Philip Clayton ShackelfordMay 7, 2023
Rise of the Mavericks
The U.S. Air Force Security Service and the Cold War
US Naval Institute Press 2023
The U.S. Air Force had to struggle to establish itself as an independent branch of the American military, and originally was an extension of the Army. The experiences during World War II (1939-1945) and the beginning of the Cold War afterwards helped propel the process towards becoming a separate branch in 1948. An important but less studied aspect of this process was the necessity for the Air Force to have its own special intelligence branch, which would later become the Security Service. Undertaking painstaking operations to decipher enemy communications and intentions, the Security Service thought of itself as the first line of defense for the United States and its NATO allies. The hard-won struggle for the Air Force to be an independent branch of the military marked the Security Service as having a certain maverick status within the larger American military intelligence community. The story of this lesser-known branch of U.S. military intelligence is the subject of Philip C. Shackelford's Rise of the Mavericks: The U.S. Air Force Security Service and the Cold War, 1948-1979 (US Naval Institute Press, 2023).
Philip C. Shackelford is currently serving as the Library Director at South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado, Arkansas. He is a past president of the Arkansas Library Association, and is committed to supporting the Arkansas library community in a variety of other capacities. As a military historian, Philip Shackelford brings a unique focus on organizational culture and development to the history of communications intelligence, national security, and the U.S. Air Force.
Stephen Satkiewicz is an independent scholar whose research areas are related to Civilizational Analysis, Social Complexity, Big History, Historical Sociology, military history, War studies, International Relations, Geopolitics, as well as Russian and East European history.