Dr. Hoffman is serving at the National Defense University as a Distinguished Research Fellow with the Institute for National Strategic Studies. He formerly directed the NDU Press operations which includes the journals Joint Force Quarterly and PRISM. From August of 2009 to June 2011, he served in the Department of the Navy as a senior executive as the Senior Director, Naval Capabilities and Readiness. He started at National Defense University in 2011 and became a Distinguished Research Fellow in December 2016. He holds a Ph.D. in War Studies from King’s College London.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Mr. Hoffman began his public service career when he was commissioned out of the NROTC program at the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated as the Distinguished Military Graduate and was commissioned a 2ndLt, USMC. From 1978-1983, after graduating both the Basic School and Infantry Officer Course as an honor graduate, he served in a variety of line and staff positions in the Second and Third Marine Divisions. In between tours in the Fleet Marine Force, he was the Adjutant, Company Commander and Head Tactics Instructor at the School of Infantry at Camp Lejeune.
In 1983 he was assigned to the then Requirements and Programs Division at HQMC. Frank served as a Defense Systems Analyst, Force Structure analyst and Supervisory Resource Analyst at Headquarters Marine Corps until 1991. During this time he was responsible for Marine force structure and manpower studies and analyses. In his tours in R&P, he served as editor of the Marine Corps annual document Concepts & Issues.
In 1992 Frank transferred to Quantico, where he served as a program analyst for the Training and Education Command. Here he was responsible for successfully introducing ground simulators into the Marine Corps. After graduating from the Naval War College with highest distinction in 1994 he transferred to the Studies and Analysis Division at Quantico as their historical analyst, and represented the Marine Corps on the Defense Science Board and at the Commission on Roles and Missions in 1995.
Up to 1998, Frank continued to serve at Quantico as the national security analyst and Director of the Marine Strategic Studies Group. As a Marine Reservist he also worked at the HQMC Strategic Initiatives Group at the same time. In 1999 Frank was named to the National Security Study Group which was the professional staff supporting the U.S. National Security Commission for the 21st Century. There at the Hart-Rudman Commission Frank was responsible for crafting the Commission’s future security assessment, military strategy, and homeland security recommendations which eventually were implemented with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
That appointment was concluded in 2001, and Frank returned to work at Quantico as a strategic planner and concept developer for the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab. He served as a Research Fellow at the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities, where he was responsible for leading and conducting assessments and developing concept papers on future threats and emerging opportunities. While at Quantico, Frank authored numerous Marine concepts on distributed operations, urban ops, and hybrid threats, as well as contributing to the Marine Corps newest vision and strategy, and penning chapters to the Army/Marine Corps COIN doctrine. While at Quantico he worked with Joint Forces Command and our British, Australian and Israeli partners on alternative futures, concepts, and a number of wargames and experimentation activities.
He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve in the summer of 2001 at the grade of Lieutenant Colonel.
In addition to his formal duties, he has lectured extensively at institutions here in the United States, the Middle East and Europe. He has authored one book (Decisive Force; The New American Way of War, Praeger, 1996), over 100 essays and articles, and frequently contributes to Orbis, Joint Force Quarterly, the Journal of Strategic Studies, Parameters, the Naval Institute Proceedings and Marine Corps Gazette.