The Chair of the Department of National Security and Strategy at the Army War College has dedicated her career to understanding the importance of civil-military relations—the military-society relationship and the military-political relationship.
Dr. Carrie Lee is the daughter of a retired Air Force colonel, and her brother served in Afghanistan. “I very much lived the civil-military divide,” she said.
“Being able to speak both languages made me realize that what I do is important on both a personal and professional level,” said Lee, noting that it shapes her approach as chair of the Department of National Security and Strategy.
“I see my role as spanning the civil-military divide,” she said, speaking about advising students and supporting faculty.
Today, society is grappling with two civil-military issues simultaneously: determining how the relationship between political and military leaders should work, and to what degree the military should reflect the society it protects.
Lee knows that understanding civil-military relations is significant for our students, who will serve as advisors and staff officers to senior military leaders upon graduating.
“You cannot advise senior leaders properly if you are not aware of the political situation that surrounds them, what the relationship with their civilian counterparts is supposed to look like, and how to navigate it,” said Lee.
“I don’t think that there has ever been a more important time for what professional military education and this teaching department can do,” said Lee.
Dr. Carrie Lee joined the USAWC faculty in June as the first female chair of a resident education department in the school. The department focuses on teaching students about national security issues in an international context. DNSS sponsors the Regional Studies Program in the core curriculum, and the annual staff ride to the National Capital Region.
Previously, Lee served as course director for National Security Decision-Making at the Air War College. As a postdoctoral fellow at Notre Dame’s International Security Center, she focused on innovative approaches to grand strategy. At the RAND Corporation, she was a Stanton Nuclear Security postdoctoral fellow.