Centre for International and Defence Policy

Centre for International and Defence Policy
Centre for International and Defence Policy
Allan English photo

Dr. Allan English

Associate Professor
Department of History
Watson Hall, Room 129

Allan English served in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) for 25 years in various operational and instructional positions as an air navigator. He completed his MA in War Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) in 1987 and taught in the Military Psychology and Leadership Department there until he retired from the CAF in 1991. He completed his PhD in history at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario in 1993. His book, The Cream of the Crop: Canadian Aircrew 1939-45 examines the RCAF's selection and training procedures and its policies governing aviators who were judged to have a "lack of moral fibre" (LMF). He completed a number of studies on military culture, leadership, and command and control under contract to Defence Research and Development - Canada, one of which was published by McGill-Queen's University Press in 2004 as Understanding Military Culture: A Canadian Perspective. His most recent works in this area are “Whatever Happened to Mission Command in the CAF?” (2014), “The Impact of Canadian Military Culture on the Defence Team” (2015), “Cultural Dissonance: Ethical Considerations from Afghanistan” (2016), and “Corruption in the Canadian Military? Destroying Trust in the Chain Of Command” (2017).

Dr English has taught courses in the Theories of War, Air Warfare, and Human Behaviour in War at the post-graduate level in the War Studies and Continuing Education programmes at RMCC. He has also taught extensively at the Canadian Forces College (CFC), Toronto in subjects related to senior officer professional military education and he was Co-Chair of the Aerospace Studies Department at CFC from 2001 to 2005.

Some of his current research is focussed on how lessons learned from historical experience can be applied to improve military, veteran and family health policies and practices today and in the future. He has been associated with the Canadian Institute of Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) since its inception in 2010. He is a member of CIMVHR’s College of Peer Reviewers, Conference Scientific Planning Committee, and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Military Veteran and Family Health. His most recent publications in this area are “How the ‘New Military History’ can support Military, Veteran and Family Health Research” (2015); with Matthew Barrett, “‘Fallen on the Field of Honour?’ Attitudes of the Canadian Public towards Suicides in the Canadian Military, 1914-2014” (2015) and “Sex and the Soldier: The Effect of Competing Ethical Value Systems on the Mental Health and Well Being of Canadian Military Personnel and Veterans” (2016).

In November 2015 he was given the Queen’s University Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision in the Social Sciences and Humanities.

  • M.A. War Studies, RMC
  • Ph.D. History, Queen's University

Current Interests/Research:

  • Canadian military history;
  • Command and leadership in the armed forces;
  • Military and veterans health care.


Department of History (Queens University)