LTC Dan Maurer

LTC Daniel Maurer

Assistant Professor


Lieutenant Colonel Dan Maurer is an Assistant Professor of Law and Fellow at USMA’s Modern War Institute. He is a Judge Advocate and former combat engineer officer, with service in Iraq during Operations Iraqi Freedom I (2003-04) and New Dawn (2010-11), as well as in Italy, Africa, and varied stateside assignments. After serving as a sapper platoon leader, battalion support platoon leader, and S-4 in a mechanized combat engineer battalion at Fort Carson and attached to an Infantry Battalion Task Force in Iraq, he was selected to attend law school under the Army’s Funded Legal Education Program (FLEP). As a company-grade Judge Advocate, Maurer was dual-hatted as a trial counsel (prosecutor) and Brigade Judge Advocate (senior legal advisor to the Commander and staff) at Fort Hood and during a second deployment to Iraq. He later worked as a Government Appellate Counsel and argued before the Army Court of Criminal Appeals at Fort Belvoir, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C. He was then the first lawyer, military or civilian, to be selected as a Strategy Fellow for the Army Chief of Staff’s Strategic Studies Group. As a field grade Judge Advocate, LTC Maurer has been assigned as the chief of military justice (akin to an executive district attorney) at Fort Sill, and as the chief of operational law for U.S. Army Africa/Southern European Task Force. He is an honor graduate of the Command and General Staff Officer’s Course (ILE) and received CGSC’s Iron Pen award. In his personal capacity, LTC Maurer’s research and scholarly work gravitate around four primary interests: strategic military justice and criminal law theory; American civil-military relationship theory and practice; the philosophy of war; and military ethics in light of artificial intelligence on, above, or behind the battlefield. Also in his personal capacity, he has twice been an invited lecturer at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London. While serving in Italy, he was selected as a 2018-19 Non-Resident Fellow at USMA’s Modern War Institute (MWI), and served as a Resident Fellow from 2019-2021. He earned his J.D. from The Ohio State University (where he served as the executive editor for the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, and earned editor of the year and board member of the year honors), his LL.M. from the Army’s JAG School (recipient of the award for best thesis in the Graduate Course), and his B.A. from James Madison University, where he was an Army ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate. LTC Maurer is a third generation Army officer, and one of his brothers is a Military Police NCO. He is happily married to a Navy Brat; he and Jill have three children, what must be something close to 100,000 Lego pieces, and one high-maintenance Havanese puppy.

Ongoing Research Projects

• Articulating legal justifications for military justice after Ortiz
• Crowd-sourcing the “big questions” in civil-military relations
• Clausewitz’s Trinity as a framework for evaluating shifts in character of warfare
• Using “intent” (mens rea) as a tool to evaluate breaches, violations, and acceptance of civil-military norms
• Applying Actor-Network Theory concepts to American strategic level Civil-Military Relationships

Publications & Presentations

Books, Monographs

•    RECONSIDERING AMERICAN CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS: THE MILITARY, SOCIETY, POLITICS, AND MODERN WAR, ed., with Lionel Beehner and Risa Brooks (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020)

•    Crisis, Agency, and Law in US Civil-Military Relations (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

•    The Clash of the Trinities: a New Theoretical Analysis of the General Nature of War (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute Press, 2017)

Refereed and Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles, Book Chapters

•    War Crime Pardons and Presidential (Self) Restraint, 33 FEDERAL SENTENCING REPORTER 313 (2021)

•    The Fact-Pattern that (Maybe) Undermines Arguments for Commanders Keeping the Military Justice Disposition and Referral Decision for Certain Offenses, THE ARMY LAWYER (forthcoming Fall 2021)

•    A Logic of Military Justice?, 53 TEXAS TECH LAW REVIEW 669 (2021)

•    The Veil (or Helmet) of Ignorance – a Rawlsian Thought Experiment About a Military’s Criminal Law, 55 UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND LAW REVIEW 945 (2021)

•    Larrabee at the District Court: Misunderstanding Military Criminal Law by the Article III Judiciary is Far From Retired, 2021 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS LAW REVIEW ONLINE 23 (February 22, 2021)

•    Is Demilitarizing Military Justice an Ethical Imperative for Congress, the Courts, and the Commander-in-Chief?, 49 HOFSTRA LAW REVIEW 1 (2020) (Symposium introduction)

•    “Paved with Good Intentions?: Civil-Military Norms, Breaches, and Why Mindset Matters,” Journal of National Security Law and Policy (Spring 2020)

•    “Fiduciary Duty, Honor, Country: Legislating a Theory of Agency into Strategic Civil-Military Relations, Harvard National Security Journal, Vol. 10:1, pp. 259-315 (2019)

•    “Not Your Grandfather’s Zone of Twilight: Civil Military Relationships in Debatably Legal Precision Strikes,” Harvard National Security Journal Online (27 August 2018)  

•    “Civil-Military Relationships in Star Wars,” in Strategy Strikes Back: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict, John Amble, Max Brooks, et al., eds., (Lincoln, NE: Potomac Books, 2018)

•    “Cross-eyed: Planning When Host-Nation and Intervener Rule of Law Strategies are Unaligned,” Harvard National Security Journal Online (16 September 2015),

