John R. Ewers, Esq., served as the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the senior uniformed lawyer in the United States Marine Corps, from 2014 to 2018, when he retired as a Major General after 34 years of service. Since his retirement, he has been an Adjunct Trial Advocacy Professor at American University’s Washington College of Law. He has provided pro bono legal services at Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services and as the General Counsel of the Iwo Jima Association of America.
A Washington, D.C. native, Major General Ewers was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1984 and certified as a judge advocate in 1986. His early career included service as a prosecutor, defense counsel, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, and supervisory prosecutor. From 1996-99, he presided over more than 600 courts-martial as a military judge. As a senior officer, he led the Department of Defense’s busiest military justice litigation office; served as Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) to 1st Marine Division (OIF I) and I Marine Expeditionary Force; and was the Circuit Military Judge, Western Judicial Circuit, Navy-Marine Corps Trial Judiciary. His non-legal military service included command of Third Recruit Training Battalion, San Diego, and leadership of a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Al Anbar, Iraq. He was also a Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Before being selected as the SJA to the Commandant in 2014, he served in Washington as the Deputy SJA to the Commandant and as Assistant Judge Advocate General of the Navy for Military Justice. His military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, four Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star, four Meritorious Service Medals, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Purple Heart.
Major General Ewers received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Delaware, a Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center, and a Master of Laws degree as an honor graduate of the Judge Advocate General School, U.S. Army. He is also a distinguished graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. In addition to the Iwo Jima Association of America board, he is the Vice President of the Judge Advocates Association and serves on the board of Soldiers to Sidelines.