Lieutenant Colonel William Daniel “Dan” Brice is currently a strategic fellow at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School (HLS) as part of the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) for the 2022-2023 academic year. Through USAWC, Fellows develop a deep knowledge of world regions to become ambassadors for the Army who will go on to hold positions of broad scope and great responsibility, working in highly complex, ambiguous environments. Brice is the fourth USAWC Fellow to be placed at HLS.
HLS Russian and East European Institute (REEI) Director Sarah Drue Phillips says, “The USAWC Fellowship program is a terrific opportunity for REEI and our students, who benefit from conversations inside and outside the classroom with diverse military personnel with deep experience in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and other world regions.”
How does one become a War College Fellow? Brice explains, “When lieutenant colonels have served three to four years in that rank, their performance file goes to a board of review which selects a portion of the yearly cohort to be in the U.S. Army War College. Out of those selected for the War College, about 20 percent go to fellowships at places such as the U.S. State Department, the office of the Secretary of Defense, Ivy League schools, major state universities, and other government agencies.”
Each War College Fellowship applicant lists their top six preferences for placement. Brice’s number one choice was Indiana University. “I’m a Russia Foreign Area Officer in the Army, and the program here at the HLS Russian and East European Institute is almost tailor-made for someone like me. It has been my specialty in the Army for the past 10 years,” he said.
Brice describes the unique career path that led him to HLS. “I first joined the Army as an enlisted combat medic for a few years. I received a Green to Gold scholarship to attend the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. I was a non-traditional student and was able to finish my bachelor’s degree in two and a half years and get commissioned as an officer in the US Army.”
“From there, I became an aviation officer,” Brice said. “I flew Apache helicopters for about nine years. I spent most of my time flying in Germany. While there, I deployed one year to Afghanistan, and one year in Iraq. I’ve got a little over 1,000 hours of flying time, about 500 of which is combat flying time.”
After about ten years of flying, Brice wanted to become a fully qualified Foreign Area Officer. He says, “I had to go to a three-year training program after I decided to stop flying. The first year was at the Defense Language Institute, where I learned Russian. After I completed that, I went to Germany where I conducted in-country training as part of the program and also got a master’s in international security at the Bundeswehr University.
During the time that Brice and his family lived in Germany, he says, “I would live in countries in my area of specialty and work in the embassies for about three months at a time. I lived in Kyrgyzstan and Moldova for about three months each. I also did a language immersion program in Kyiv, Ukraine. While in Ukraine, I was able to travel around the whole country.”
Brice’s first job as a Foreign Area Officer was as the Army attaché at the U.S. Embassy Armenia. After that, he worked at NATO, Belgium, for about three years, and was a Russian affairs advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR).
Just before coming to IU, Brice was part of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, just outside of D.C. He says, “I was a team chief – I led a team to conduct New START Treaty inspections in the Russian Federation, and periodically I escorted Russian inspectors as they conducted their inspections here in the U.S. at our nuclear bases.”
Brice says, “As a War College Fellow at REEI, I’m required to maintain my Russian skills, so I’m taking the advanced fifth year Russian course. I also have a personal goal of learning some Ukrainian, so I’m taking both elementary and intermediate courses. I’m also taking an international security class and one on U.S. Foreign Policy in the Nuclear Age. It’s all designed to broaden my expertise as a Foreign Area Officer.”
HLS Military Relations Coordinator and REEI Student Services Coordinator Elliott Nowacky says, “With less than ½ of one percent of our fellow citizens serving in the military, HLS and REEI are truly grateful for the opportunity to host LTC Brice this academic year. Dan brings tremendous experience from working abroad and in Washington DC which benefits all who have had the opportunity to engage with him.”
When he is not in class, Brice is immersing himself in the local civilian community. “I’m meeting influential members of the community, I’m giving presentations in some of my classes about previous military work, and I’ll eventually meet with some of the local military leaders such as the R.O.T.C. department,” he says. “I’ll have other speaking engagements around the state of Indiana as well.”
For someone who has spent time around the world, Brice says he feels at home in Indiana. “My wife and I love it here. It’s definitely a change of pace from Washington D.C. I couldn’t ask for a better experience so far. The community and the student body are easy going and welcoming.”
Brice welcomes the opportunity to talk with students or other community members about his unique career path.
Editor’s note: Lt. Colonel Brice spoke as a private individual and not a representative of the Army. His views are his own.