Vaughn Ary

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Vaughn Ary
VaughnAry.jpg
Major General Ary undergoing the Combat Fitness Test
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Commands held United States Marine Corps Judge Advocate Division
Awards Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (5 Awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal

Vaughn A. Ary is a retired American Major General and the former Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps and Director of the United States Marine Corps Judge Advocate Division.[1] Ary's dismissal from his post as Convening Authority for the Guantanamo Military Commissions, after only a few months, stirred controversy.[2]

Early life[edit]

Ary was born and raised in Ada, Oklahoma. He received his BA from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in 1984 and his JD from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1987.[3]

Military career[edit]

After graduating from Officer Candidates School, The Basic School, and Naval Justice School, Ary reported to the 3rd Force Service Support Group in Okinawa, Japan. In 1990, he was transferred to the 1st Force Service Support Group for the Gulf War. In 1991, he became the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate of US Marine Forces, Atlantic. In 1993, he became Head of the Law of Armed Conflict Branch in the office of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy following a one-year LLM program at George Washington University Law School. In 1998, Ary became Deputy Legal Counsel to then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili. In 1999, he returned to the 1st Force Service Support Group as the Officer in Charge of Legal Teams Delta and Echo following a one-year Masters of Military Studies program at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. From 2001 to 2004, Ary served as the Staff Judge Advocate of the 1st Force Service Support Group during Operation Iraqi Freedom. From 2004 to 2006, he served as the commanding officer of the 2nd Recruit Training Battalion in San Diego. From 2006 to 2008, he served as the Staff Judge Advocate of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. From 2008 to 2009, he served as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps.[4] He served as the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps from 2009 until his retirement on July 2014.[5]

Civilian career[edit]

On September 30, 2014, Ary was appointed Convening Authority for Guantanamo Military Commissions and to the companion post of Director of the Office of Military Commissions.[6] These are, technically civilian posts. General Ary submitted his resignation as the convening authorit for military commissions effective March 21, 2015. His designated interim replacement is the Honorable Paul L. Oostburg Sanz, who had been serving as general counsel for the Department of the Navy[7]

In an op-ed in the New York Times former Guantanamo Chief Prosecutor Morris D. Davis compared Ary to the coach of a losing sports team.[2]

"That’s not all. Besides the revolving door at the convening authority’s office, six military attorneys have served as chief prosecutor for these courts over the same period. (I was the third.) Think about that for a moment. If a professional football team was on its seventh head coach and sixth quarterback in less than a dozen years, that team would almost certainly be a loser."[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "General Officer Announcement". US Department of Defense. 18 Dec 2009. Retrieved 14 Oct 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c Morris D. Davis (2015-03-28). "Guantánamo’s Charade of Justice". New York Times. p. A21. Archived from the original on 2015-03-28. LAST week, we learned that, only months into the job, the official in charge of the military courts system at Guantánamo Bay was stepping down, after judges ruled he had interfered in proceedings. The appointment of an interim replacement was the sixth change of leadership for the tribunals since 2003. 
  3. ^ "Northwestern Outstanding Graduates to be Honored April 28". Northwestern Oklahoma State University. 19 April 2012. Retrieved 14 Oct 2013. 
  4. ^ "Major General Vaughn A. Ary". Headquarters, United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 14 Oct 2013. 
  5. ^ "List of SJAs to the Commandant". Headquarters, United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 25 Aug 2014. 
  6. ^ Carol Rosenberg (2014-09-30). "Ex-Marine lawyer gets top job overseeing Guantanamo war court". Bellingham Herald. Archived from the original on 2014-10-02. Retired Maj. Gen. Vaughn A. Ary began work Monday as "convening authority for military commissions," said Lt. Col. Myles B. Caggins III, a Pentagon spokesman for Guantanamo issues. Ary also has the title of Director of the Office of Military Commissions. It is a three-year civilian post covered by the Senior Executive Service, Caggins said. Ary reports to the deputy secretary of defense. 
  7. ^ "Military Commissions Personnel Announcement". United States Department of Defense Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs). Retrieved 18 Mar 2015. 
Military offices
Preceded by
James C. Walker
Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps
2009 – 2014
Succeeded by
John R. Ewers