More About the Author
Kenneth W. Estes, a Seattle native, is a professor of history and writer who pursued a 24 year career in the U.S. Marine Corps. Graduating in 1969 from the Naval Academy, he trained as a tank officer and served as a company grade officer in the 2nd and 3rd Marine Divisions, interspersed with academic tours of duty. Promoted major in 1979, he continued his service in the Fleet Marine Force with 2d Marine Division and, as a lieutenant colonel after 1985, Headquarters, III Marine Amphibious Force. He then joined the operations staff of Headquarters, Marine Corps in Washington. Ordered in 1989 to duty in Madrid, Spain with the Office of Defense Cooperation, he performed various duties, culminating in that of chief of international affairs. After completing a variety of command and staff assignments in the U.S. Marine Corps he retired in 1993.
Ken earned his master's degree in History at Duke University in 1974, the doctorate in Modern European History at the University of Maryland in 1984 and taught at Duke University (1981-84) and the Naval Academy (1974-78), all while a serving Marine Corps officer. He also completed the Army Advanced Armor Officer Course and attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. He edited the Marine Officer's Guide and the Handbook for Marine NCOs 1983-2009, wrote eight other books since 2000 and has contributed chapters in other works, and has written extensively in military journals for over 35 years. Since retiring, he has continued to teach at colleges and universities in Europe and Seattle and engaged in consulting work in support of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies, the US 1st Armored Division, and Marine Corps University.
He received a third-place Codd Award for best NROTC instructor in the nation in 1984, and he also collected later a few personal awards: two U.S. Meritorious Service Medals, and the Naval Cross of Merit, First Class, from the Kingdom of Spain. He was made an Honorary Legionnaire in the Spanish Legion in 1992. The American Historical Association awarded him a Gutenberg-e Prize in 2002. While not a combat veteran, he has been under brief bombing, artillery and machinegun fire, all fired by fellow U.S. Marines.