Dave Dilegge of SWJ – Huge Loss for the Online Military Community

Dave Dilegge - Small Wars Journal - RIP

A prominent feature of the military blog world has passed away. Dave Dilegge was the engine that powered the online military publication Small Wars Journal. He passed away on Saturday, May 2, 2020. Dave served in the Marine Corps and took part in Desert Storm.

In 2005 he established the Small Wars Journal. This online site would become a key informational and educational resource for many people both inside and outside of the military. A vast array of articles were contributed that provided insight, analysis, and commentary on military topics both historical and present. In addition, a number of articles featured warfare in the future.

His earlier endeavors in the online community included the Urban Operations Journal and the MOUT Homepage. The Small Wars Journal had a wide array of article contributors – many of them well-known in the military world. However, there was always room for the not-so-well-known contributor as well. More information about the purpose of Small Wars Journal is available on the About page.

My interaction with Dave was minimal. While serving in Afghanistan as a Counterinsurgency Advisor for the COMISAF Advisory and Assistance Team (CAAT) I had occasion to come across informative papers scripted by a few junior and mid-level NCOs and officers. These papers dealt with counterinsurgency, security force assistance, and the Afghan conflict. I submitted a few to Dave and he would publish them.

I had the privilege to write one article for Small Wars Journal. Dave was very professional to deal with and encouraged me in my writings at SOF News. Behind the scenes and on Twitter he was a great supporter of SOF News – almost daily retweeting our articles to his vast Twitter audience.

My mornings usually start with reading the latest news about military topics, special operations, national security, and conflicts around the world. For the most part this news comes from newsletters and online forums. The very first news site I go to every morning is Small Wars Journal. I had noticed that SWJ had not posted anything since April 20th.

This past Monday I sent Dave a ‘direct message’ on Twitter – “SWJ has been quiet lately. Everything okay?

No answer. Sadly, yesterday, I learned of his passing.

Small Wars Journal has had a huge impact on those that read about military affairs. Hopefully his associates at SWJ will continue his great work.

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Image from Small Wars Journal.

Obituary for David P. Dilegge, May 9 1956 – May 2, 2020

Posting by Small Wars Journal about the passing of Dave Dilegge.

“Dave Dilegge, the ‘grandfather of urban warfare studies,’ has died”, by Howard Altman, Military Times, May 6, 2020.


About John Friberg 148 Articles
John Friberg is the Editor and Publisher of SOF News. He is a retired Command Chief Warrant Officer (CW5 180A) with 40 years service in the U.S. Army Special Forces with active duty and reserve components.