United States Air Force Academy

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Colonel Tara Villena

Department Head and Assistant Professor of Law

Department of Law

Official Photo of Tara Villena
Contact Information

(719) 333-3680




Colonel Tara Villena is the Department Head and an Assistant Professor of Law at the U.S. Air Force Academy, CO. She teaches Law for Air Force Officers, a core course for all cadets.

Colonel Villena graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy as a Distinguished Graduate and the Outstanding Cadet in Legal Studies. She initially served as a public affairs and protocol officer before being selected for the Funded Legal Education Program (FLEP) and earning a juris doctor cum laude from Arizona State University. As a JAG, Colonel Villena served as a division chief for the Air Force’s General Litigation Division, as a staff judge advocate and deputy staff judge advocate, and in various roles as a prosecutor, senior prosecutor, and defense counsel.


J.D., cum laude, Arizona State University College of Law, AZ

M.S., Military Operational Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell
Air Force Base, AL

M.S., Strategic Studies, Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL

B.S., distinguished graduate, U.S. Air Force Academy, CO

Professional Experience

Legal expertise in civil law, military personnel litigation, labor and employment law, information litigation, criminal law, and military law.

Honors & Awards

Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters

Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster

Afghanistan Campaign Medal