Caddell admits that he originally did not want to attend Duke – he says he bled Carolina blue. Still, he is thankful for Leutze’s insistence, as Duke was “the place to be” for military history. He said he owes his PWAD teaching career at UNC to Leutze, who helped him to get a job teaching naval history after he completed graduate school.
Junior Sarah Barnett, who is currently taking Caddell’s air power class, said he is a very engaging and comical lecturer.
“A lot of Peace, War, and Defense alumni that I’ve talked to have spoken his praises,” Barnett said. “Which is something you want to take a class for more than anything.”
Kate Nieri, also a UNC junior, is a student in Caddell’s air power class.
“He’s really highly respected in the PWAD department, mostly for his work on intelligence, but he also knows more than anyone about the history or sea power and air power,” Nieri said.
Nieri said Caddell is viewed as legend in the Peace, War, and Defense department, where he began teaching in 1986.
“I’m kind of excited that I’ve gotten to see it develop,” Caddell said about the PWAD curriculum. “I was a student here when it was founded, and sometimes I look at students and go, ‘Wow – it’s worked.’”
Caddell, who also taught for 22 years in Washington D.C. at what is now the National Intelligence University, said the best part of all his years of teaching is hearing from former students. He said he'll continue teaching for "as long as people will put with me."
Outside of the classroom, Caddell enjoys canoeing, backpacking and spending time with his four grandchildren – who range in age from four months to three years old. He has two children, who he calls his best friends in the whole wide world. Caddell lives in Chapel Hill with his wife, who just retired from teaching after 35 years. And like his father, Caddell’s son now also teaches at the National Intelligence University.
Caddell said he always tells people that he’s had three jobs since graduating college – a bartender, an Air Force officer and a college professor.
“Each job change has been a cut in pay,” Caddell said, jokingly. “But each job change has been more interesting and more important.”