Professorial Lecturer of Russian Literature
Brigadier General (US Army, retired) Rick McPeak earned his undergraduate degree, with a concentration in Russian Studies, and his commission from the United States Military Academy at West Point in June 1979. As a Strategic Intelligence Officer in West Germany from 1983 – 1987, he leveraged myriad intelligence sources to help determine whether Soviet and Warsaw Pact military units were engaged in training exercises or launching World War III. McPeak devoted two decades of his career to the comprehensive leadership development of future Army officers at West Point. From 2007 - 2014, he led the Academy’s Department of Foreign Languages through a period of rapid and revolutionary change. During his tenure as Department Head, McPeak promoted mutual understanding between Russia and the United States by immersing future US Army leaders in the Russian professional military education system. He also served as the West Point Fellow at the National War College. Dr. McPeak’s advanced degrees -- a master’s from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle -- are in Russian literature. His scholarship focuses on the writings of Leo Tolstoy, particularly his masterwork War and Peace. Since retirement from the Army in October 2014, Rick has engaged in leadership and educational consulting. His most recent project for the Commanding General of the US Army Europe and Africa analyzed the Russian way of war. General McPeak and his wife, Vicki, reside in northern Virginia where she, recently retired from her ministry to developmentally disabled adults, and now focuses on their three children and seven grandchildren.