Local attorney Dan Dygert is back from a six-month National Guard deployment to Bahrain where he served as Staff Judge Advocate for Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula.
“I was the legal officer responsible for insuring that we were complying with the law of warfare and conducting training on how to carry out those missions in a legal and proper manner.
“That’s one of the jobs of a Judge Advocate, or a military lawyer: to provide training as to what those laws are, and then how to implement them on the battlefield.”
He said it was basically all about getting organized for the fight against terrorism.
“And bringing in some of our international partners to help them fight terrorism; just keeping the fight off of American soldiers and keeping the people of the world as safe as we possibly can from terrorism.”
He said one of the targets they were looking at was using young children as a human shields.
“Our guys wanted to know what were their legal options. What legal alternatives were there to address this situation? Here’s a bad guy, we know he is a bad guy. But, also, here is an innocent child on the battlefield. What do we do? My role was to provide the guidance they needed to effectively carry out their mission.”
Dygert said his 2004 deployment to Iraq was a different challenge.
“That time I did court martial defense work. I was responsible for the southern half of Iraq. I defended soldiers who were accused of misconduct, one of which was accused of detainee abuse at Abe Ghraib. I handled his court martial in Baghdad.
“During the course of combat, soldiers, unfortunately, get into trouble and the military system is in place to make sure we achieve justice. My responsibility was to insure their constitutional rights to have a proper defense were protected.”
Now back at work in Logan Dygert said his law practice deals primarily with business law, commercial disputes and commercial litigation as well as real estate, agriculture and water rights.
“I moved into the area in 2001 and have been practicing here since.”
He is a 1996 Utah State University graduate who received his law degree summa cum laude from the University of Arizona.