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2017 Religious Studies speaker

Lieutenant General Richard C. Harding

Portrait of Richard Harding

Religion Goes to War
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Launer Auditorium
Columbia College Campus


About Lieutenant General Richard C. Harding

Retired Lieutenant General, United States Air Force

The son of a U.S. Air Force officer and grandson of a naval officer, Lt. Gen. Richard C. Harding served 34 years on active duty in the Air Force before his retirement in April 2014, eventually becoming The Judge Advocate General (TJAG) of the Air Force in 2010. Harding earned a direct commission into the Air Force in 1980 as a first lieutenant, starting his career at the Bitburg Air Base in West Germany. He would go on to serve in Texas, Washington, D.C., Alaska, Illinois, Nebraska, Louisiana, Colorado and Virginia. During his time in the Air Force, Harding’s assignments included Air Combat Command, United States Strategic Command, United States Transportation Command, Air Force Space Command and the headquarters of the United States Air Force at the Pentagon. From 2007 to 2010, Harding served as the commander of the Air Force Legal Operations Agency, where he implemented changes that improved legal services in environmental, contract, labor, criminal and medical law. Harding was appointed TJAG of the Air Force in 2010 and, over the next four years, he helped implement a number of initiatives as the highest-ranking uniformed attorney in the Air Force, including the Special-Service-Award-winning Special Victims’ Counsel Program, which provides victims of sexual assault with independent attorneys. Harding also led the charge for writing the Air Force Directive, as well as the Air Force Instruction on standards of conduct and created the premier Training and Readiness Office for the Air Force JAG Corps. Growing up, Harding lived in Texas, Arkansas, California, Alabama, South Carolina, Germany, Pakistan and Lebanon. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Arkansas J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences in 1975, then earned his doctorate from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1979. Currently, Harding assists universities and interest groups in eradicating campus sexual assaults by utilizing his military experience and serves on the Advisory Council of the National Crime Victims’ Legal Institute. Harding and his wife, Linda, live in Columbia, Missouri, and he is a member of the Columbia College Board of Trustees.

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