Lieutenant Colonel Charles Driest, USMC (Ret.) is a Research Fellow assigned to the TECOM (Training and Education Command) at the US Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia.
Lt. Col. Driest has over 29 years of experience in Marine Corps Operations, Studies and Analysis and personnel management, including six years as an instructor on the Operational Level of War. He served overseas in several high-risk posts, including Commandant of the Marine Corps Observer to the US Embassy in Nicaragua; Future Operations Officer for all Marine Forces (MARFOR) for Operation Restore Hope/ Provide Comfort in Somalia; and Executive Officer of F-Company, MSG Bn (State Department), responsible for all US embassies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Upon retirement from the Marine Corps in 1994, LtCol Driest was awarded the Legion of Merit.
Lt. Col. Driest also has over 15 years of experience in the private sector in program management, modeling and simulation wargame design, and multinational information services. He was formerly employed by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) as the Exercise Team Leader for the Synthetic Theater of War (STOW), a DARPA project. He also held a position with MITRE as the Project Lead for Multinational Information Services (MNIS), a program designed to increase information sharing with Allies, Coalition Forces, and Communities of Interest (COIs).
Lt. Col. Driest’s awards and decorations include: the Legion of Merit, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation (With 2 Stars), National Defense Service Medal (With Star), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Navy/Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon (With Star), and USMC Security Guard Ribbon.