John FishelJohn T. Fishel was born in Cleveland, Ohio on July 17, 1942, the only child of Walter T. and Martha (nee Mandelker) Fishel. He was raised in Shaker Heights and attended Shaker schools, graduating from high school in 1960. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1964 with an AB in International Relations and-- a commission as a 2LT in the U.S. Army. He went on to graduate study in Political Science at Indiana University where he earned an MA in 1967 and his PhD in 1971. While conducting his doctoral research in Peru, LT Fishel was promoted from 2LT to 1LT. In 1969 he went on active duty in the Army and was assigned as a strategic intelligence officer to the Army current intelligence office in the Pentagon. Promoted to CPT in 1970, he left active duty in 1971 but remained in the Reserves. Between 1971 and 1978 he maintained his regular assignment to the current intelligence shop as an analyst and finally, in his last tour there, as the Editor of the Daily brief for the Secretary, the CSA, and the Army Staff, and the Weekly Brief for the Chairman of the JCS. During that same period, he was assigned to several different jobs in intelligence and as a member of the Consulting Faculty of the Army Command & General Staff College. In 1980, MAJ Fishel was awarded the Humanitarian Service Medal for his work with the Cuban refugees from the Mariel Boatlift. From 1971 until 1986, Dr. Fishel served on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse as an Assistant and then Associate Professor of Political Science with tenure. His lasting legacy there was the Institute for Latin American Studies, of which he was the founding Director. He was also elected President of the North Central Council of Latin Americanists. In 1985, on leave from UW-L, he taught at the U.S. Army JFK Special Warfare Center & School in the Foreign Area Officer Course. That same year , he was promoted from MAJ to LTC in the Army Reserve. The next year, LTC Fishel returned to active duty where he served for five years, the first four in the U.S. Southern Command as Chief of Research and Assessments in the Small Wars Operations Research Directorate and then as Chief of the Policy & Strategy Division of the Directorate of Policy, Plans, and Strategy (J-5). For his efforts in El Salvador he was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal (impact), and for his entire tenure, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. He was responsible for planning post conflict operations in Panama prior to Operation Just Cause and for drafting the U.S. government strategy for restoring civil government to Panama during and after the operation. LTC Fishel finished his military career at the Army War College Strategic Studies Institute where he conducted a major study of post conflict operations in Panama. From there, Dr. Fishel became a civilian member of the faculty of the Department of Joint & Combined Operations at the Army CGSC where he remained for five and a half years. He then went to the National Defense University in Washington, DC where he was Professor of National Security Affairs in the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies for eight and a half years. Retiring from government and military academia, he became a member of the faculty of the College of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Fishel is the author or editor/co-author of seven scholarly books and the author of numerous articles. He was also the editor of the scholarly journal, Low Intensity Conflict & Law Enforcement (Frank Cass, Publisher). He has served as President of the Midwest Association of Latin American Studies, the Norman OK chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), and as 2nd and 1st Vice President of the Oklahoma Council of Chapters of MOAA. He is survived by his wife, Kimbra Le (nee Thompson) Fishel and their daughter, Karina C. Fishel, both of Blanchard OK.
July 17, 1942 - October 19, 201907/17/194210/19/2019
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October 23, 2019
My name is Walter Allison, I took two classes with Dr. Fishel. During college, I was in Army ROTC, and I commissioned as an Infantry Officer upon graduation. Dr. Fishel and I connected because of military service and a shared sense of humor. I learned a great deal in h... Continue Reading
October 24, 2019
October 22, 2019
I had the privilege and honor of being sworn in by LTC Fishel as an officer of the United States Navy. He went out and purchased a new dress uniform for the occasion. What an incredible man leaving behind a great legacy both militarily and academically. You will be misse... Continue Reading
Rolando & Diana Rios (AMU Cohort)
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