Gordon O. Tanner is the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of the Air Force and Chief Legal Officer and Chief Ethics Official for the Air Force in Washington, D.C. In this role, he provides oversight, guidance and direction for legal advice provided by more than 2,600 Department of the Air Force military and civilian lawyers worldwide.
Prior to his appointment, he retired from the Senior Executive Service as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, located in the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. He acted for and assisted in executing the responsibilities of the Assistant Secretary in the supervision of manpower, military and civilian personnel, Reserve component affairs, and readiness support for the Department of the Air Force. He provided guidance, direction and executive oversight to the Deputy Assistant Secretaries for Management Integration, Strategic Diversity Integration, Reserve Affairs and the Deputy for the Air Force Review Boards Agency.
In addition, Mr. Tanner served as the Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Air Force. He provided oversight, guidance, and direction regarding legal advice on matters arising within the Department of the Air Force. Mr. Tanner assumed this position after one year as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Reserve Affairs), Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for coordinating, planning and establishing policy for the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and Civil Air Patrol. He also served as the Department of Defense Executive Agent for the National Science Foundation Antarctica Program/Operation Deep Freeze.
In his prior private practice, Mr. Tanner was a Senior Partner in the Financial Institutions and Real Estate Group of a large multistate firm that practiced in almost all fields of law, with clients located in Europe, Asia, Canada and all fifty states. He represented clients in a broad range of industries including banks and financial institutions, real estate joint ventures and development firms, as well as emerging high technology firms.
Mr. Tanner retired as a Colonel in the US Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps Reserves. His Reserve assignments included service in the Office of the Air Force General Counsel; as the Senior Reserve Individual Mobilization Augmentee to the Staff Judge Advocate, Fourteenth Air Force, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (Air Force Space Command); and as the Senior Individual Mobilization Augmentee and Instructor at The Judge Advocate General School Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1970 Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, University of Alabama
1972 Juris Doctor degree, Vanderbilt University School of Law
1. 1973 - 1977, captain, Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps (active duty), Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.
2. 1977 - 1988, Partner, McDermott, Slepian Windom & Reed law firm, Mobile, Ala.
3. 1988 - 1997, Senior Partner, Sirote & Permutt law firm, Mobile, Ala.
4. 1979 - 2002, colonel, Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps (Reserve)
5. 2000 - 2008, Associate General Counsel, Office of the Air Force General Counsel, San Antonio, Texas
6. 2008 - 2011, Deputy General Counsel, Environment and Installations, Office of the Air Force General Counsel, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
7. 2011 - 2012, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Reserve Affairs), the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
8. 2012- 2013, Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
9. 2013 - 2014, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), the Pentagon, Washington D.C.
10. 2014 - present, General Counsel of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
MAJOR AWARDS AND HONORS
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Civilian Service Award
Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Special Service Award
Reserve Educator of the Year Award, The Air Force Judge Advocate General School, Air University
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
U.S. Supreme Court Bar
District of Columbia Bar
Tennessee State Bar
Alabama State Bar
U.S. Tax Court
U.S. Court of Military Appeals
U.S. Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
U.S. Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
Reserve Officer Association
(Current as of September 2014)