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COL Bernard Banks

Professor and Head
Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership

Phone: 845.938.3206
COL Bernard Bennett Banks is the son of a career Army aviation officer. Following his graduation from high school (Monmouth Regional High School-Tinton Falls, New Jersey), COL Banks was selected to attend the US Military Academy Preparatory School--where he earned a congressional appointment to West Point. In 1987, COL Banks graduated from West Point and received his commission as Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery. In 1991, COL Banks transferred from Field Artillery to the Aviation branch and since then has served in varied assignments throughout the attack helicopter community.

Since departing West Point, COL Banks has attended numerous military schools to include the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course; the Initial Entry Rotary Wing Course (“Flight School”-Distinguished Honor Graduate); the Aviation Officer Advanced Course (Honor Graduate); the U.S. Army Ranger Course (Distinguished Honor Graduate and Ralph Puckett Award recipient); the U.S. Army Airborne and Jumpmaster Courses; the Air Assault Course; the U.S.M.C. Tactical Air Control Party Course (Honor Graduate); the U.S.A.F. Joint Firepower Course (Honor Graduate); the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College. He is qualified as a Senior Army Aviator, Master Parachutist, and Ranger.

COL Banks has held numerous tactical command and staff positions in the Continental United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK). He commanded the first Apache helicopter company deployed to the ROK, has 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. Furthermore, 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). In addition to the aforementioned assignments and team accomplishments, COL Banks has served as a White House Military Social Aide and staff officer at the battalion, brigade, division, corps, and Dept. of the Army levels.

COL Banks’ civilian academic education includes a Bachelor of Science (Political Science) from the United States Military Academy at West Point; a Master of Science (General Administration) from Central Michigan University; a Master of Public Administration (Leadership Studies) from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government; a Master of Business Administration (General Management) from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management; a Master of Arts and a Master of Philosophy (Organizational Psychology) from Columbia University; a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College; and a Ph.D. (Social-Organizational Psychology) from Columbia University. He is also a graduate of Harvard Business School’s General Manager Program.

COL Banks’ current assignment is the Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership (BS&L), United States Military Academy where he serves as the Department Head and as the program director for the Academy’s Eisenhower Leader Development Program (a graduate program in leader development operated in conjunction with Columbia University). During a previous tour at the academy (2002-2004), he served as an Instructor, Assistant Professor, and Department Executive Officer within BS&L.

COL 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 Senior Army Aviator Badge; the Master Parachutist Badge; the Air Assault Badge; the Army Staff Identification Badge; and the Ranger Tab. He is also a recipient of 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).