Department of Leadership, Ethics, and Law

Captain Stephen C. Trainor, USN, Ph.D.

Permanent Military Professor of Leadership
Director, Division of Leadership Education and Development

  •  Phone: (410) 293-6010
  •  E-mail:
  •   Department of Leadership, Ethics, Law, Luce Hall (Mail Stop 7-B) 112 Cooper Road Annapolis, MD 21402-5022

Captain Stephen Trainor is Permanent Military Professor of Leadership and Director of Leadership Education and Development at the U.S. Naval Academy. Captain Trainor directs the formal leadership education program taught to all midshipmen during their four years in residence at the Naval Academy, as well as the co-curricular and extra-curricular leader development, character and ethics experiences, and the formal leader development program research and assessment efforts. Prior to his current role, Captain Trainor served for five years as Chair of the Leadership, Ethics and Law Department at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Captain Trainor served as a Naval Aviator with more than 2500 flight hours in numerous operational helicopter commands deployed aboard ships of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. During his shore assignments, he served as the Naval Aide to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations and to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command. He also served as Operations Officer for Commander, Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light Wing U.S. Pacific Fleet and as Deputy Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations for Flag Officer Management and Distribution.

In 1999, Captain Trainor was selected for operational aviation command (HSL) and as the Navy's first Permanent Military Professor of Leadership. Captain Trainor is a 1983 graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy and holds masters degrees from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA. He obtained his Ph.D. in Sociology (with concentrations in Social Psychology and Military Sociology) from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2004.

Captain Trainor is a Fellow of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society and a member of the Section on Peace, War and Social Conflict of the American Sociological Association. CAPT Trainor serves on the editorial board of the U.S. Air Force Academy Center for Character and Leadership journal, POLARIS: The Journal For the Study and Integration of Character & Leadership. Captain Trainor teaches core courses in leadership (NL310 – Leadership Theory and Applications) and ethics (NE203 – Moral Reasoning for Naval Leaders) and sociology electives (NL230 – Intro Sociology; NL335 – Armed Forces and Society; and NL360 Culture, Leadership and Global Human Terrain, NL435 – Peace, War and Social Conflict). In addition, Captain Trainor is an adjunct faculty member in the University of Maryland LEAD Masters Degree Program where he teaches EDCP789D – The Academy and the Brigade.

  • Thomas, Joseph and Stephen Trainor (2011). "Experiential Leadership Development: The U.S. Naval Academy Approach." Concepts and Connections: A Publication for Leadership Educators. Vol. 18:(1), pp 5-8. College Park, MD: National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs.
  • Trainor, Stephen C., Donald Horner and David R. Segal. (2008) "The Enigmatic History of Sociology at the U.S. Naval Academy." Armed Forces and Society. Vol. 35:(1), pp 106-121.
  • Trainor, Stephen C. (2008). "Attitudes and Opportunities: Self-selection and Anticipatory Socialization Effects in Youth Perceptions of the Military." In Armed Forces and Conflict Resolution: Sociological Perspectives, eds. Giuseppe Caforio, Gerhard Kummel and Bandana Purkayastha. Vol 7: pp 215-241. Emerald Publishing: Bingley, UK.
  • Trainor, Stephen C. (2004). Differential Effects of Institutional Socialization on Value Orientations in Naval Academy Midshipmen. University of Maryland, College Park: UMI Press.
  • Iskra, Darlene, Stephen Trainor, Marcia Leithauser and Mady Wechsler Segal (2002). "Women's Participation in Armed Forces Cross-Nationally: Expanding Segal's Model." Current Sociology. Vol 50(5): 771-797.
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