Geoffrey Jensen

Associate Professor of History
Behavioral & Social Sciences Dept
College of Arts & Sciences

Office Hours

See posted schedule outside of my office for current office hours.

Areas of Expertise

Presidential Politics and Leadership; War and Society; Race and the Military; African American Military History; Cold War History; American Foreign Policy; The American South; Chinese History; and the American War in Vietnam.
Geoffrey  Jensen

As an Americanist, my research investigates the confluence of three historical forces in American history that have perpetually shaped the nature and composition of the republic’s military: presidents, staffs, and their policies; war or even the threat of potential conflict; and the omnipresent influence of the American south. 

My current project, Born out of the Necessity of War: Presidential Leadership, Southern Resistance, and the Cold War Racial Integration of the American Armed Forces, 1946-1969 (University Press of Kansas, 2022), examines the intersection of these forces as it applies to the racial desegregation of the American military during the volatile years of the Cold War.  As opposed to past studies that largely discuss the situation from the viewpoint of the trials and tribulations of African American military personnel or those within the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement who were desperate to use the armed forces as a social and political laboratory, I examine the topic from that of the perspective of the necessity of waging the Cold War, how that motivated, in part, American presidents to act, and how southerners fearful of the military becoming a trojan horse for racial and societal reform within their own region and its racial zeitgeist grabbed onto the strings of various Cold War conspiratorial beliefs to knit together a challenge against the reform effort.   

Prior to this I published with Dr Matthew Stith (University of Texas at Tyler), Beyond the Quagmire: New Interpretations of the Vietnam War (2019).  An edited volume, Beyond the Quagmire offers new interpretations of various subjects involving the American War in Vietnam and includes, but is not limited to, discussions over race, the environment, the War on Poverty, memory, geography, politics, gender, and the role of women in the war.  Within this study, I penned a chapter on the often-criticized Project 100,000, a Lyndon Johnson War on Society era program originally designed to aid the American poor through Cold War military service.  And in 2016, I produced The Routledge Handbook of the History of Race and the American Military (2016; paperback 2018), which is comprised of twenty articles exploring various aspects of race and the American military.  In that collection, I authored a chapter on Harry S. Truman and Executive Order 9981, which began the racial transformation of the American military during the early throes of the Cold War. 

I am currently working on four different projects.  The first is an edited volume over the relationship and influence of the American south on the American military throughout the history of the United States.  The second is a work exploring the trials and tribulations of African American armored personnel fighting in the European Theater of World War II.  The third is a monograph over the self-professed exceptional militaristic nature of the American south and its citizenry. Lastly, I am working on a book that interprets the role and influence Theodore Roosevelt, from his time as a Rough Rider to his presidency, had on African American soldiers he served with during the Spanish-American War, and those he later commanded as Commander-in-chief.

On several occasions, I have presented my research at the Society for Military History’s annual meeting.  Additionally, I have authored over a dozen book reviews for H-War (H-Net), The Journal of Military History, and The Strategy Bridge.  And lastly, I am a former West Point Seminar Fellow, whose research has been generously supported by grants from Embry-Riddle, and the Lyndon B. Johnson and Harry S. Truman presidential libraries.

  • Ph.D. - Doctor of Philosophy in History, University of Arkansas

  • SS 340: Modern U.S. Foreign Policy
  • SS 120: U.S. History
  • SS 321: U.S. Milita Hist 1900-Present

African American Military History, 1770 to Present

American Military History, 1900 to Present

American Presidents and War (seminar)

Research seminar (Graduate)

Strategic Intelligence: Diplomacy, Covert Operations, and War (Graduate Seminar)

The American War in Vietnam: 1945-1975 (Graduate Seminar)

The Cultural Cold War (seminar)

US-Asian Relations, 1850-2000 (seminar)

US Foreign Policy, 1890-Present

US History (I and II)

World Civilizations (I and II)

World Civilizations II (Online)

World Civilizations II (Honors)


The American Military and Society, University of North Texas Press, 2019-Present


Born out of the Necessity of War: The Cold War Racial Integration of the American Armed Forces, 1940-1969  (Under Contract, Kansas 2023)

Editor with Matthew M. Stith, Beyond the Quagmire: New Interpretations of the Vietnam Conflict, Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2019

Editor, The Routledge Handbook of the History of Race in the American Military, New York: Routledge Press, 2016 (Paperback, 2018)


Over a dozen reviews published in:  The Journal of Military History, H-Net, The Strategy Bridge, Arkansas Historical Quarterly, and Pacific Northwest Quarterly


“Desegregation of the Department of Defense School System” and “Desegregation of the Veteran’s Administration” in Alexander M. Bielakowski, Ethnic and Racial Minorities in the U.S. Military: An Encyclopedia (Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2013), 159-161.


