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Jon Hoffman

Deputy Chief Historian

Jon Hoffman assumed duties as the deputy chief in August 2010.

He graduated from Miami University (Ohio) in December 1978 with a BA in political science and was commissioned in the Marine Corps Reserve. He entered active duty in 1981 and served 11 years, with tours as an infantry company commander, an inspector-instructor in support of a reserve infantry company, and a senior instructor in the History Department at the Naval Academy. Along the way he earned an MA degree in military history from Ohio State University in 1989. He resigned his regular commission in 1992 and completed a law degree at Duke University in 1994. He spent six of the next eight years on active duty, as the historian for the Headquarters Marine Corps Roles and Missions Office, as a staff officer in the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (Experimental), and as deputy director of the Marine Corps History and Museums Division. He also graduated with distinction from the resident course of Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and held reserve billets as an adjunct faculty member of the Marine Corps University and as a field historian. Following his last two years on active duty as deputy director of the history program, he served another three years in the same position as a civil servant. In 2005 he joined the U.S. Army Center of Military History as a civilian and established its Contemporary Studies Branch. He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve as a colonel in 2008.

His publications include Once a Legend: ‘Red Mike’ Edson of the Marine Raiders (Presidio Press, 1994), From Makin to Bougainville: Marine Raiders in the Pacific War (USMC, 1995), Silk Chutes and Hard Fighting: U.S. Marine Corps Parachute Units in World War II (USMC, 1999), Chesty: The Story of LtGen Lewis B. Puller (Random House, 2001), and USMC: A Complete History (HLLA, 2002). He also co-authored The Panama Canal: An Army’s Enterprise (CMH, 2009), and was general editor of Tip of the Spear: U.S. Army Small-Unit Action in Iraq (CMH, 2009) and A History of Innovation: U.S. Army Adaptation in War and Peace (CMH, 2009).