It is with a deep sense of personal and professional sadness and loss that I share with you the news that former IUS Chair and President Charlie Moskos has passed away. He died peacefully in his sleep at his and Ilca's home in Santa Monica, California after a long battle with cancer. He was engaged and generous until the end.

Despite his prominence, Charlie delighted in the success of others and never lost his warm, personal touch. Typically, a recent email was full of praise and encouragement for a junior IUS Fellow. He delighted in teaching, returning to Northwestern University as an emeritus professor as recently as last fall to teach oversubscribed introduction to sociology and military sociology courses to a new generation of students.

Charlie was a tireless contributor of scholarly work, most of which had practical applications and some of which stirred public debate. He was justly proud of his ancestry and honored his heritage by his prominent scholarship on Greek Americans. Most of us are more familiar with his studies of the military. He was among the very few sociologists who studied enlisted soldiers in the field where they were deployed, both in peace and in war. His work on minority soldiers revealed the conditions under which a Jim Crow military became a model for race relations that civilian institutions might follow.

Early in his career, he developed the Institutional/Occupational hypothesis as a means to promote comparative historical studies of military organization and military change. This hypothesis evolved into the Postmodern Military model, which helped predict the course of civil-military relations after the end of the Cold War. He never shied away from, but helped to guide, heated public debates about, for instance, the rights of conscientious objectors and the integration of women and gays into the armed forces. During the Clinton administration, he coined the term, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” as a name for the policy he proposed, the policy eventually adopted, that steered between punishing members of the military because they were gay and allowing gays to serve openly. It was a compromise criticized by those on both sides. Charlie believed that was a sign of success and liked to call it “the policy everyone hates.” Yet for Charlie, policy disputes were never personal. He had the remarkable gift of making friends of those with whom he disagreed most strongly.

His contributions were not confined to his leading role as a scholar and public intellectual. Much of the intellectual vitality and practical success of our organization is due to Charlie Moskos. He worked tirelessly to organize conferences, to enlist the help of others to ensure that our organization could survive financially, and to support the work of scholars young and old.

Professionally, Charlie was a true giant in social science. Personally, I never knew a finer or kinder person. I solicit your ideas on how the IUS should honor this great man and will be in touch with you on developments.

With deep sadness,

John Allen (Jay) Williams
Chair and President, IUS