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Dwight Stirling
USC Gould School of Law

Dwight Stirling

Lecturer in Law

699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA

Last Updated: August 24, 2018




Dwight Stirling is the founder and chief executive officer of the Center for Law and Military Policy, a think tank dedicated to strengthening the legal protections of those who serve the nation in uniform. Stirling is also a reserve JAG officer in the California National Guard and co-founder of Veterans Legal Institute.

Stirling has received national recognition for his scholarship on the National Guard and the Feres Doctrine. His article in a University Texas journal about the legal structure of the National Guard is the leading academic piece on the subject, an article entitled, “With All Due Respect, Mr. President, We’re Not Going to Follow that Order: How and Why States Decide Which Federal Military Rules Apply to State National Guard Personnel.” His article “The Feres Doctrine and Accountability” was recently published by the Journal of Law, Policy, and Military Affairs, one of the articles he has written about the judicial policy that bars service members from filing tort suits.

Stirling was an active duty JAG officer from 2007 to 2014. He was the California National Guard’s senior prosecutor for many years and has tried more state courts-martial than any JAG officer in California’s history. Stirling’s commitment to the country and its service members began in December of 2001, when he joined the Army National Guard shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11. He was commissioned from California’s reserve Officer Candidate School as an Armor officer in 2004, becoming a JAG officer the following year to utilize his law degree.

In 2009, Stirling was deployed to the Balkans with the Kosovo Force (KFOR), a NATO-led international peacekeeping force responsible for preventing recurrences of ethnic cleansing in the volatile southern region of Serbia. He served as chief of military justice on the mission, working under Major General (Retired) Keith D. Jones.

At present, Stirling chairs the Orange County Bar Association’s Veterans and Military Committee. He also teaches criminal justice at Columbia College of Missouri’s Los Alamitos campus. He has received numerous military awards, including the Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters.

Stirling holds a BA degree in Philosophy from Pomona College, an MA degree in Education from Whittier College, and a JD from USC Gould. He is currently working on an EdD at Pepperdine University. He got his start in law at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell, LLP’s Century City offices and in his first career, he taught literature and language arts at the middle school level.

  

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