Paul D. Gelpi, Ph.D.

Professor of Military History
Command and Staff College

Contact Information

  • (703) 784-1053 (work)


Areas of Expertise

  • Post-1945 U.S. National Security Affairs

  • U.S. Military History

  • Military Strategy and Theory

  • Aviation History and Airpower Theory

  • U.S. Cultural and Intellectual History


  • Ph.D., History, 2002, The University of Alabama

  • M.A., History, 1994, University of New Orleans

  • B.A., History, 1991, University of New Orleans


Dr. Paul D. Gelpi is a Professor of Military History and serves as the War Studies Department Head at the Command & Staff College. He joined the faculty of the Command & Staff College in 2007 and was promoted to Professor in 2010. He served as the Electives Program Coordinator from 2007 to 2009 and as the Operational Art Course Director from 2009 to 2012. In 2012, he became the Communications Program Coordinator. Since 2011, has taught in the College of Distance Education and Training’s CSC Distance Education Program. He has also held positions with several institutions of higher learning and serves on the adjunct faculty of the School of International Service at American University. 

Dr. Gelpi is a U.S. historian whose principal scholarly interests are U.S. military history, primarily aviation history and airpower theory, and the history of culture and ideas in the Early Republic and 20th-century America, especially the Cold War era. He contributed an essay – “In Defense of Liberty: The Battalion d ‘Orleans and Its Battle for New Orleans” – to The Battle of New Orleans in History and Memory; and his book, Creating a “Flexible Response:” General “Opie” Weyland and the Resurgence of Tactical Airpower, is nearing completion while his article, “To Answer the Question of Power Projection: General O.P. Weyland, USAF and the Origins of ‘Flexible Response,’ 1954-1960,” is in revision. He has, as well, published articles, essays, encyclopedia entries, and scholarly reviews on U.S. and military history; and presented papers at conferences and lectured in the United States and abroad.

Selected Publications 

  • “Staff Riding in the Twenty-First Century: A Need for Pedagogical Change?” with Christopher S. Stowe and Bradford A. Wineman, Army History (Winter 2019): 20-27.
  •  “The Staff Ride: A Model for the 21st Century,” with Bradford A. Wineman and Christopher S. Stowe, Marine Corps Gazette 102:7 (July 2018): 70-75.

  • “In Defense of Liberty: The Battalion d ‘Orleans and Its Battle for New Orleans” in The Battle of New Orleans, Real and Remembered, ed. Laura Lyons McLemore. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 2016.

  • The Grand Strategy that Won the Cold War: Architecture of Triumph, ed. Douglas E. Streusand (contributing editor), Norman A. Bailey (contributing editor), Francis H. Marlo (contributing editor), and Paul D. Gelpi (chapter editor). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016.

“Strange Fruit: Race and Murder in Small Town Louisiana,” Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association LII (Winter 2011): 80-95.

Marine Corps University