Who's Who Top Educators

Edward J. Dillenschneider, DM

Title: Faculty
Company: University of the People
Location: Mountain City, Tennessee, United States

Edward J. Dillenschneider, DM, faculty at the University of the People, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in academia.

Mr. Dillenschneider has made significant contributions to the fields of education and military service. He currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of the People, a non-profit organization committed to providing accessible higher education. At the University of the People, all instructors work as volunteers. The institution boasts a diverse student body from over 200 countries, including around 3,000 female students from Afghanistan and approximately 7,000 refugees. 

Additionally, Mr. Dillenschneider has been a news and information blogger at Attempting to Find the Truth since 2017. Prior to these roles, he was deputy director of strategy and integration and deputy chief of staff G-4 5/7 at the Headquarters Department of the Army from 2013 to 2017, chief of strategic planning and management for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 2010 to 2012, and strategic planner of special operations command south from 2004 to 2010. 

Mr. Dillenscheider served in the United States Army for 28 years, including eight years in Central and South America and two years in Colombia during Pablo Escobar’s era, where he directed the military group counternarcotics program. After retiring as a lieutenant colonel, he worked as an Army civilian for another 10 years, rising to GS-15 and being one of eight civilians selected to attend the Army War College. He later served as deputy director for strategy and integration of G-4 at the Pentagon from 2013 to 2017. 

Prior to these accomplishments, Mr. Dillenschneider obtained a Bachelor of Arts in theater and recreation from Eastern New Mexico University in 1979. Continuing his academic efforts, he undertook coursework in public administration at the University of Oklahoma from 1985 to 1987. He went on to earn a Master of Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix in 2000, completed a Master of Strategic Studies and Strategy at the U.S. Army War College in 2013, and a Doctor of Management in organizational leadership from the University of Phoenix in 2018. In addition to his academic accomplishments, he wrote “Professionalizing Government Strategists,” published by the Defense Technical Information Center in 2013.

Additionally, Mr. Dillenschneider served as a board member of the Association of Strategic Planning and the International Association for Strategy Professionals from 2010 to 2013. He is a member of Disabled American Veterans and has been a master diver trainer with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors since 1987 (PADI).

Mr. Dillenschneider is a two-time recipient of the Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service Award, recognized for his role in a hostage rescue operation in Colombia, and his contributions to enhancing the strategic planning process and devising effective solutions to facilitate consensus among C-suite executives in strategic direction adjustments and monitoring strategic processes. He was also recognized as the Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus in Virginia in 2016 and received the Legion of Merit in 2007. He was presented with the 25-Year Scuba Instructor Award by PADI in 2014, the Golden Hammer Award from Habitat for Humanity in 2001, and the Tampa Chamber of Commerce Army Reserve Officer of the Year Award in 2001. Additionally, he was honored as the Knight of the Year by the Knights of Columbus and received a certificate of appreciation from the Florida High School Athletic Association.

One of Mr. Dillenschneider’s most significant achievements was developing a strategy that led to the rescue of three American contractors held hostage in Colombia for five years. This operation is considered one of the most successful in history, as 15 Colombian hostages were freed, including a former presidential candidate, without any injuries or shots fired. Additionally, his counter-terrorism strategy for Central America and the Caribbean prevented a bombing attempt at JFK Airport, leading to the apprehension and sentencing of six individuals. He attributes to his family’s history of military service, which instilled a strong desire to serve his country.

In the next five years, Mr. Dillenschneider plans to continue teaching at the University of the People, believing strongly in its mission to provide accessible education for all. In addition to his teaching, he hopes to work on reforming the Pentagon and collaborate with other former officers to streamline operations and reduce bureaucracy. His goal is to design legislative actions to modify Title 10 of the United States Code and work with lawmakers to enact these changes. He also has plans to write a book based on his experiences and insights as a parent, offering advice for adult children. 

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