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MCLEs That Matter

Col. Valerie Danyluk

Colonel Danyluk was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she graduated from Louisiana State University in August 1993. Commissioned a second lieutenant, she attended law school at Campbell University School of Law receiving her Juris Doctorate degree in May 1996.

First Lieutenant Danyluk reported for training at The Basic School, Quantico, Virginia in 1996, attended the Basic Lawyers Course at Naval Justice School, then reported in 1997 to MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina. Captain Danyluk served as a civil law officer, defense and trial counsel, and legal assistance OIC. In addition to her duties at the Joint Law Center, Captain Danyluk served as a Series Commander and Company Executive Officer at 4th Recruit Training Battalion. She was awarded an impact Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal for assisting a drowning recruit. In 1999 Captain Danyluk was transferred to the Trial Service Office, Pensacola Detachment for assignment
with the U.S. Navy. Her duties included Senior Trial Counsel and legal advisor to MATSG-21. During this tour she was awarded an impact Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal for Trial Counsel of the Quarter for the Southern Circuit. After attending Expeditionary Warfare School, Captain Danyluk was assigned in 2003 as the Military Justice Officer for Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia where she was promoted to Major. Here, she and her staff provided prosecutorial services to 23 special and 7 general court martial convening authorities. In August 2005, she was assigned as the Officer in Charge of Legal Assistance.

Attending the Military Judge’s Course in 2006, Major Danyluk was named the Distinguished Honor Graduate, finishing first in her class among military judges from all services. Major Danyluk was assigned to the Eastern Judicial Circuit where she presided over special and general courts martial in Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Iraq.

She departed the bench in 2008 to attend the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Graduate Course in Charlottesville, Virginia where she was the Class Leader for attorneys from all services and five countries. She earned a Master of Laws degree in military law with a specialty in criminal law. In June 2009 she assumed duties as the Staff Judge Advocate for MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina and the Director of the Law Center. In July 2012, Lieutenant Colonel Danyluk was reassigned as the Regional Defense Counsel, Eastern Region and personally representing clients from lance corporal to major general in courts martial and adverse administrative actions. She was awarded the American Bar Association’s Outstanding Military Service Career Judge Advocate (Marine Corps) in 2014.

Also in 2014, LtCol Danyluk returned to the trial bench as the Deputy Chief Trial Judge for the Department of the Navy. She was re-assigned as the Officer in Charge of the Legal Service Support Section, National Capital Region to fill an unexpected vacancy in 2015.

Upon promotion to colonel, she assumed duties as the Director, Appellate Government Division, Department of the Navy, in 2016. Colonel Danyluk led a mixed team of Navy and Marine, active and reserve, Judge Advocates representing the United States at the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Appeals and the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Thereafter, in 2018, she was assigned as the Command Inspector General Marine Corps Installations National Capital Region servicing more than a dozen units.

In August 2019 she assumed the duties as the Chief Defense Counsel of the Marine Corps. Her personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with silver star in lieu of 5th award, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star, Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal with gold star, Army Achievement Medal, and the Drill Instructor Ribbon.

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