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Rear Admiral Jonathan T. Stephens

Rear Adm. Stephens is a native of Burke, Virginia.  He graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering in December of 1996 and earned his commission as an Ensign upon completion of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program.

He reported to USS Ingersoll (DD 990), homeported in Pearl Harbor, as the Communications Officer in Nov. 1997 and earned his surface warfare officer qualification while completing the ship's final Western Pacific deployment prior to its decommissioning in July 1998. He then reported to USS Kinkaid (DD 965), homeported in San Diego, and served as the First Lieutenant, Combat Information Center Officer, and Assistant Operations Officer.  In 2000, he transferred to the Office of Legislative Affairs in Washington, DC.  In 2002, he was selected for the Law Education Program scholarship and he graduated from George Washington University School of Law in 2005, earning his J.D. (With High Honors).  During his two summer assignments, he interned with the Office of the Judge Advocate General (OJAG) (Criminal Law Division Code 20) and the Vice Chief of Naval Operations legal office.

Stephens has completed multiple assignments within Naval Legal Service Command and the Office of the Judge Advocate General.  He served as a defense counsel, legal assistance attorney, and Senior Defense Counsel at Naval Legal Service Office Southwest from 2005-2008, earning designation as a military justice litigation specialist.  He reported to OJAG Code 20 in August 2008 and served as an action officer until 2010 before returning to George Washington University to earn his LL.M. in Litigation and Dispute Resolution (With Highest Honors) in 2011.  He served as the Executive Officer of Region Legal Service Office (RLSO) Japan from June 2011 to June 2014 and was selected as a Military Justice Specialist II in October 2012.  He served as the RLSO Japan Commanding Officer for two months before he detached in August 2014. Stephens served as the Senior Trial Counsel at RLSO Mid-Atlantic for roughly two years, reported to San Diego to serve as a military judge in July 2016, and was selected as a Military Justice Expert in May 2017. 

After three years on the bench, Stephens served as the Commanding Officer of Defense Service Office West from August 2019 - August 2020 followed by a tour as the Chief Judge of the Navy-Marine Corps Trial Judiciary from August 2020 to June 2022. He was named the Interim Lead Special Trial Counsel in July 2022, and became the first Lead Special Trial Counsel of the Navy Office of the Special Trial Counsel in December 2022.  

Stephens is a member of the state bar of California.  His personal awards include the Legion of Merit (three awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), and the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Last Updated: 15 March 2023


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