Defense and Dixie: The South and the American Armed Forces (Working title). This is an edited volume on the influence of the American south on the armed forces throughout American history. I plan to write the introduction and provide a chapter on General Edwin Walker and the Cold War racial integration of Ole Miss. At this point, I am gathering a stable of ten to twelve historians to pen chapters for the work.

On the Prowl: The Black Panthers of the 761st and their Crusade for Racial Atonement during World War II (Book-Length Manuscript in Preparation). I am nearing completion of the preliminary research for this book, which explores the story of the African American tankers of Second World War with special emphasis on the Black Panthers of the 761st

The Martial South: A Treatise on Southern Manhood, Regional Identity, and the United States Armed Forces(Working title). I am beginning research on this topic which largely homes in on the ideological underpinnings of the south’s brazen belief in its military prowess.  The south’s chutzpah about its military excellence has origins with the creation of the region, but also in the unapologetic teachings of the Lost Cause school, which cleared the white south of any wrongdoing, among other things, for losing the Civil War.  The importance of the military to the south goes without question.  It has had the most military bases in its region since WWII.    Since the end of that same war, it has dominated control over the Senate Armed Service Committee. It often sends many, if not the most citizens to serve in the military.   As a result, the south has influenced in various ways the American Armed Forces for the past 70 years.

The Rough Rider, the Smoked Yankees, and American Empire: Theodore Roosevelt and Black Soldiers at the beginning of the American Century (Book-Length Manuscript in Preparation). I am beginning research on this subject, which examines the role that Theodore Roosevelt, before and after becoming president, had with America’s African American military personnel and how that shaped their service during the early twentieth century, which was a time of great imperial expansion for the United States.



[Online] Roundtable with select authors of Beyond the Quagmire, “1970-71: Nixon, Discord, and the US Withdrawal from Vietnam”, Vietnam Center & Sam Johnson Vietnam Archive, Texas Tech University, 2021

[Chair] “The Citizen-Soldier”, The Society for Military History Annual Meeting, 2019

“War as a driving force of History. 19th and 20th Centuries.”  The 14th Conference of the Spanish Association of Contemporary History, Alicante, Spain, 2018

“The Tragedy of the Triumvirate: Project 100,000 ”, “Waging Peace” Conference, Dale Center for the Study of War and Society, The University of Southern Mississippi, 2016

“‘It is without question our shining opportunity’: The Perplexing Perception of Project 100,000”, The Society for Military History Annual Meeting, 2015

“The War on Poverty meets the Vietnam Conflict: Project 100,000”, Policy History Conference, 2014

“Presidential Prerogative: A Comparison of Lincoln and Truman’s Civil Rights Reforms in the Military”, The Society for Military History Annual Meeting, 2013

“Getting in the Way of the Action: Kennedy, the Cold War, and Civil Rights Reform in the Military”, The Society for Military History Annual Meeting, 2011

“Waging the War on Poverty: Project 100,000”, Arkansas Association of College History Teachers Annual Meeting, 2010

“Through the Specter of Communism: Truman, Southern Segregationists, and the Integration of the Armed Forces”, Session: Segregation and Integration in the American Military,

Missouri Valley Historical Conference, 2010  

[Chair] "Matters of Race and Media", Louisiana Historical Association Annual Conference, 2009


“What is Leadership?” Guest Speaker, Army ROTC Ball, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, AZ, 2022

“What is History?” Scholarly Speaking, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, AZ, 2017

“On the Prowl: The Black Panthers of the 761st and their Crusade in Europe”, Faculty Research Presentation, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, AZ, 2014. Available online at

Fellow presentation, “Two Sides of the Same Coin: The Red Menace, Truman, Southern Segregationists, and the Desegregation of the Armed Forces”, West Point Summer Seminar, USMA, 2012

"The First African American Students at the University of Arkansas", Washington County Historical Lecture Series, 2007


The University Press of Kansas

The University of North Texas Press

The University of Massachusetts Press

Arkansas Historical Quarterly


I have reviewed textbooks for Bedford/St. Martin’s, Cengage, MacMillan, Pearson, and Oxford University Press.

Professional affiliations:

The Society for Military History

Army Historical Foundation

The Southern Historical Association


Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Student Government Association, Faculty of the Semester, Fall 2013


Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, College of Security and Intelligence, Researcher of the Year, 2015-16

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Faculty Development Fund Grant, 2013-2014, 2015, 2016

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Internal Research Grant, 2013-2014

United States Military Academy (West Point), West Point Summer Seminar Fellow, 2012

Harry S. Truman Library Institute, Research Grant, 2010

Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, Moody Research Grant, 2008