Jeffrey S. Thurnher, Lieutenant Colonel, Judge Advocate, U.S. Army
International Law Department
Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey S. Thurnher joined the faculty of the International Law Department in June 2012 after graduating with the highest distinction from the College of Naval Command and Staff. Before coming to the War College, he served as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for Fort Carson, Colorado. His assignment at Fort Carson also included a yearlong deployment to eastern Afghanistan.
Lieutenant Colonel Thurnher received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Virginia in 1996 and a commission in military intelligence. After serving four years as an intelligence officer in Europe, he attended law school at the College of William and Mary under the Army’s Funded Legal Education Program. He received a Juris Doctorate degree in 2004, and then entered the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. LTC Thurnher also received a Masters of Law Degree in Military Law from the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in 2008, and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in 2012. He is admitted to practice law by the State Bar of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Lieutenant Colonel Thurnher is a graduate of the U.S. Army Airborne School (1993); Air Assault School (1994); Military Intelligence Officer Basic Course (1997); Judge Advocate Officer Basic Course (2004); Judge Advocate Officer Graduate Course (2008); and the College of Naval Command and Staff (2012).
Other assignments include: Brigade Judge Advocate, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado (2008-2010); Trial Counsel, Administrative Law Attorney, and Chief of Claims, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri (2004-2007); and Platoon Leader, Assistant Operations Officer, and Assistant Intelligence Officer, 1st Infantry Division, Germany and Kosovo (1997-2001).
Lieutenant Colonel Thurnher’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal; Meritorious Service Medal (w/OLC); Army Commendation Medal (w/2OLC); Army Achievement Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Kosovo Campaign Medal; and NATO Medal.
Lieutenant Colonel Thurnher has written works that have been published in the Harvard National Security Journal, the Army Lawyer, the Military Law Review, Joint Forces Quarterly, and ASIL Insights. His essay entitled "Drowning in Blackwater: How Weak Accountability Over Private Security Contractors Significantly Undermines Counterinsurgency Efforts" won the 2009 American Society of International Law's (ASIL) Lieber Society Military Prize. His essay entitled “No One At the Controls: The Legal Implications of Fully Autonomous Targeting” won the U.S. Naval War College's VADM James H. Doyle, Jr., Military Operations and International Law Prize for 2012 and the 2013 ASIL Baxter Military Prize Certificate of Merit.
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