RSU Historian Honored by Marine Corps Heritage Foundation

Dr. David J. Ulbrich with award at Marine Corps ceremony.The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation this weekend honored a Rogers State University faculty member for the most outstanding article on Marine Corps history and life published during the past year.

Dr. David J. Ulbrich, RSU assistant professor in the Department of History and Political Science, was honored with the foundation’s 2016 Colonel Robert D. Heinl Prize during a ceremony held Saturday in Quantico, Virginia. The honor includes a medallion, a monetary award, and a commemorative brick to be placed on the museum grounds in Quantico. 

Ulbrich published his article titled “The U.S. Marine Corps, Amphibious Capabilities, and Preparations for War with Japan” in the spring 2015 issue of the Marine Corps University Journal. This peer-reviewed article examines the Corps’ preparations during the 1920s and 1930s for a possible war with Japan. It outlines how the U.S. Navy’s strategic missions of amphibious assault and base defense drove the Corps to develop the doctrine, equipment, and force structure to fulfill those missions.

The article also draws comparisons between the Marines’ shift to amphibious operations in the post-World War I era and the 21st century’s strategic pivot to the Pacific Ocean by the Marine Corps and the U.S. military. This demonstrates how lessons from the past can be applied to the present and future. Ulbrich’s article was based in part on his conference presentation at the Australian Defence Force Academy in 2013.  This is the second Heinl Prize given to Ulbrich by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, and his fourth overall prize since 2000.

Ulbrich said he is thankful to receive the recognition for his work.

“Everyone associated with the Marine Corps has been incredibly supportive of my research over the years,” he said. “It is also humbling to know that my article is being read by active duty personnel.”  

Ulbrich teaches in RSU’s Military History program, which is the only one of its kind in Oklahoma. He specializes in U.S. Marine Corps history and the history of the Second World War. He is co-author of the new textbook titled “Ways of War: American Military History from the Colonial Era to the 21st Century” that was adopted as required reading for all cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy. His earned a doctorate from Temple University, a master’s degree from Ball State University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton, all in history. He also attended the doctoral program at Kansas State University. He joined the RSU faculty in 2013.

For more information about RSU’s Military History program call 918-343-6811.