Dr. Shay is a psychiatrist whose treatment of combat trauma suffered by Vietnam veterans combined with his critical and imaginative interpretations of the ancient accounts of battle described in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are deepening our understanding of the effects of warfare on the individual. His books, Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character (1994), and Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming (2002) have gained wide use in both civilian and military education.
Jonathan Shay was a staff psychiatrist at the Department of Veteran Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Boston, Massachusetts for 20 years. 1999-2000 he performed the Commandant of the Marine Corps Trust Study; 2001 he was Visiting Scholar-at-Large at the U.S. Naval War College; 2004-2005, he was Chair of Ethics, Leadership, and Personnel Policy in the Office of the U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, and was the 2009 Omar Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership at the US Army War College. Until the end of 2012, he is a MacArthur Fellow.
Dr. Shay coined the phrases “leadership malpractice” and “moral injury” in the course of what he calls his missionary work with the US and other armed forces.