Steven Maffeo


Steve Maffeo recently retired as the Associate Library Director at the U.S. Air Force Academy; a position he’s held for the past twenty-six years. For the five years prior to that he was a reference librarian at the Academy, with specific subject-liaison duties with the Department of History—among others.

Mr. Maffeo holds a B.A. (English) from the University of Colorado; an M.A. (Library Science) from the University of Denver; and an M.S. (Strategic Intelligence) from the U.S. National Defense Intelligence College. His civilian career has for the most part been as a line librarian and as a library administrator - at the University of Northern Colorado (Greeley); the U.S. Naval War College (Newport, R.I.); the Aurora (Colo.) Public Library; and the Air Force Academy.

In 2008, Steve retired as a Navy captain – after 30 years (both enlisted and commissioned) in the Colorado Army National Guard, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Naval Reserve. He had many assignments with many outfits; the last were as Commanding Officer, Office of Naval Intelligence Reserve Unit 0287 in Salt Lake City; Commanding Officer, Joint Intelligence Center Pacific Detachment Denver; and Director, National Defense Intelligence College Part-Time Programs, Washington DC. He was voluntarily recalled to active duty 1990-1991 during Desert Shield/​Storm, at NORAD /​ U.S. Space Command as a watch-team commander and flag-officer briefer. His awards include the Legion of Merit, a Defense Meritorious Service Medal, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, a USAF Civilian Meritorious Service Medal, a USAF Exemplary Civilian Service Medal, and a USAF Outstanding Career Civilian Service Medal. He also holds the Navy's Information Dominance Warfare Officer Insignia, the Command Ashore Insignia, and the Air Force's Excellence-in-Competition Bronze Badges for both rifle and pistol.

Steve has published several journal articles, an encyclopedia article, and four books: Most Secret and Confidential: Intelligence in the Age of Nelson (Naval Institute Press, Annapolis /​ Chatham Publishing, London, 2000), Seize, Burn, or Sink: The Thoughts and Words of Vice Admiral Lord Nelson (Scarecrow Press, Lanham, Md., 2006), The Perfect Wreck: “Old Ironsides” and HMS Java—A Story of 1812 (Fireship Press, Tucson, 2011), and just recently U.S. Navy Codebreakers, Linguists, and Intelligence Officers against Japan: 1910-1941 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015).

He lives in Colorado Springs with his wife Rhonda (a programmer/​project manager). His son Micah (a martial arts 2nd degree black belt and Eagle Scout) is in Army ROTC at Colorado State University.

Selected Works

Nonfiction: Naval History
U.S. Navy Codebreakers, Linguists, and Intelligence Officers against Japan, 1910-1941--A Biographical Dictionary "This volume will remain the standard reference for information about the Navy's intelligence personnel before and during World War II."
—Elliot Carlson, in the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings
Most Secret and Confidential:
Intelligence in the Age of Nelson "One of the top three naval/maritime books of the year 2000."
—Norman Polmar, in Seapower magazine
Nonfiction: Naval History
Seize, Burn, or Sink: The Thoughts and Words of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson "Monumental ... magnificent! Captain Maffeo has extracted and collected a fascinating miscellany in "Seize, Burn, or Sink."
—Captain Richard Woodman, author of the Nathaniel Drinkwater series
Naval History / Historical fiction
The Perfect Wreck:  “Old Ironsides” and H.M.S. Java—A Story of 1812 "A highly recommended must-read for every naval enthusiast—indeed, for every American!"
—Stephen Coonts, 17-times NY Times best-selling author

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