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Brigadier General Linell A. Letendre

Dean of the Faculty


Official photo of Brigadier General Letendre (HQ)
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Brigadier General Linell A. Letendre is Dean of the Faculty, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. She commands the 750-member Dean of Faculty mission element and oversees the annual design and instruction of more than 500 undergraduate courses for 4,000 cadets across 32 academic disciplines. She also directs the operation of five support staff agencies and faculty resources involving more than $350 million.

General Letendre graduated from the Academy in 1996 as a Distinguished Graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Astronautical Engineering. After serving as an acquisition officer, General Letendre became a judge advocate through the Funded Legal Education Program. She graduated from the University of Washington Law School with high honors and was named to the Order of the Coif and the Order of the Barristers. She is barred at the U.S. Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Washington, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals. Prior to this assignment, she served as the Permanent Professor and Head of the Air Force Academy’s Department of Law.

General Letendre previously served as a Staff Judge Advocate at Scott Air Force Base and also represented the Air Force in appellate review of all courts-martial as the Deputy Chief Trial and Appellate Counsel. Additionally, she previously served as the Legal Advisor for the DoD Comprehensive Review Working Group where she advised on legal and policy issues surrounding repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” She also defended the Air Force in a range of federal civil litigation involving military personnel, served as Chief of Strategic Communication for The Judge Advocate General, and defended Airmen as an area defense counsel.

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Eisenhower School, National Defense University, Washington, D.C. (Distinguished Graduate) (2015)

Air War College, Seminar, Montgomery, Ala. (2012)

Air Command and Staff College, Correspondence (2008)

Squadron Officer School (Distinguished Graduate), Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Ala. (2003)

Juris Doctor (High Honors), University of Washington School of Law Seattle, Wash. (2001)

Bachelor of Science, Astronautical Engineering (Distinguished Graduate), U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. (1996)

Professional Experience

Dean of the Faculty, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. (2019-Present)

Chair, Social Sciences Division, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. (2018-2019)

Permanent Professor and Head, Department of Law, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. (2015-2018)

Student, Eisenhower School, National Defense University, Washington D.C. (2014-2015)

Staff Judge Advocate, 375th Air Mobility Wing, Scott Air Force Base, St. Clair County, Ill. (2012-2014)

Deputy Chief, Trial and Appellate Government Counsel Division, Air Force Legal Operations Agency, Joint Base Andrews, Prince George's County, Md. (2011-2012)

Air Staff Counsel, Administrative Law Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Pentagon, Washington D.C. (2011)

Legal Advisor, DoD Comprehensive Review Working Group, Pentagon, Washington D.C. (2010)

Executive Officer, Civil Law and Litigation Directorate, Air Force Legal Operations Agency, Arlington, Va. (2009-2010)

Deputy Chief, Military Personnel Branch, General Litigation Division of Air Force Legal Operations Agency, Washington D.C. (2008-2009)

Chief of Strategic Communication Branch, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Pentagon, Washington D.C. (2007-2008)

Assistant Professor of Law, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. (2004-2007)

Area Defense Counsel, Scott Air Force Base, St. Clair County, Ill. (2003-2004)

Chief of Environmental Law and General Law, 375th Airlift Wing, Scott Air Force Base, St. Clair County, Ill. (2001-2003)

Funded Legal Education Program, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash. (1998-2001)

Project Officer, JASSM Program Office, Eglin Air Force Base, Okaloosa County, Fla. (1996-1998)

Honors & Awards

National Defense Industrial Association Award for Excellence in Research and Writing (2015)

National Defense University Women, Peace and Security Writing Award (2015)

Outstanding Academy Educator in Law (2007)

Commandant’s Trophy Winner as Top Graduate from Squadron Officer’s School (2003)

Second Place, National Mock Trial Competition (2001)

Co-author, Best Brief, National Moot Court Competition (2000)

Cadet Wing Commander, U.S. Air Force Academy (1996)

Legion of Merit

Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters

Joint Service Commendation Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal


Scott Heritsch and Linell A. Letendre, An Engineering Model for Ethical Decision-Making and Regulation in Autonomous Systems, in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Handbook, 2nd ed., Springer Publications (Forthcoming Spring 2018)

Right vs. Right: Personal Belief vs. Professional Obligations, Parameters 48, no. 1 (co-authored with Dr. Martin Cook) (Spring 2018)

Google…It Ain’t Ford: Why the United States Needs a Better Approach to Leveraging the Robotics Industry, 77 A.F. L. Rev. 51 (2017)

Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems: Translating Legal Jargon for Engineers, in Proceedings 2016 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), Rosslyn VA, 795-800, available at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7502579/

Women Warriors: Why the Robotics Revolution Changes the Combat Equation, 6 PRISM 90 (2016)

U.S. DEP’T OF DEFENSE, Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” (Member of writing team) (2010)

Maj Gen Charles J. Dunlap, Jr. & Maj Linell A. Letendre, Military Lawyering and Professional Independence in the War on Terror: A Response to David Luban, 61 Stan. L. Rev. 417 (2008)

Maj (ret.) David E. Fitzkee, USA & Capt Linell A. Letendre, Religion in the Military: Navigating the Channel Between the Religion Clauses, 59 A.F. L. Rev. 1 (2007)

Maj (ret.) David E. Fitzkee, USA, Capt Linell A. Letendre, & Capt John Tillery, Respecting Spiritual Diversity in Public Higher Education: A Military Academy’s Approach, J. Faculty Development (Fall 2005)

Beating Again and Again and Again: Why Washington Needs a New Rule of Evidence Admitting Prior Acts of Domestic Violence, 75 Wash. L. Rev. 973 (2000)