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Col. Bernard Banks

Col. Bernard Banks

The son of a career Army aviation officer, Col. Bernard Banks (Ph.D. '11) is Professor and Head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He directs the Eisenhower Leaders Development Program, which was jointly designed by West Point and faculty in Teachers College's Social-Organizational Psychology Program in the Department of Organization and Leadership. Founded in 2005, ELDP provides officers -- mostly captains and majors who have been commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan -- with a 45-credit curriculum that includes courses given both at TC and at West Point. Graduates emerge with a master's degree in social-organizational psychology and stay on at West Point for another two or three years to serve as company tactical officers, helping West Point undergraduates meet and balance the physical, military, academic and ethical requirements of a West Point education.

Banks graduated from West Point in 1987 and received his commission as Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery. In 1991, he transferred from Field Artillery to the Aviation branch. He is qualified as a Senior Army Aviator, Master Parachutist, and Ranger.

Banks  commanded the first Apache helicopter company deployed to the Republic of Korea and served as the Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General-U.S. Army Security Assistance Command and as the squadron commander of the Army’s only conventional over-water attack helicopter unit (3-6 Cavalry Squadron). At the conclusion of his company command in 1995, he was selected from over 40,000 company grade officers as one of the Army’s 12 annual winners of the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award Competition. The MacArthur award is symbolic of the most outstanding company grade officer(s) leadership performance for a given year. COL Banks’ squadron was selected as the 2005 aviation unit of the year for the Korean theater and as the runner-up in the Army’s 2005 aviation unit of the year competition (the LTG Ellis D. Parker Award). Banks also has served as a White House Military Social Aide and staff officer at the battalion, brigade, division, corps, and Dept. of the Army levels.

Banks’ awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal; the Meritorious Service Medal (5th award); the Army Commendation Medal (2nd award); the Army Achievement Medal (4th award); the Army Aviation Association of America’s Order of Saint Michael (Bronze Award), the U.S. Armor Association’s Order of Saint George, and the Department of the Army’s General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award. His foreign decorations include the Canadian Parachutist Badge and the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (Gold Award).

To learn more about the Eisenhower Leaders Development program, read:

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Published Monday, Jul. 29, 2013