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History Department

Benjamin “BJ” Armstrong, CDR, USN

Assistant Professor
(Permanent Military Professor)

War Studies, Naval History


U.S. Naval Academy
History Department (12C)
107 Maryland Ave
Annapolis, MD 21402


Commander Benjamin "BJ" Armstrong is a Permanent Military Professor and former Search & Rescue and Special Warfare helicopter pilot who has deployed to the 4th, 5th, and 6th Fleet in support of multiple Amphibious Ready Groups, Marine Air Ground Task Forces, and global operations. Ashore he flew as an Advanced Flight Instructor and served in the Pentagon as a strategist and a staff officer in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy. He joined the faculty of the Naval Academy History Department during the fall term of 2016. In addition to his teaching and scholarship, CDR Armstrong serves as the Faculty Representative to the Mens Swimming and Diving team and Director of the McMullen Naval History Symposium (2019).



  • Ph.D. - King’s College, London
  • M.A. - Norwich University
  • B.S. - U.S. Naval Academy


Courses Taught

  • HH104 - American Naval History
  • HH386 - History of Air Power
  • HH462 - The Navy in the Wars of the Early Republic / Navy and the Nation in the 19th Century (Research Seminar)
  • HH482 - Advanced Concepts in History




Small Boats and Daring Men: Maritime Raiding, Irregular Warfare, and the Early American Navy (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2019).

Ed., 21st Century Sims: Innovation, Education, and Leadership for the Modern Era (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2015).

Ed., 21st Century Mahan: Sound Military Conclusions for the Modern Era (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2013).

Selected Academic Journal Articles & Chapters

"'Against the Common Enemies': American Allies and Partners in the First Barbary War," The Trafalgar Chronicle, New Series, No. 2 (December 2017).

“‘Zeal Intelligence and Intrepidity’: Naval Irregular Warfare and the War of 1812 on the Lakes,” Mariner’s Mirror, Vol. 103, No. 1 (February 2017).

The New Young Turks,” Naval War College Review, Vol. 68, No. 4 (Autumn 2015).

D-All of the Above: Connecting 21st Century Naval Doctrine to Strategy,” Infinity Journal, Vol. 4, No. 4 (Summer 2015).

"Immediate Redress:  The USS Potomac and the Pirates of Quallah Battoo," Small Wars & Insurgencies, Vol. 24, No. 1, (February 2013).

Living in a Mahanian World,” Infinity Journal, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Summer 2012).

The Most Daring Act of the Age: Principles for Naval Irregular Warfare,” Naval War College Review, Vol. 63, No. 4 (Autumn 2010).

China…From the Sea: The Importance of Chinese Naval History,” Strategic Insights, Vol. 6, No. 6, (December 2007).

Selected Professional & Magazine Articles

“Hard to Lee: New Naval Priorities in a Multipolar World,” U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings, Vol. 143, No. 4 (April 2017).

“An Act of War on the Eve of Revolution,” Naval History Magazine, Vol. 30, No. 1 (February 2016).

“A Daring Defense in the Azores,” Naval History Magazine, Vol. 28, No. 2 (April 2013).

“Daring Moves on the Niagara,” Naval History Magazine, Vol. 27, No. 5 (October 2013).

“If We Are to Remain a World Power,” U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings, Vol. 139, No. 5 (May 2013).

"America's Daring Frigate Captains," Armchair General Magazine, Vol. 10, No. 1 (January 2013).

"Leadership & Command," U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings, Vol. 138, No. 7 (September 2012).

“Fix Navy PME!” U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings, Vol. 138, No. 7 (July 2012).

“Unleashing the MH-60S Knighthawk,” U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings, Vol. 138, No. 3 (April 2012).

“Nothing Like a Good Maritime Raid,” U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings, Vol. 138, No. 2 (February 2012).



Class of 1951 Military Faculty Teaching Excellence Award - U.S. Naval Academy 

Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement - Navy League of the United States

General Roy S. Geiger Award - Marine Corps Heritage Foundation

General Prize Essay Contest (3rd Prize) - U.S. Naval Institute


Academic & Professional Service/Engagement

Councilor, North American Society for Oceanic History: 2018-Present

H-Maritime Advisory Board: 2014-Present

Series Editor, 21st Century Foundations, Naval Institute Press: 2015-Present

Senior Editor, War on the Rocks: 2015- Present

Editorial Board, U.S. Naval Institute: 2012-2016

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