•    “Entanglement: Using Social Network Analysis for Military Justice Applications,” Military Review, pp. 87-96 (Nov-Dec 2014)

•    “Foreword, Going on the Offensive: Legitimacy and Fairness Inside the Military Justice ‘Trinity’ of Interests,” Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, Vol. 11:2 (Invited Guest Editor, Symposium on Military Criminal Justice) (Spring 2014)

•    “Military Mediation as Military Justice? Conjectures on Repairing Unit Cohesion in the Wake of Relational Misconduct,” Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, Vol. 28:2 (2013)

•    “The Unrepresentative Military Jury: Deliberate Inclusion of Combat Veterans in the Military’s Venire for Combat-Incidental Crimes,” Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, Vol. 6:2 (2009)

Peer-Reviewed Essays

•    "What To Do About Lt. General (retired) Flynn: Military Justice and Civil-Military Relations Considerations," Just Security (with Yevgeny Vindman) (11 June 2021)

•    "Comparative Analysis of UCMJ Reform Proposals," CAAFlog (4 June 2021)

•    "The Military Waiver Requirement for Secretary of Defense Shouldn’t Substitute Individuation," Lawfare (22 Dec 2020)

•    "The Larrabee Decision is a Missed Opportunity for the D.C. District Court to Criticize, and for the Military to Justify," UCMJ Retiree Jurisdiction on Principled Grounds, CAAFlog (28 Nov 2020)

•    "An Open, but Difficult, Challenge: Finding the Rationale for a Commander’s GCMCA for all Offenses," CAAFlog (2 Oct 2020)

•    "Breaking Ranks in a Civil-Military Crisis: Strategic Communication to Register Dissent," Just Security (26 Aug 2020)

•    “The Generals’ Constitution,” Just Security (9 June 2020)

•    “The 'Shadow Report' on Commanders’ Prosecutorial Powers Raises More Questions Than Answers,” Lawfare (11 May 2020)

•    “Should There Be a War Crime Pardon Exception?,” Lawfare (3 December 2019)

•    “What Lt. Col. Vindman’s Testimony Says About Civil-Military Relations and Military Justice,” Lawfare (18 November 2019)

•    “Trump’s Intervention in the Golsteyn Case: Judicial Independence, Military Justice or Both?,” Lawfare (3 January 2019)

•    “Moral Culpability and Autonomous Military Systems: Is Human Responsibility Accentuated or Attenuated by a Reliance on AI?,” United States Military Academy, Modern War Institute (edited remarks from invited presentation at Royal United Services Institute, Lethal AI and Autonomy Conference, 7 Nov 2018), (19 November 2018)

•    “Are military courts really just like civilian criminal courts? Arguments and implications the parties—and the court—missed in Ortiz v. United States,” Lawfare (13 July 2018)

•    “Does K-2SO Deserve a Medal?: Warrior Ethos, Human Judgment, and our (Possible) Machine Colleagues,” United States Military Academy, Modern War Institute (17 August 2017) (edited remarks from invited presentation at Royal United Services Institute, Technology and Future Combat Roundtable, London, 2 Aug 2017)

•    “Meeting of the Minds: How Presidents and Generals Stake out their Territory,” Lawfare (18 May 2017)

•    “Does K-2SO Deserve a Medal?,” Small Wars Journal (12 May 2017),

•    “On Failure,” United States Military Academy, Modern War Institute (4 April 2017),

•    “The Staff Officer’s Paintbrush: the Art of Advising Commanders,” United States Military Academy, Modern War Institute (2 March 2017) (cited and discussed in Maj. Gen. Charles Dunlap, Jr., USAF (Ret.), “Lawfare 101: a Primer,” Military Review (May-June 2017))

•    “The Judge Advocate as Strategist,” Small Wars Journal (28 January 2017)

•    “A Civil War Vignette that Explains Modern Civ-Mil Relations,” United States Military Academy, Modern War Institute (22 August 2016)

•    “The ‘Inception’ Theory of Military Innovation,” United States Military Academy, Modern War Institute (29 March 2016)

•    “Why Percentages Matter—And Why We Should Ignore Them,” United States Military Academy, Modern War Institute (24 January 2016)

•    “The Future Fallacy: a Conversation About the ‘Certainty Principle,’” Small Wars Journal (12 March 2015)

•    “Looking to the Stars: Imagining a Constellation of Capabilities,” Small Wars Journal (17 July 2014); previously published as “A Constellation of Capabilities,” War Council Blog, July 7, 2014,

•    With Paul Thomas, “Thinking About Thinking About the Army’s Future: Paradigms and the Wicked Problem of ‘Landpower,’” Small Wars Journal (9 June 2014),

Professional Journals

•    “Working with Proximate Cause: an ‘Elements’ Approach,” Army Lawyer, pp. 16-23 (December 2011)

•    “Investigations: Why Official Inquiries Are Needed” (Part II), Engineer: The Professional Bulletin of Army Engineers, Vol. 41:1 (2011)

•    Investigations: Why Official Inquiries Are Needed (Part I), Engineer: The Professional Bulletin of Army Engineers, Vol. 40:3 (2010)