Col. Kevin W. Farrell is currently a visiting professor to the College of International and Security Studies and the deputy director of the Senior Executive Seminar at the George C. Marshall Center.
He came here in early July under a unique situation. He is spending what would normally be his senior service college year at the Marshall Center instead of going to a war college in the United States.
Because of his operational background as an army officer and his academic credentials, he was able to join the faculty and be both an instructor and a beneficiary from the instruction.
He’ll also serve as an instructor for the Program in Advanced Security Studies course, the Marshall Center’s flagship course.
“I’m really looking forward to working together with the senior personnel and also with the PASS course,” Colonel Farrell said. He also said that next year he will probably be teaching an elective.
Among other positions, he served as tank company commander, battalion operations officer, advisor to the Afghan National Army and battalion commander. All these experiences are a great aid for his present profession, he said. But, he spent most of his adult life as a tanker in the US Army.
“Therefore, I had the opportunity to serve in command positions like battalion commander for a force of over 900 soldiers including a year-long deployment to Iraq in 2005 and 2006,” Farrell said.
He gained various experiences through his military service.
Colonel Farrell possesses several different academic degrees: a Bachelor of Science from the US Military Academy at West Point, a Master of Arts in European History, a Master of Philosophy, and a doctorate from Columbia University in New York. Modern Britain, Germany, France, early modern Britain, military history in general and the history of the German army in particular are his historical areas of interest. He said history has always been his favorite subject, even at school.
“I have really been fortunate because I had the opportunity of a fairly full operational career as an armor officer and then also as an academic,” he said. It enabled him to get involved in the theoretical side and experience it practically at the same time.
His first impressions of the George C. Marshall Center were overwhelming.
“I felt as if I had landed in paradise,” he said. But for him, the reputation of the Center is also more important than the physical beauty of the environment. The Center’s missions, especially the outreach aspect and the opportunity to work with an international student body are great opportunities.
“Being able to live in Europe and work with so many different people, not just those from the military but also foreign policy and high ranking civil servants of all stripes was a decisive reason for me to come to the Marshall Center,” he said.
“Up to now, I don’t miss my home country, at all. But after some time I probably will, because my relatives live there.”
Nevertheless, he says he’s happy to live in Germany and having two positions in the Marshall Center.
“Besides, I have a wife and three children here living with me,” he said explaining why it is rather easy for him to live here.
Also he is quite familiar with living in foreign countries, getting along with natives and speaking different languages.
Farrell praised his current situation, by saying, “If I die and make it to heaven, it’ll just look like Germany”.