What We Are 

The Special Operations Research Association (SORA) is an officially registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting research across academia, the military, and the SOF community on the nature, conduct, and sources of success of special operations.  

Who We Are

We are a group of scholars, educators, and military personnel (including present and former special operators) who share an interest in the field of special operations, ranging from theory to practice. Click here for bios and more on our leadership and board members.

Our Mission

To promote research on special operations and special operations forces to better understand their nature, utility, and the factors contributing to mission success. To better understand how special operations are planned and conducted; their role in the policymaking process; and their unique role in national strategy.

Our Partners

We are not alone in pursuing our mission. We partner with other organizations but none as closely as with the Joint Special Operations University (JSOU), which hosts the Special Operations Journal. Together we also co-host an annual special operations research symposium (for more information click the symposium tab at the top of the page).



Executive Committee

Dr. Christopher Marsh, President

Joint Special Operations University

Dr. Robert Tomlinson, Vice President

U.S. Naval War College

LTC (R) Mike Kenny, Assistant Vice President for Outreach

Warrior Ascent 

Dr. James Kiras, Assistant Vice President

U.S. Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies

Patricia Blocksome, Assistant Vice President for Research

U.S. Naval War College

OUr Board

COL (R) Jeff Goble

United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)

Dr. Nikolas Gvosdev

U.S. Naval War College

LTC (R) Dan Hammack

U.S. Army Special Forces (Ret.)

COL (R) David Maxwell

U.S. Army Special Forces (Ret.)

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Leslea Pickle

U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command

Linda Robinson

RAND Corporation