Bradley L. Coleman, Ph.D.

Brad ColemanAssociate Professor
Director of John A. Adams Center

Ph.D. - History, University of Georgia (2001)
M.A. - History, Temple University (1997)
B.A. - History, Virginia Military Institute (1995)

541 Scott Shipp Hall
Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, VA  24450
P:   (540) 464-7447
F:  (540) 464-7246

Professional Experience:

  • Command Historian, U.S. Southern Command, U.S. Department of Defense, 2007-2012
  • Historian, Office of Historian, U.S. Department of State, 2003-2007
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory, 2001-2003

Dr. Bradley Lynn Coleman is the George J. Collins, Sr., Chair in Military History and director of the John Adams ’71 Center for Military History & Strategic Analysis.

Coleman graduated from the Virginia Military Institute (B.A., history, 1995) and Temple University (M.A., history, 1997). He earned his doctorate in history at the University of Georgia (2001), where he studied military history, U.S. foreign relations, and inter-American affairs. Dr. Coleman then held a two-year U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory research fellowship, investigating the history of graves registration and forensic anthropology. From 2003 to 2007, he worked in the Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State. During that time, he edited documentary histories on the Vietnam War and Cambodian genocide. He also wrote historical papers for U.S. policymakers on topics related to modern diplomacy.

Between 2007 and 2012, Dr. Coleman served as the command historian at U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), the Department of Defense headquarters for U.S. forces in Latin America and the Caribbean. As the command historian, Coleman designed and managed the USSOUTHCOM applied history program. In doing so, he conducted research on historical aspects of contemporary inter-American security issues; documented contemporary activities for posterity; and undertook outreach missions that advanced U.S. interests in Latin America and the Caribbean. Dr. Coleman received the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award for his performance at USSOUTHCOM.

Coleman joined the faculty of the Virginia Military Institute in August 2012. He is the author of Colombia and the United States: The Making of an Inter-American Alliance, 1939-1960 (Kent State University Press, 2008). His articles, “The Colombian Army in Korea” and “Recovering the Korean War Dead,” have appeared in the Journal of Military History. He has also written several book reviews, essays, and reference works—and presented papers at the American Historical Association, Society for Military History, and Southeastern Council for Latin American Studies Annual Conferences. He is an active member of the U.S. delegation to the Pan American Institute of Geography and History, Organization of American States.