Thomas E. Ayres

Major General Thomas “Tom” E. Ayres, US Army, is an American military lawyer who is the 20th Deputy Judge Advocate General of the United States Army.

Major General Ayres graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1984, receiving a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Infantry. He was selected for the Funded Legal Education Program and earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 1991. He attended the Judge Advocate Basic and Graduate Courses, the Army Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College.

Prior to assuming duty as the Deputy Judge Advocate General on October 1, 2013, Major General Ayres most recently served as the Commander, U.S. Army Legal Services Agency and Chief Judge, U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals. His former key duty positions include: Commander and Commandant of The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School; Assistant Judge Advocate General for Military Law and Operations; Deputy Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; SJA, Multi-National Corps-Iraq; SJA, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg; SJA, 82d Airborne Division, including tours as the SJA for Coalition Task Force 82, Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan, SJA for Task Force 82, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Task Force All-American, Operation Iraqi Freedom. Other assignments include: Trial Counsel, Senior Prosecutor and Chief of Criminal Law, 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized); Environmental Law and Litigation Attorney, United States Army Legal Services Agency; Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, 82d Airborne Division; and Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, XVIII Airborne Corps.

This paper offers a perspective on the use of Law of Armed Conflict standards vice Criminal Law standards in the context of Columbia's conflict with the FARC and current reconciliation efforts.