Brigadier General James Schwenk, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired


BGen Schwenk was commissioned as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps in 1970.  After serving as a platoon commander and company commander, he attended law school at the Washington College of Law, American University, and became a judge advocate.  As a judge advocate he served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, and Headquarters, Marine Corps; as Staff Judge Advocate for Marine Forces Atlantic, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Bases West, and several other commands; and participated in several hundred courts-martial and administrative discharge boards.  He represented the Department of Defense on the television show American Justice, and represented the Marine Corps in a Mike Wallace segment on 60 Minutes.  He retired from the Marine Corps in 2000.

Upon retirement form the Marine Corps, BGen Schwenk joined the Office of the General Counsel of the Department of Defense as an associate deputy general counsel.  He was a legal advisor in the Pentagon on 9/11, and the primary drafter of the Department of Defense with many of the emergency legal authorities used in Afghanistan, Iraq, The United States, and elsewhere since that date.  He was the principal legal advisor for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the provision of benefits to same-sex spouses of military personnel, to the review of the murders at Fort Hood in 2009, and to numerous DoD working groups in the area of military personnel policy.  He worked extensively with the White House and Congress, and retired after 49 years of Federal service in 2014.




You are here: Home About Us Committee Members BGen(R) James Schwenk