Brigadier General Mark S. Martins
U.S. Army Commander, Joint Task Force on Afghanistan
Brigadier General Mark S. Martins assumed command of the newly established Rule of Law Field Force–Afghanistan on September 3, 2010. During the previous year, he served as deputy commanding general of Joint Task Force 435, which had the mission of reforming United States detention operations in Afghanistan. Immediately prior to his deployment to Afghanistan, Brigadier General Martins co-led the interagency Detention Policy Task Force, which was created by the president in January 2009.
Commissioned in the infantry after graduating first in his class from the United States Military Academy in 1983, Brigadier General Martins served as a platoon leader and brigade staff officer in the 82d Airborne Division. He then became a judge advocate through the Army’s Funded Legal Education Program. He has since served in a variety of assignments as an Army lawyer, including: chief of administrative law, chief of legal assistance, operational law attorney, trial counsel, and senior trial counsel at the 101st Airborne Division (air assault) and Fort Campbell; instructor of international and operational law and deputy director of the Center for Law and Military Operations in Charlottesville, Va.; deputy staff judge advocate for the 1st Infantry Division in Wuerzburg, Germany, with duty in Kosovo as chief of staff of USKFOR and, later, as legal adviser to the commanding general, Task Force Falcon; deputy staff judge advocate for XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg; staff judge advocate for 1st Armored Division in Germany and Iraq; deputy legal counsel to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff in Washington, D.C., with duty in Baghdad as counsel to Multinational Security Transition Command–Iraq; and staff judge advocate for Multi-National Force–Iraq.
Brigadier General Martins is a Rhodes scholar (Balliol College, P.P.E., 1st class honours, 1985) and a graduate of Harvard Law School (magna cum laude, 1990). He holds an L.L.M. in military law and a master’s degree in national security strategy, having attended the Infantry and Judge Advocate Officer Basic courses, the Judge Advocate Graduate Course, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the Command and General Staff College, and the National War College. He has published widely in professional journals.
His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star (two awards), and the Meritorious Service Medal (multiple awards). He is authorized to wear the Ranger tab, Pathfinder badge, Expert Infantryman badge, Senior Parachutist badge, and Air Assault badge. Brigadier General Martins is married and has two children.
Law and Modern Military Operations
October 19, 2010, 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Hall 103