Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Patrick Crocker, who served as a judge advocate general and completed two tours in Afghanistan.
Patrick Crocker graduated from Texas Christian University in 2004 and attended law school at the University of Richmond. He was commissioned in October 2007 after receiving an educational deferral when he completed ROTC. After Crocker completed his legal studies in 2007, he served in the Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps. He served in multiple legal positions at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Belvoir, Virginia and Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Crocker deployed twice to Bagram, Afghanistan, as a JAG. He completed his first tour in 2010 and his second tour in 2017. He later served with both the 101st Airborne Division as an operational law attorney and the Task Force ODIN (Observe, Detect, Identify, Neutralize) as a command judge advocate. Task Force ODIN was a brigade-sized element comprised of two battalions staffed with individual augmentees from all of the U.S. military branches.
Crocker continued to serve as an appellate defense counsel in the U.S. Army Reserve while pursuing a full-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of California, Berkeley. Crocker accomplished many tasks as an attorney with the 101st Airborne Division, such as conducting court martials and practicing operational law during a combat-focused deployment. He also received many military awards and badges, including the Meritorious Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the German Armed Forces badge.
Crocker said being a lawyer in the military gave him the opportunity to practice operational law and the law of armed conflict, which opened up many doors both inside and outside the military. During his second deployment to Afghanistan, Crocker focused on intelligence law and his responsibility to advise commanders on a broad range of intelligence and dissemination activities throughout Afghanistan.
“Wherever you have commanders and leaders, you need good lawyers giving sound advice and a range of options to enable those commanders to meet their objectives and accomplish their missions,” Crocker said. He added that Veterans should definitely go to school if they are considering changing careers, transitioning into civilian life and want to start a career in business or law.
Today, Crocker works as a senior associate strategy consult in the Health Industries Advisory practice group at Strategy& (part of PricewaterCoopers network) in Dallas, Texas. Crocker is married and has two children, who serve as his inspiration. After many years of service, Crocker left the military Sept. 1, 2020.
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Fact checker: Carl Wesseln
Graphic artist: Grace Yang