Dr. Dwight Stirling is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Law and Military Policy, a nonprofit think tank dedicated to restoring and strengthening the legal protections of those who serve our nation in uniform. Dr. Stirling also teaches law at USC, is a reserve JAG officer in the California National Guard, and is the co-founder of Veterans Legal Institute.
An adjunct professor of law at the USC School of Law, Dr. Stirling is a scholar on military ethics, veterans law, and the National Guard. He is the foremost expert on the Feres Doctrine, the topic of his doctoratal dissertation. In April 2019, he testified before Congress about the Feres Doctrine before the House Armed Services Committee. He is also a national scholar on the National Guard, frequently commenting on current events.
Dr. Stirling's commitment to the country began in December of 2001, when he joined the Army shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. He was an active duty JAG officer from 2007 to 2014, where he served as the California National Guard’s senior prosecutor. During his JAG career, he has tried more state courts-martial than any JAG officer in California’s history. In 2009-2010, he deployed to the Balkans as part of a NATO-led international peacekeeping mission. He has received numerous military awards during his military career, including the Meritorious Service Medal.
In 2015, Dr. Stirling founded the Orange County Bar Association's Veterans Committee. In 2016, he was recognized as one of Orange County’s 100 most influential people for his co-founding of the Veterans Legal Institute. In 2017, he founded the California Lawyers Association's Veterans Committee. In 2019, he was featured on the cover of the Los Angeles Times for his courageous work as a whistleblower.
Dr. Stirling holds a Bachelor of Arts (philosophy) from Pomona College, a Juris Doctorate from USC, and a Doctorate in Education (organizational leadership) from Pepperdine University. A former high school English teacher, he is married with a three-year-old son. View Dr. Stirling's CV. Email Dr. Stirling at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why retired generals, like new Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, rarely lead the Pentagon. The Conversation. 1/22/21.
Why Soldiers Can’t Claim Conscientious Objection if Ordered to Suppress Protests. Government Executive. 7/3/20.
California Should Take the Lead in Tackling the Military’s Sexual Assault Epidemic. Orange County Register. 5/8/20.
National Guard Joins the Coronavirus Response - 3 Questions Answered. The Conversation. 3/30/20.
Trump Treats Military As His Own -- And the Troops Could Suffer. Military Times. 3/2/20.
Why the US Military Usually Punishes Misconduct But Police Often Close rank. The Conversation. 12/6/19.
Creating a Cause of Action for CA MST Survivors. Sound Off blog. 10/31/19.
The Feres Doctrine: A Comprehensive Legal Analysis. Doctoral Dissertation. 4/12/19.
Ending Feres Requires Civil Action. Sound Off blog. 3/26/19.
The Feres Doctrine and Accountability. Journal of Law, Policy & Military Affairs. 3/1/19.
The Immoral Reach of the Feres Doctrine. Sound Off blog. 10/25/18.
Foreword to Understanding and Treating Military Sexual Trauma, 2nd Edition, by Dr. Kristen Zaleski. 2018.
Closing the Courthouse Door to Service Member Suits: Understanding the Feres Doctrine. GP Solo (ABA). 1/15/18.
Rethinking the Military's Feres Doctrine. Orange County Register. 6/15/17.
With All Due Respect, Mr. President, We're Not Going to Follow That Order: How and Why States Decide What Rules Apply to the National Guard Personnel in State Status. Texas Review of Law and Politics. 3/10/17.
Wait, My Former Lawyer Represents Who? How Lackadaisical Side-Switching in the California National Guard Creates Conflicts of Interests Imperils Client Confidences, and Erodes Trust in the Militia Legal System. Boston University. 11/20/16.
Less Than Honorable. Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine. 9/1/16.
Actually, Sir, I'm Not a California Attorney: The California Nationa Guard, the State Bar Act, and the Nature of the Modern Militia. Western State Law Review. 11/25/15.
Dwight Stirling, Founder & CEO, Center for Law and Military Policy.
Tracing legal language back to the Federalist Papers,
Dr. Dwight Stirling lays out in clear, understandable statements the series of
legal missteps that have resulted in the so-called "Feres Doctrine" and
why it so urgently requires Congressional clarification.
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