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Professional, Moral and Ethical Lessons from the War on Terror

War Without End

Lt. General Richard C. Harding

(USAF, Retired)
Columbia, Missouri

Richard C. Harding served as Judge Advocate General of the United States Air Force from 2010 until his retirement in 2014.

He was the highest-ranking uniformed attorney in the Air Force, and led over 4400 uniformed and civilian lawyers, paralegals and legal support personnel. He served as the legal adviser to the Secretary of the Air Force, the Air Force Chief of Staff, and all officers subordinate to them.

From 2007 to 2010, he served as the Commander of the Air Force Legal Operations Agency, where he improved the organization and provision of legal services in environmental, contract, labor, criminal, and medical law for the Air Force. He also oversaw the provision of legal education through courses in specialty fields of practice provided by The Air  Force Judge Advocate General’s School. In 2009, his Legal Information Services team won the W. Edwards Deming Award, which is presented annually in recognition of an impressive workforce development and training initiative that has measurably improved the organization’s performance. This was the first time an Air Force team had won this prestigious government award.

In 2013, the Secretary of Defense directed other military services to provide Special Victims’ Counsel to their service members, who are survivors of military sexual assault based on a highly successful pilot program Harding created for the Air Force. The 2014 National Defense Authorization Act requires all services to follow the Air Force program. In 2014, the Department of Justice awarded the Air Force a Special Service Award for its Special Victims’ Counsel Program.

In addition to his work with The Professional Education Group, General Harding now assists universities and interest groups in eradicating campus sexual assaults with successful lessons learned from combating military sexual assaults. He serves on the Advisory Council of the National Crime Victims’ Legal Institute and is currently President of Welcome Home, Inc.

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