Dedication to Col. Nick Pratt
Publication Type:Book Chapter
Source:Combating Transnational Terrorism, Procon, Sofia, p.v (2016)
Nick Pratt was a unique human being. He was a soldier, an educator and a leader, and his achievements in life were many. Starting out as a Second Lieutenant in 1970, he served the United States Marine Corps for more than 30 years. During that time he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps medal for Heroism; he served as a Battalion Commander and was part of the CIA Special Operations Group responsible for covert missions overseas. He also served in the White House and as the Director of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico, Virginia before retiring as a Colonel in 1996. It was then that Nick joined the Marshall Center as a Professor of Strategy and International Politics.
As a professional educator, Nick taught and enriched the lives of hundreds of security professionals from around the world. It is no exaggeration to say that of the dozens of faculty members who have worked here over the years, and the literally thousands of people who have passed through these doors, Nick Pratt was among the most charismatic and influential. He founded the Program on Terrorism and Security Studies (PTSS) shortly after 9/11 and was its director for more than a decade. PTSS was and remains the Marshall Center’s most prestigious course. The program quickly gained the respect of counter-terrorism experts and professionals around the globe and now boasts over 1,400 alumni (military and civilian) from more than 110 countries – many of whom still keep in touch with the Marshall Center and each other. This was Nick’s mission: to create a living network dedicated to defeating those who use the tactics of terrorism, regardless of their cause or ideology. It is often said—and yet still poorly appreciated—that it takes a network to defeat a network. This network is Nick Pratt’s legacy.
Without Nick, the PTSS cannot be the same and he is still sorely missed by all those who knew him. Yet in line with his vision, the network continues to grow and the program continues to evolve, as does the adversary. Compiled by Nick’s colleagues and friends, this book is a product of the continued will and determination to carry on his life’s work and to ultimately make the world a safer place. Although we have lost a great man, and a great friend, he continues to inspire us and he will not be forgotten.
Semper Fi, Nick.