Colonel Brian W. Cole, USMC

Joint Warfare Course Director, Marine Corps War College


Col Cole is the Joint Warfare Course Director at the Marine Corps War College. He joined MCWAR following his assignment at Headquarters Marine Corps, Department of Aviation, Branch Head for Aviation Support and Manpower.

Col Cole started his military career enlisting as an AeroScout Observer from 1988-1992 in the US Army. He worked at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), on multiple engineering projects at AeroSpace Design and Devlopment, and at BioServe Space Technologies. He went on to earn a commission in the US Marine Corps and became an AV-8B Harrier pilot. He served on MEUs in WestPac, was stationed in Korea and Japan, and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following his fleet tours, Col Cole was an instructor at MAWTS-1, and an adversary instructor pilot at VMFT-401. He then went on to stand up VMU-4 and supported multiple WTI courses, integrated training exercises, and Joint Task Force - NorthCom. He left his operational tours and was assigned as faculty at the Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University before joining the HQMC staff at the Pentagon as an analyst before assuming duties as a Branch Head for the Deputy Commandant for Aviation.

Col Cole holds a BA in Physics with an emphasis in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado, a MA in Strategic Studies and National Security from the Navy and Air War Colleges, and a MA in Diplomacy from Norwich University. Col Cole is a PhD Candidate in International Studies with concentrations in International Political-Economics and American Foreign Policy at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA. His dissertations examines global complex systems, focusing on international investment in the Arctic and its integration within the international institutional framework. He authored “The Third Offset Strategy and the Challenges to Marine Aviation” for MCAA’s The Yellow Sheet, and “Clausewitz’s Wondrous yet Paradoxical Trinity: The nature of war as a complex adaptive system,” for NDU Press.


Marine Corps University