Lieutenant General Black served as the 37th U.S Army Judge Advocate General from 2005 to 2009. He led the JAG Corps delivery of legal services around the world, with a team consisting of over 10,500 attorneys and paralegals serving in over 650 offices in 19 countries. He was the first Judge Advocate General in the history of the U.S. Army to serve in the rank of Lieutenant General.
Black grew up traveling the world in a military family. He graduated from California Polytechnic State University with a B.A. degree in Political Science. After three years at Fort Ord, California, he went to California Western School of Law in San Diego, where he earned a J.D. General Black also holds an M.S. degree in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University.
General Black’s first duty assignment as a judge advocate was at Fort Bliss, Texas, where he served as the Chief of the Legal Assistance Branch, as a trial counsel and Chief of the Criminal Law Branch, and as a contract attorney.
He later served in Washington, D.C., as a general law attorney at the Office of The Judge Advocate General of the Army and as Assistant Counsel to the President of the United States at the White House.
In 1990, General Black was assigned as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, 7th Infantry Division (Light), Fort Ord. From there, he went on to be the Chief, Military and Civil Law Division, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany. General Black’s next assignment was as the Staff Judge Advocate, 3d Infantry Division (later re -designated 1st Infantry Division), United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany.
In July 1996, General Black returned to the United States as the Legislative Counsel and later as Chief, Investigations and Legislative Division, Office of the Chief Legislative Liaison (United States Army). He then served as Chief, Personnel, Plans, and Training Office and later as the Staff Judge Advocate of V Corps, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army. From 2001–2003 General Black served as the Assistant Judge Advocate General for Military Law and Operations, and from 2003–2005 as the Commanding General and Commandant of The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School. In October of 2005 General Black was appointed the 37th Judge Advocate General of the United States Army. On December 8, 2008, the United States Senate voted to confirm the nomination of Major General Black for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant General. He was officially promoted to that rank on December 11, 2008 at the Pentagon.
General Black attended the Judge Advocate Basic and Graduate courses, the Army Command and General Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. He is also entitled to wear the Parachutist Badge, the Ranger Tab, and the Army Staff Identification Badge.