Marine Officers Views and Analyses of Gallipoli While There,

March-August 1915," Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, Vol. 83, No.

336, Winter 2005  


 “Bored in Bermuda, Died in China:  The Military Career of Captain H. T. R. Lloyd, Royal

Marine Light Infantry,” The Mariner's Mirror:  The Society for Nautical Research, Vol. 90,

No. 4, November 2004


“Shattered Images: Officers of Royal Marines, 1867-1913," The Journal of  Military

 History.  Vol. 59, No. 1, January 1995


"Jane Austen and Her Officers:  A Portrayal of the Army in English Literature", Journal of

the Society for Army Historical Research, Vol. LXXII, No. 290, Summer 1994


"Foreign Military Officer Training in Reverse:  U. S. Marine Corps Officers in the French

 Professional Military Education System in the Interwar Years", The Journal of Military

 History,  Vol. 57, No. 3, July 1993


             "Canadian Militia Mobilization and Deployment for War:  The Iceland Experience of       1940,"  Armed Forces and Society:  An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 18, No. 3, Spring



            "Britannia's Sheathed Sword: The Royal Marines and Amphibious Warfare in the Inter-

            war Years - A Passive Response", The Journal of Military History, Vol. 55, No. 3, July 1991


            "Descent in the North:  The Canadian 1941 Raid on Spitsbergen,"  Canadian Defence

             Quarterly, Spring, 1982


             "The 12th Bengal Cavalry in the 2nd Afghan War:  The Diary of Lieutenant William         Bernard Wilson," The Journal of  the Society for Army Historical Research, Autumn, 1980

            (with Lieutenant-Colonel H. M. Wilson, MC, Royal Norfolk Regiment)


 "Shoulder Patches:  A 'Polar Bear' for the Marines", Marine Corps Gazette, November    1980 


"Military History and Marine Corps Officer Education," Marines Corps Gazette, 1978


            "A Maple Leaf in the North Atlantic:  Canada, Britain, and the Defence of Iceland, 1940," 

             Canadian Defence Quarterly, Autumn, 1977


            "A Final Appraisal of the British Occupation of Iceland, 1940-1942,"  Journal of the Royal

             United Services Institute, December, 1975



President, Marine Corps University Faculty Council, 2000-2012


Secretary-General, United States Commission on Military History, 2012-2020


Editorial Board, Marine Corps Gazette, 1980s

Member, and Chairman, Nominating Committee, U. S. Commission on Military History,



Member, Nominating and Tellers Committee, Society for Military History, 1980s


Chairman and Program Chairman, 1992 meeting of the Society for Military History (1990-1992)


Member, Historians Advisory Committee, U. S. Naval Doctrine Command, early 1990


Member, Committee to establish and then revise the Commandant of the Marine Corps'

 Reading List, 1980s and 1990s


Professional memberships

Society for Military History, United States Commission on Military History, Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society, Royal United Services Institute, Royal Marines Historical Society, Society for French Historical Studies, Marine Corps Association



Marine Corps University