Centre for International and Defence Policy

Centre for International and Defence Policy
Centre for International and Defence Policy
LTC Chad M. Pillai

LTC Chad M. Pillai

U.S. Army Visiting Defence Fellow 2021-22
About:

Lieutenant Colonel Chad M. Pillai is an Army Strategist currently serving as the Deputy Director, Commander’s Action Group (CAG) at U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). Previously, he served as a Joint Strategic Planner in the CENTCOM Strategy, Plans, and Policy Directorate (J5), responsible for developing global, multilateral, and regional integrated campaign plans since September 2018. From 2014-2018, he served as the Deputy Director for Strategy, Plans, and Policy (J5) and Command Strategist for U.S. Special Operations Command – Central (SOCCENT), a Joint Sub-Unified Special Operations Command to CENTCOM and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM).


From 2013-2014, Lieutenant Colonel Pillai served as a Concept Developer in the Army Capabilities and Integration Center (ARCIC), where he worked on Army’s Force 2025 and Strategic Landpower Concepts. From June 2012-June 2013, Lieutenant Colonel Pillai served as a Strategic Advisor in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF) CAG for both General John Allen, USMC (Retired), and General Joseph Dunford, USMC (Retired). His primary responsibilities included U.S. and NATO Policy, Congressional Engagement, and Liaison to the Coalition Strategic Plans Directorate. From July 2011 – June 2012, Lieutenant Colonel Pillai served as a Speechwriter for General Raymond Odierno (Retired), the 38th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. From 2010-2011, Lieutenant Colonel Pillai’s first strategic-level assignment as an Army Strategist was at Headquarters, Department of the Army War Plans Division. In 2011, Lieutenant Colonel Chad Pillai competed and successfully made it as a White House Fellowship National Finalists.


Preceding his transition as an Army Strategist in 2008, Lieutenant Colonel Pillai served as an Armor Officer in various staff and command positions in Korea, Germany, Iraq, and at Fort Knox, KY. Before going on active-duty time in the Army, Lieutenant Colonel Pillai conducted three inter-agency internships with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security (1998), U.S. Embassy to the United Kingdom (1999), and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (2000).


Lieutenant Colonel Pillai’s Professional Military Education includes the Joint and Combined Warfighting School (JCWS), Basic Strategic Arts Program (BSAP), Intermediate Level Education (ILE), Defense Strategy Course (DSC), Combined Arms Service Staff School (CAS3), and both Armor Officer Basic and Advanced Courses. He received his Master of International Public Policy from the John Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in 2009 and a Bachelor in Arts in International Studies from the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Brockport in 2000.


Lieutenant Colonel Chad Pillai authored a chapter on geopolitics and strategy for On Strategy: A Primer and published 56 articles and blogs on a variety of sites to include War on the Rocks, Small Wars Journal, Infinity Journal, Strategy Bridge, Military Review, Offizier, and Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC). Lieutenant Colonel Pillai received the Lieutenant General Paul G. Cerjan Distinguished Writing Award at Joint Forces Staff College for his article Countering 21st Century Threats: The Need for an Increased Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) Approach to Irregular Warfare, which appeared in the Small Wars Journal. Lieutenant Colonel Chad Pillai is a member of the Military Writer’s Guild, International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the Academy of Political Science (APS), Army Strategy Association (ASA), and the Naval Institute.