Political Science

Donald Travis

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Political Science



Campus Box 0406


Glatfelter Hall
Room 309
300 North Washington St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325-1400


BA Xavier University
MBA Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
MA University of Louisville
PhD University of Cincinnati

Donald’s experiences as a county government official, academic, researcher, soldier, military strategist and candidate for public office give him wide-ranging insights into assorted bureaucratic and foreign cultures and a deep understanding of the American political system. For over 30 years he has worked for numerous political campaigns supporting both democratic and republican candidates and causes.

After serving for five years as an infantry officer Donald finished a master’s dissertation titled U.S. Progress Reports For The Vietnam War, 1967-68:  A Study Of The Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) And The Enemy Order of Battle that offered a lesson to current affairs: limited and endless wars bring about political pressures on U.S. policy makers that usually leads to increasingly inaccurate progress reports. For Vietnam, the only way to stop the war was through public protest and political engagement. 

After teaching on two college campuses while working as the Director of Elections in Ohio for seven years, Donald resumed a military career in the Army from 2001 to 2017 as a military planner, diplomat, and political-military strategist. His most notable assignment was with US Central Command J-5 plans in Tampa, Florida (and varied posts in the Middle East region) where he led interagency and joint planning teams to develop bi-lateral security plans with regional partners while also leading the design and development of Central Command’s Theater Campaign Plan that was approved and implemented in May 2011. 

Donald presents his research annually at conferences for the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society and the Public Administration Theory Network (PATNET). His research and writings are focused on American civil-military relations and civilian control over the military. His peer-reviewed published essays include “Achieving Organizational Flexibility through Ambidexterity” with co-author Dr. Patricia Shields (Parameters, 2017); “Saving Samuel Huntington and the Need for Pragmatic Civil-Military Relations” (Armed Forces & Society, 2017); “Discovering the Fault Lines in American Civil-Military Relations” (Armed Forces & Society, 2018); and “Pursuing Civilian Control Over the Military” (Armed Forces & Society, 2019).

Donald’s most recent published works include: a book chapter “Civil-Military Relations Post-9/11” in Jason W. Warren (Editor), Landpower in the Long War, (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2019); “Decoding Morris Janowitz: limited war and pragmatic doctrine” (Armed Forces & Society, 2020); and with co-author Dr. Patricia Shields, a book chapter titled “Resolving Contradictions in Military Operations via Ambidexterity” in The Yin Yang Military: Ambidextrous Perspectives on Change in Military Organizations, to be published by Springer/Political Science and Social Science in 2020.