Dr. Stuart I. Rochester served as the Acting Chief Historian for the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 2007 until 2008, when he was formally named Chief Historian. He remained in that billet until his death in 2009.
Dr. Rochester earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia in 1973. He worked as a historian for the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Army and as a professor at Loyola College before being hired as a staff historian with OSD in 1980. He became the deputy chief historian in 1987. For more than 20 years he was the chief editor of the Public Statements of the Secretary of Defense and was managing editor of the first five volumes in the History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense series. He also was co-author of the seminal book Honor Bound: The History of American Prisoners of War in Southeast Asia, 1961-1973, for which he was named Naval Institute Press Author of the Year and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His other works included Takeoff at Mid-Century: Federal Civil Aviation Policy in the Eisenhower Years and American Liberal Disillusionment in the Wake of World War I. He received the Department of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service award in 1998.