Ralph A. Dengler

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Ralph A. Dengler is an intellectual property lawyer[1][2] and retired officer in the United States Marine Corps Reserve.

Dengler served in Iraq in 2003, where he was the executive officer for the 2nd Battalion, 25th Marines. On June 5, 2003 troops from his battalion, staffing Camp Whitehorse, caused a death in custody, that Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Ingwersen classified as a homicide.

Initially eight Marines were charged. Charges against four of the Marines were dropped. One Marine accepted immunity, in return for his testimony. Following the article 32 hearing of the three remaining Marines, Corporal Christian Hernandez, Sergeant Gary Pittman and major Clarke Paulus, Dengler spoke out and criticized the NCIS investigation. [3] Dengler called the NCIS unethical and disrespectful. He said one Marine, who was not yet an American citizen. was threatened with losing his residency status if he didn't co-operate. He described how Marines were made to travel hours to the hotel where the NCIS investigators were staying, and then made to wait for days for their interview. He felt that the NCIS were more interested in getting a conviction than conducting a fair trial.

Following his conviction Pittman, who had been a Federal prison guard in civilian life, lost his job "for cause". [4] Dengler wrote: "That firing blatantly contravened ... the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), codified at 38 United States Code, Sections 4301–4333."

Pittman was sentenced to sixty days hard labor, and demotion to Private. He was not given a less than honorable discharge. So, according to Dengler, the USERRA still required his civilian employer to re-employ him.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gibbons Law Biographies". Gibbons Law Biographies. Gibbons Law. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  2. ^ Dengler, Ralph. "LinkedIn Profile". LinkedIn Profile. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  3. ^ Officer accuses NCIS of 'unethical' methods, San Diego Union-Tribune, February 13, 2004
  4. ^ Protecting Veterans’ Jobs, Marine Corps Gazette