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Rear Admiral Aaron C. Rugh

Rear Adm. Rugh is a native of Neosho, Missouri, a small town in the Ozark Mountain region of Southwest Missouri. He received a Bachelor of Science in communications from Missouri State University, a Juris Doctorate from Duke University School of Law, and a Master’s of Law in Litigation and Dispute Resolution from the George Washington University School of Law. Rugh began his Naval career when he commissioned through the student law program.

Rugh’s leadership and military justice tours include serving as assistant senior defense counsel, Naval Legal Service Office Mid-Atlantic; senior trial counsel, Trial Service Office East; litigation program coordinator, Criminal Law Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General; executive officer and then commanding officer, Naval Legal Service Office Southeast; military judge, Northern Judicial Circuit; director, Navy Trial Counsel Assistance Program; appellate judge, Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals; Circuit Judge, Southwest Judicial Circuit; and director, Criminal Law Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General. 

Rugh also served as a legal assistance attorney onboard Naval Base Norfolk, Naval Air Station Oceana, and Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek; assistant professor of law, U.S. Naval Academy; deputy staff judge advocate, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic; and head of the Standards of Conduct and Government Ethics Branch, Administrative Law Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General.

Rugh served as an operational law attorney for Multi-National Forces – Iraq while forward deployed to Iraq.

Rugh’s military decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal. He is a member of the Missouri Bar and has been designated as an “Expert” in the Navy’s Military Justice Litigation Career Track.

Last Updated: 12 August 2022


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