HDA Class of 2012
Flora D. Darpino
Commander of the U.S. Army Legal Services Agency
School of Law Camden 1986
Brigadier General Flora D. Darpino serves as commander of the U.S. Army Legal Services Agency and chief judge of the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals. She has been a tenacious leader in the Army’s herculean Rule of Law efforts in Iraq, serving in combat and as the senior military attorney during the rebuilding efforts.
A 1986 graduate of the School of Law–Camden, Darpino received a direct commission into the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps in January 1987. She has held a variety of positions, most recently completing an assignment as staff judge advocate, United States Forces–Iraq, in Baghdad.
In 2003, during her first of two tours of duty in Iraq, Darpino deployed as part of the follow-on force to the Tikrit area, the northern part of the Sunni Triangle combat zone. Darpino served as the primary legal adviser to the commanding general of the Fourth Infantry Division. She and her staff of legal officers were responsible for providing legal services and counsel to all of the soldiers and commanders in that region, as well as assisting the Iraqis in reestablishing the judiciary. During that critical time period, when courthouses were nonexistent and judges had fled, Darpino’s brave leadership and legal prowess helped to lay the foundation for the people of Iraq to begin transforming their nation from an oppressed dictatorship into the emerging society that it is today.
Darpino returned to Iraq in 2010-2011 to complete the arduous task she began years earlier—to rebuild. She served as the senior legal adviser for United States Forces–Iraq, providing wide-ranging counsel to the commander and 120,000 military personnel and also supervising 400 multi-service legal staff. She had the distinct honor of serving as the command representative in engagements with the U.S. Embassy, coalition partners, and the Government of Iraq on complex legal and Rule of Law matters. During this second tour of duty, Darpino was promoted to the rank of brigadier general.
Darpino has earned numerous awards and decorations for her military service, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with a Silver Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Iraqi Campaign Medal. She also received the Air Assault Badge and the Army Staff Identification Badge.
Prior to receiving a juris doctor degree at the Rutgers School of Law–Camden, Darpino graduated from Gettysburg College with a bachelor’s degree in economics. She received her LL.M. in military law from the Judge Advocate General’s School and is a member of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Bars.