A decorated U.S. Army general will discuss how military history applies to both the classroom and the battlefield during his April 1 talk at Rogers State University to highlight the university’s military history program.
Brig. Gen. Peter “Duke” DeLuca currently serves as commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Mississippi River Valley Division, which is responsible for a $2 billion civil works program that protects the water resources along the river and surrounding areas. He also is president-designee of the Mississippi River Commission.
DeLuca’s public lecture, entitled “The Uses of Military History in the Classroom and on the Battlefield,” begins at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1 in the Baird Hall Performance Studio on the Claremore campus. The talk, in conjunction with RSU’s Military History Day, is free and open to the public. The lecture is expected to last about 45 minutes with audience questions following the lecture.
RSU offers Oklahoma’s only bachelor’s degree in military history, and the program can draw upon the institution’s history as a military academy. The school operated as the Oklahoma Military Academy from 1919 to 1971 and was widely known as the “West Point of the Southwest.”
During his time on campus, DeLuca also will meet with students, faculty and OMA alumni.
In his current assignment, DeLuca commands the Mississippi River Valley Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, responsible for managing its operation in a 370,000-square-mile area extending from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and encompassing portions of 12 states along the path of the Mississippi River.
DeLuca was commissioned from the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Pennsylvania in 1983 after earning bachelor of science degrees in economics and mechanical engineering. He also earned a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University in 1993.
DeLuca has served from platoon level through combatant command in Army, Joint, multi-national and Interagency environments. He has commanded from company through division level, including command of a battalion and a brigade in combat in Iraq. He has run multi-billion dollar annual construction programs in Iraq and in a region including the northeast United States, Europe and Africa supporting foreign militaries, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force, the Department of Defense family and several other federal agencies. He has served as an engineer and a Eurasian foreign area officer, a graduate of the Defense Language Institute and has served in fellowships at Columbia University, the George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies and Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
A life of Army service has allowed Brig. Gen. DeLuca to work professionally in 29 states of the United States and 23 countries, including three years in formally declared combat zones. It has offered opportunities for both remarkable experiences and for the ability to work with the finest and most amazing American citizens and foreign partners.
His awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Joint Service Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Achievement Medal, Combat Action Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge and Ranger Tab.
RSU assistant professor Dr. David Ulbrich served under DeLuca while both men were stationed at the U.S. Army Engineer School at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. “I served as a member of his special staff as historian, instructor, author, and advisor. In that time, Gen. DeLuca proved to be a big supporter of history,” Ulbrich said. “He leveraged historical examples during many of his talks and activities at the Engineer School.”