Colonel Michelle L. Ryan most recently served as the Dean of the School of Strategic Landpower at the U.S. Army War College. She received her commission as a Judge Advocate in the United States Army in 1994 and is a graduate of the Judge Advocate Officer Basic Course, the Judge Advocate General's Graduate Course, Command and General Staff College, as well as the United States Army War College.
She arrived at Carlisle Barracks in July 2017, serving as the Director of the National Security Policy Program and Assistant Professor in the Department of National Security and Strategy before assuming responsibility as the Deputy Dean. Prior to her assignment to teach at the U.S. Army War College, she served in the Pentagon for three years where she first served as the Deputy Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and then served as Department of Defense Associate General Counsel – International Affairs. Previous field grade assignments include Fiscal Law Attorney at USEUCOM; Staff Judge Advocate in Wiesbaden, Germany; Assignments Officer; XO to the Commanding General of the Legal Center and School, Charlottesville, VA; Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum; and Brigade Judge Advocate,172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT), Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
She deployed to Baghdad as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate with 10th Mountain Division (LI) 2008-2009 providing legal advice to the command group, division staff, and subordinate commanders on criminal, administrative, international, operational, and fiscal law matters. While deployed to Mosul, Iraq as the Brigade Judge Advocate for the 172d SBCT in 2005-2006, she led a brigade operational law team, providing advice on a broad range of legal matters with a particular focus on operational law issues including the application of the Law of War and Rules of Engagement.
Colonel Ryan graduated with a B.A. cum laude in government/international studies and general business from the University of Notre Dame, a J.D. cum laude from Notre Dame Law School, an L.L.M. in Military Law from the Judge Advocate General's School, and a Masters in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. She has been awarded Army Skill Identifiers as a Strategist, Joint Planner, and Expert Military Justice Practitioner. Her awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, U.S. Army Commendation Medal, U.S. Army Achievement Medal, the Valorous Unit Award, the Iraq Campaign Medal, and the Combat Action Badge.