About Alan Cate

With a background of 25 years of U.S. military service, Alan Cate is one of those rare teachers who has experienced a full career outside of the academic setting. As History Department Chair at the University School in Hunting Valley, Ohio, Alan Cate currently teaches a variety of classes ranging from American history to the process of decolonization in Asia and Africa, as well as a course he designed himself, “Strategy, Diplomacy, and War.” Alan Cate began his career in the U.S. Army in 1979, shortly after graduating from West Point. As commander of army units comprising as many as 1,000 soldiers, Alan Cate served in South Korea, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and the Balkans. In the late 1980s, Alan Cate returned to the education arena, achieving an M.A. in American History from Stanford University, academic home to such luminaries as David M. Kennedy and Condoleezza Rice. Alan Cate became a professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1989, designing elective courses on the American political tradition and the philosophy of history. In 1991, Alan Cate’s efforts were rewarded with his selection as the History Department’s Instructor of the Year. Alan Cate has taught at various academic institutions since, while continuing to participate in active military service; he acted as Chief of Plans for U.S. Southern Command from 2001 to 2003. Alan Cate is also well-recognized as an author and literary critic. In 2006, Alan Cate’s nonfiction book Founding Fighters: The Battlefield Leaders Who Made American Independence was published, garnering substantial positive notice. Choice magazine, which provides reviews of books for academic libraries, praised Alan Cate for his “coherent, skillfully written survey of the Revolution from beginning to end, through the service of the 15 men chosen,” and called it “a joy to read.” Alan Cate cites George MacDonald Fraser, an English historical novelist best known for his Flashman series, as an inspiration in his literary endeavors.