Chair for the Study of Special Operations
Deputy Editorial Director

Dr. (US Army, Ret.) Charles (Charlie) Faint currently serves as the Chair for the Study of Special Operations and the Deputy Editorial Director for the Modern War institute at West Point. Dr. Faint served as an officer in the Infantry and Military Intelligence branches of the US Army for over 27 years in units including the 2nd Infantry Division, the 5th Special Forces Group, the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, the Joint Special Operations Command, and US Army Pacific.  On a previous assignment to West Point, Dr. Faint taught in the Department of Social Sciences and headed West Point’s MX400 Officership Capstone program.

Dr. Faint earned his doctorate in business administration through Temple University. He holds a total of six undergraduate and graduate degrees, including a Master of Arts in International Relations from Yale University and a Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence from National Intelligence University. Educated in fields ranging from engineering to communication to international business, his research interests include special operations, civil-military relations, and small business entrepreneurship. He is also the host of MWI’s highly popular podcast, The Spear.

Over the course of his military career Dr. Faint earned the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal (4 awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (six awards), the Combat Action Badge, and the Pathfinder, Airborne, and Air assault badges. He completed seven combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, all with Special Operations Forces, and also served operational assignments in Egypt, The Republic of Korea, and The Philippines.

Early in his Army career Dr. Faint served a six-month peacekeeping tour with the Multinational Force and Observers in Sinai, Egypt, an experience that began a career-long interest in the region. That interest prompted his involvement in the Peace and Dialogue Leadership Initiative (PDLI), a joint Yale/West Point endeavor that selects high-performing students from both schools for a yearlong fellowship that includes two weeks on the ground in Israel and Palestine. Dr. Faint was a cofounder of PDLI and served as its security advisor, accompanying the group to the Levant for each of the first five years of the PDLI’s existence. He also works closely with the Vanguard Initiative, West Point’s advanced leadership development program.

Published in a number of blogs and professional journals, Dr. Faint’s most significant publication is co-authorship of the book Violence of Action: The Untold Stories of the 75th Ranger Regiment in the War on Terror. He is the owner of the military-themed blog The Havok Journal, and is the executive director of The Second Mission Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.