Robert M. Kirila
Robert Kirila is presently serving as the Chief Operating Officer for the Doolittle Institute. As the COO, Robert works closely with the United States Air Force Research Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base and the United States Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base connecting the military with the markets and resources required to maintain a strong and prosperous nation. Rob is also the Director of Military Affairs for Congressman Matt Gaetz, 1st Congressional District of Florida.
On September 23, 2016, Robert completed more than 25 years of service in the United States Army. Serving as a Senior Leader in the last seven years of his career, he developed a remarkably unique portfolio of experience. In just the last decade, he led soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, coordinated the largest Special Operations Base Realignment in the history of the Regiment, acted as a principal strategy advisor to the Commanding General in the fight against ISIS, lectured at the Colombian Defense University on the ethics of Just War, and served in the United States State Department in Washington D.C. as a fellow in the Western Hemisphere Bureau.
After graduating from the University of Richmond, Robert was commissioned as an officer in the Infantry. After serving in the 7th Infantry Division Robert began to pursue more demanding and elite communities, starting first in the United Nations Command – Joint Security Area (PanMunJom, Korea) then the Rangers and finally in the Special Forces. For the last 7 years Robert has been a Commander and senior Leader in the 7th Special Forces Group. Excluding Africa, Robert has served on every continent in the world leading organizations varying in size from 12 to over 8,000 personnel. Over half of his 25 years in uniform have been spent directly leading operations. Most notably, three times in the last 20 years he led organizations in significant high risk confidence-building efforts between ethnic and religious antagonists. In Afghanistan, he led efforts between US, Afghan military, governmental and tribal leaders pursuing local economic endeavors to restore trust between the government and the tribes. In Iraq, Robert led special operations efforts to deter the civil war that threatened to engulf Iraq after the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra. There, he successfully supported a grass-roots effort to build confidence between Iraqi Sunnis, Shias and Iraqi Kurds along disputed ethnic fault lines.
Robert holds a bachelor degree from the University of Richmond and multiple master degrees from Central Michigan University and the United States War College. Among his awards are the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Service Medals, the Bronze Star, and the Green Beret authorized by President John F. Kennedy. Robert and Chrissie, his wife of 20 years, have two children, and a rascal of a border collie.