Jim Patterson

Jim Patterson

(Retired) Heritage Principal Former Director | National Advisory Commission

Colonel Jim (James) Patterson has over 34 years of experience as a Green Beret and legal advisor. A Special Forces Weapons Specialist, Combat Diver and Master Parachutist, Jim has served in multiple combat rotations and provided direct operational law support to special mission units. Colonel Patterson enlisted in the Army in 1979. He eventually achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant as a Special Forces Weapons Specialist. He was commissioned as an attorney with the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps in 1990. A wide range of legal assignments captitalized upon his prior Special Forces training and broadened his depth of knowledge of deadly force encounters and use-of-fore issues. Jim developed and instituted the operational law of war program at the U.S. Army’s Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana and served as its first-ever legal Observer-Controller. After several developmental assignments, Jim competed and was selected for duty with 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment –DELTA as their legal advisor. After multiple combat tours he was assigned as a legal advisor for the Joint-Interagency Task Force-South at Key West, Florida where he worked counter-drug issues throughout Central and South America. Jim was then selected to be the first-ever legal advisor to the Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group at Fort Meade, Maryland.

His degrees include:

  • Associate of Arts (General Education) from Campbell University
  • North Carolina; Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) from Boston College, Massachusetts
  • Juris Doctorate from Wake Forest University School of Law, North Carolina
  • Master of Laws (LLM-Military Law) from The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, Virginia.

Colonel Patterson is also an FBI trained Law-Enforcement Sniper and a student of combatives. He has taught Judgment-Based Engagement Training (JET) Seminars to multiple commands throughout the joint forces.

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