Major Fernando Lujan is an Army Special Forces officer currently serving overseas in the Afghanistan-Pakistan Hands program. He was recently selected to be the leader of a new pilot program called the "Afghan COIN Advisory and Assistance Team (A-CAAT)", a combined team of specially-selected Afghan officers, civilians, and language-capable U.S. military officers who assist commanders at all levels in conducting full-spectrum counterinsurgency operations. The team embeds with Afghan units on the ground and reports directly to Commander International Security Assistance Force (COMISAF), providing General Petraeus with insight about the Afghan-perspective of COIN and emerging operational realities. As a member of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Hands program, Major Lujan has been trained in Dari and will spend the next three to five years rotating between his position in theater and an Afghanistan policy-related job in Washington, DC.
Prior to being selected for his current position, Major Lujan served as an assistant professor of politics, policy, and strategy at the U.S. Military Academy and an associate of the West Point Combating Terrorism Center. From 2003 to 2006, he conducted counterinsurgency and counterterrorism missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia, and the Tri-Border as the Commander of a Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha.
Beyond his military work, Major Lujan has served as a part-time fellow to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where he assisted with investigations involving the relationships between multinational corporations and illegal armed groups in Colombia. He is also an active leader within "The Mission Continues," a non-profit organization that gives wounded warriors the opportunity to continue their lives in public service after leaving the military.
Major Lujan holds a BS from U.S. Military Academy at West Point and an MPP from Harvard University. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and for his CFR International Affairs Fellowship he will be studying the nexus between insurgencies, drug traffickers, and criminal networks.