Bill Combes

William “Bill” Combes, CAPT USN (retired) is a Lecturer in the Department of Leadership and Management at the Baltic Defence College in Tartu, Estonia. Before moving to Estonia, Bill completed a 27-year career in the US Navy as a submariner and strategist. In addition to commanding a ballistic missile submarine, serving as Chief of Staff of a carrier strike group deployed to the Persian Gulf, and his last position as the branch head for US Navy strategy in the Pentagon, he was the US Navy’s Fellow to Oxford University and the Changing Character of War Programme.

The Baltic Defence College ( is an English-speaking international institution of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania providing professional military education at the operational and strategic levels for military and civilian leaders of the Baltic states, their allies and partners. The college conducts applied research, hosts and co-hosts conferences and seminars and offers a fellowship programme. At the college Bill lectures, researches and supervises student studies in leadership, management, energy security, maritime security, and other military and strategic studies topics.

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