Daniel Krebs, PhD, associate professor of history in UofL’s College of Arts & Sciences, will spend the 2020-2021 academic year as the Harold Keith Johnson Chair at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
The college provides graduate-level instruction for selected military, civilian and international officers to prepare them for strategic leadership assignments and responsibilities. Past alumni include Dwight D. Eisenhower and George S. Patton.
The Harold Keith Johnson Chair, located in the Department of National Security and Strategy, is the college’s most prestigious visiting professorship. The chair holder conducts a seminar, “War, Policy and National Security,” in the fall, then teaches an elective in the spring.
“It’s a great honor,” said Krebs, who, along with his wife, will live in Carlisle for a year. His plans were in motion months before the COVID-19 pandemic, but Krebs said he confirmed his appointment in early April.
Krebs, a military historian, organized an international 2018 military history conference in Louisville that was attended by over 600 military historians. “For history, that’s a fairly big conference,” he laughed.
Afterward, a professor from the War College approached him about applying for the chair. But Krebs, who hails from Germany, declined because he was not yet a U.S. citizen.
That changed last year, and when the War College approached him again, “I said, ‘I am indeed a citizen now, so we can make this happen.’”
Krebs’ elective will address how prisoners of war impact strategic decision-making. Most of his research is related to this issue, which addresses what happens “after the battle,” as opposed to the “planning and crafting of operations.”
“I’ll try to teach them to think of POWs not just while in camp, their treatment,” he said, “but also about what kind of effect POWs have on war-making and the operational and strategic decision-making processes.”
UofL has a strong relationship with the U.S. Army and the education of soldiers. An Army War College Fellow has attended UofL annually for the last six years, an appointment that allows the officer to take classes to help broaden strategic thinking while spending time with university leadership.
In addition, the McConnell Center holds strategic broadening seminars for the Army during the summer months and hundreds of undergraduate ROTC cadets have earned the rank of second lieutenant through UofL.
Krebs has been at UofL since 2007. In addition to teaching military history, he specializes in colonial and revolutionary American history.
The War College’s Johnson Chair is a scholar-in-residence program for visiting professors to teach and conduct research on military history. It is named for Gen. Harold Keith Johnson, who served as chief of staff of the United States Army from 1964 to 1968.
In addition to teaching at the college, Krebs will have an opportunity to pursue individual research and writing projects.