Robert Hickson graduated from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York, in June 1964, and was assigned to Southeast Asia. After one year, he became a U.S. Army Special Forces Officer and earned his “3-prefix” as a “Green Beret,” after having already completed Parachute School and Ranger School and certain forms of Naval Commando Training.
After tours in Viet Nam and elsewhere in Asia, he taught at the J.F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center as the Head of the East Asian Seminar and Instructor in Military History and Irregular Warfare.
He acquired his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Classics (Greco-Roman) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with an emphasis on Ancient Philosophy and Medieval Literature (to include Theological Literature).
For seven years, he was Professor and Chairman of the Literature and Latin Department at Christendom College, leaving shortly thereafter to return to Military and Strategic-Cultural Studies.
He was a Professor at the Joint Military Intelligence College (former Defense Intelligence College), a graduate school in the U.S. Intelligence Community at the Defense Intelligence Agency (D.I.A.) in Washington, D.C. Among other things, he taught Foreign Area and National Security Studies, Military History and Strategy, as well as Moral Philosophy.
He was then invited to the Air Force Academy for four years as a Professor in the William Simon Chair of Strategy and Culture, teaching in several academic departments.
He concluded his Federal Service as a Professor of Strategic and Cultural Studies, as well as Military History and National Security Studies, at the Joint Special Operations University in Florida, a part of the U.S. Special Operations Command.
Comparative cultural and strategic-historical studies constituted a unifying theme in these various forms of teaching over the years.