Dr. Jacob Walter Kipp, 79, died peacefully in his home on October 27th, 2021. He was an internationally recognized scholar of Russian and Soviet military history and analysis. He is survived by his wife of over 50 years, Maia; his sons Alex and Mick; and his four grandchildren Oskar, Darius, Meile, and Niklas.
The family will hold a small private funeral, but a larger celebration of his life is planned in the spring of 2022 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Lawrence, an organization which Dr. Kipp had been member of for two decades and twice served as its Chair of the Board.
The son of Samuel Harmon Kipp and Helen Campbell Kipp, Jacob was born in Harrisburg, PA, on 6 March 1942.
He received his BS in Secondary Education from Shippensburg State College in 1964. He received his MA in History in 1967 and his PhD. in Russian History in 1970 from the Pennsylvania State University. In the late 60’s and 70’s, Jacob conducted academic research in Eastern Europe, receiving a Fullbright-Hays Fellowship to study at the University of Warsaw in Poland in 1968-69, and an IREX Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Leningrad State University in the Soviet Union in 1970.
It was in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) that Jacob met the love of his life, Dr. Maia A. Kipp (née Glikman), on a blind date. They were married eight months later at the Leningrad “Palace of Weddings” on June 11, 1971. Jacob interviewed for his first professorship at the Kansas State University while still in Leningrad, as he overcame numerous Soviet bureaucratic hurdles to marry a Russian national. By the fall of 1971, Jacob and Maia had planted their roots in Manhattan, Kansas. Their beloved son, Alex, was born the following year.
From 1971 to 1985 he taught Russian Military and Naval History at the Kansas State University and Miami University of Ohio, and conducted research for the Center for Strategic Technology of Texas A&M University.
In January 1986, he joined the newly-established Soviet Army Studies Office (SASO) at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, as a senior analyst. In 1991, SASO became the Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO).
In that same year, Jacob and Maia sponsored an exchange student from Lithuania, Mikas Kalinauskas, or “Mick”. Mick became like a second son to them and a brother to Alex, as well as godfather to Alex’s first son (Jacob and Maia’s grandson), Oskar.
In 2003, Dr. Kipp became Director of FMSO and served in that capacity until October 2006. In 2006, he joined the US Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) as Deputy Director.
Jacob retired from federal service in September 2009 and afterward served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Kansas, a contributor to the Eurasia Daily Monitor of the Jamestown Foundation, and a consultant for the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center.
Dr. Kipp published extensively on Russian and Soviet naval and military history. Topics included: Russian naval reform in the 19th century, Soviet naval history and analysis, operational art in theory and practice, foresight and forecasting in Russian and Soviet military affairs and growth of anti-Western ideologies in Russia. From 1992 to 2001 he served as the US editor of the journal European Security. He was also on the editorial board of the Modern War Studies Series of the University Press of Kansas and of the Journal of Slavic Military Studies.
Over his scholarly career he published 9 books, 47 articles in refereed journals, and more than 50 chapters in books. He was elected a member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and the International Academy of “Informatization.” He contributed to the growth of military and security studies field, mentored and inspired numerous students, and collaborated with prominent academics, policy makers, and institutions across the globe.
Jacob will be remembered as a brilliant, generous man of tremendous wisdom and wit. He lived with passion, integrity and voracious intellectual curiosity. He dedicated his professional life to making the U.S. safer and the world more peaceful. He was a devoted husband, a loving father and a joyful grandfather. He will be missed dearly by all who knew and loved him.
The family has requested that remembrances be made in the form of contributions to the Isabel F. Knight Graduate Fellowship in History in the College of the Liberal Arts of the Pennsylvania State University and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.