After a long and illustrious career spanning more than 30 years – including several deployments and assignments all over the world – Capt. Gregory P. Noone retired from the Navy Reserve as a judge advocate on Feb. 1, 2021.
Described as “one of a kind,” colleagues say the mere mention of Noone’s name will render a smile of recognition and admiration from countless members the active component and Reserve JAG communities.
“Capt. Noone is one of those officers who needs no introduction,” said Capt. Ping Wang, Noone’s most recent commanding officer at Navy Reserve National Security Law (Code 10). “Everyone will be able to give you a personal anecdote of Capt. Noone and how he has positively impacted their careers, including my own.”
As a Navy Reserve judge advocate, Noone has participated in many high-visibility projects throughout his career. “Because he is so well versed in his legal capacity, he was so very coveted by leadership of all ranks throughout the years,” said Wang.
Noone is one of more than 400 lawyers in the Navy Reserve Law Program practicing in the fields of military justice, command advice and support, legal assistance, national security law, administrative law, and admiralty and maritime law in locations around the world. Navy Reserve judge advocates enjoy a challenging part-time career alongside professionals from all walks of life, including private practice, state and federal government, and private industry.
“As Reservists, we’re ambassadors,” said Noone. “Each of us are representing all reservists and the expertise in the reserve is phenomenal. We have some of the top litigators in the country. We are able to bring a lot of resources to bear.”
Noone is a Brockton, Mass. native, who received a B.A. from Villanova University, an M.A. from The Catholic University of America, a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School, an MDS from the Royal Military College of Canada, and a Ph.D. in Political Science (International Relations) from West Virginia University.
In his civilian capacity, Noone serves as director of the Fairmont State University National Security and Intelligence Program, a professor of Political Science and Law, and was selected as the West Virginia Professor of the Year in 2012.
Noone is an adjunct Professor of Law at Roger Williams University School of Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and West Virginia University where he teaches International Law, Genocide and Atrocity Crimes, International Humanitarian Law, Terrorism, and U.S. Military Law and Legal Policies. He is also the co-author of the widely used textbook: International Law and Armed Conflict: Fundamental Principles and Contemporary Challenges in the Law of War. Noone appears regularly as a commentator on international and national TV and radio.
Noone also is a senior peace fellow at the Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG was nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize) and worked in the refugee camps investigating the Myanmar government’s atrocities committed against their Rohingya population. He also worked as a senior program officer for the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), an independent, nonpartisan federal institution created by Congress to promote research, education, and training on the prevention, management and peaceful resolution of international conflicts. While at USIP, Noone received a Special Act Award for his work in Afghanistan.
Noone held various positions in the Navy including head of the International Law Branch and the Foreign Military Rights Affairs Branch in the Navy JAG’s International and Operational Law Division (Code 10) at the Pentagon, Commanding Officer of both the Navy Reserve Code 10 unit and the Navy Reserve Defense Institute of International Legal Studies (DIILS) unit and was mobilized twice to the Office for Administrative Review and Detention of Enemy Combatants, now the Periodic Review Secretariat (PRS), at the Pentagon and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, first as the staff judge advocate and then as the director of PRS.
While at DIILS, Noone trained senior military, governmental, and non-governmental civilian personnel in over 60 countries. Most notably, he has trained members of the Iraqi National Congress, the post-genocide government in Rwanda, the post-Taliban government in Afghanistan, civil society in the Sudan, and senior members of the Russian government.
With more than 30 years of active duty and Reserve experience, Noone has traveled to 95 countries. “I’ve been to countries you probably couldn’t find on a map,” he said.
“My shipmates and the mission have really made it worthwhile,” added Noone. “At the end of the day, I believe in the mission, and hopefully we’ve improved people’s lives along the way. I think all of us have moved the ball down the field a little bit.”
As a retired Reserve member, Noone looks forward to continuing to his work in academia, as well as coaching youth track and tennis. He mentioned he’ll also enjoy spending time with his wife, who he calls “the smarter and better-looking Dr. Noone.” He also looks forward to more time with their three children – a sophomore at Villanova, a soon-to-be freshman at Wake Forest, and one in high school.
On reflecting on his time in the Navy, he added, “it’s been an incredible ride, and I’ve been fortunate.”