Faces From the Front for December 15, 2008 - Maj. David Buffaloe
Current Unit: International Security Assistance Force HQ
Current Position: Afghan Effects Planner
Component: Active Army
Current Location: Kabul, Afghanistan
Hometown: Springfield, Va.
Years of Service: 20
With two deployments to Afghanistan and one to Iraq, Maj. David Buffaloe has witnessed significant changes in both the war and the public policies governing these countries in the past six years.
When he deployed to Afghanistan at the end of 2002, Buffaloe commanded paratroopers and conducted counterinsurgency missions. In Iraq in 2004, he oversaw protection of a large installation. Now in Afghanistan on his third deployment, Buffaloe's previous experiences are guiding his current work as a strategic planner. The "effects-based" policies he drafts, ultimately shape the way the Army implements security, governance, and development and reconstruction efforts.
Buffaloe credits the experiences of his counterinsurgency missions with how he seeks input to inform the policies and guidance he writes. Instead of relying solely on military force, he discovered that by building trust and respect with the villagers in his areas of operation, he could better accomplish his goals of providing safety in the country and rooting out insurgents.
Recognizing the impact of his interactions with the Afghan people, Buffaloe became enthralled with the world of public policy and its ability to shape nations. He shared his experiences in Afghanistan through a series of published articles he wrote on his return to the states. At the urging of his commanding general who read his work, he pursued his interest in policy, first obtaining a master's degree at Georgetown University, and then becoming a PhD candidate at George Mason University.
Buffaloe is currently working on his dissertation focused on his policy work in Afghanistan. The plans and policies he drafts incorporate input from Afghans, Americans, and the international community to guide the Army's efforts in a direction that fosters understanding, trust and respect among all.
Buffaloe will return home for a couple weeks of Rest & Recuperation leave with his family this summer. His wife, Catherine, and daughters Camille (9) and Gabrielle (7) reside in Springfield, Va.