CAPT Danielle M. Higson, USN
Military Professor for Joint Military Operations Department
U.S. Naval War College

CAPT Higson is a Military Professor of Joint Military Operations at the U.S. Naval War College.  After graduating The Johns Hopkins University in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science, she received her juris doctorate in 2000 from the University of Virginia School of Law.  In May 2000, she was commissioned an ensign in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. 

CAPT Higson reported to Trial Service Office (TSO) West, San Diego, California, in April 2001.  She served as a Trial Counsel on over 60 Special and General Courts-martial.  She also served as a Command Services Officer, providing advice to all commands in Navy Region Southwest.  In 2002, she led the Command through a very successful Article 6 Inspection as the Principal Staffing Officer.  She completed her tour as the Department Head of Command Services.

In January 2004, CAPT Higson transferred to the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72) and held the position of Assistant Command Judge Advocate.  In this position, she was in charge of all disciplinary matters for the 3,300 personnel on board.  She also supported all Commands in the Strike Group with military justice matters.

In July 2005, CAPT Higson transferred to TSO East, Norfolk, Virginia, after volunteering to fill a hard-fill Individual Augment (IA).  She immediately deployed to Iraq as an IA to Task Force 134.  In Iraq, CAPT Higson was a Liaison Officer to the Central Criminal Court of Iraq.  She assisted in the prosecution of over 275 insurgents.  

In March 2006, CAPT Higson briefly returned to TSO East, where she was assigned as the first Force Judge Advocate to Commander, FIRST Naval Construction Division (1NCD).  In this position, she created the JAG billet to fit the needs of the 16,000+ Naval Construction Force.

In July 2006, CAPT Higson reported to a hard-fill billet as the Branch Head of Naval Legal Service Office Europe and Southwest Asia, Branch Office Bahrain.  She was the sole Defense Counsel located in the Southwest Asia area of responsibility.

After a year in Bahrain, CAPT Higson returned to Little Creek in 2007 and was assigned as the initial Staff Judge Advocate and International Law Attorney at Maritime Civil Affairs Group.  During this short tour, CAPT Higson provided advice in a wide variety of areas to include ethics, fiscal law, humanitarian law, rule of law, and operational law.  In addition, she garnered a great deal of joint and inter-agency experience.  

In August 2008, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command realigned its JAGC billets and re-assigned CAPT Higson as the Force Judge Advocate for the NCF.  In this position, CAPT Higson was Ethics Counselor and Legal Advisor to the Commander, 1NCD, and supported the 35 subordinate reserve and active units located world-wide.  She transformed the billet of the Force Judge Advocate at 1NCD from simply performing man, train and equip functions to providing operational advice to the Flag Battle Staff and deploying units.

In July 2011, CAPT Higson transferred from 1NCD in order to attend the 60th Graduate Class at the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Legal Center and School (TJAGLCS), where she focused her studies on cyber law.  In May 2012, CAPT Higson received a master of laws degree in international and operational law, specializing in cyber.

Upon graduation, CAPT Higson reported to Navy Information Operations Command Maryland (since renamed Cryptologic Warfare Group 6) and worked in the Information Assurance/ Cyber Security Practice Group of the Office of the General Counsel for the National Security Agency.  During her tour, CAPT Higson served as the Code 20 Department Head, leading approximately 250 Sailors, mostly linguist, and 25 Information Warfare Officers. CAPT Higson was also temporarily assigned for four months to assist the U.S. Cyber Command Staff Judge Advocate Office during the stand-up of the Cyber Mission Forces with her defensive cyber law expertise. 

In January 2015, CAPT Higson became the Director of the Cyber, Information Operations, and Intelligence Law Division of the Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy.  In this role, she served as the Navy’s subject matter expert in cyber, information operations, and intelligence law, providing training and advice to judge advocates across the fleet.  She also worked on developing a community of judge advocates with an expertise in these areas of law.

In February 2016, CAPT Higson became the Deputy Fleet Judge Advocate and Chief of Operational Law for U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/ U.S. TENTH Fleet.  During this tour, CAPT Higson was the first judge advocate to qualify as an Information Warfare Officer.

CAPT Higson, first JAG to qualify Information Warfare Officer and pinned by VADM T. J. White, Fleet Cyber Command/Commander TENTH Fleet.

In August 2018, CAPT Higson became the Force Judge Advocate for Naval Education and Training Command, the largest Echelon II in the Navy, responsible for Navy recruiting, boot camp, and most training schools for enlisted and officers. During her tenure, CAPT Higson increased the legal office from one to four judge advocates. Additionally, as the senior judge advocate in Pensacola, CAPT Higson provided mentorship to area junior judge advocates.

In June 2022, CAPT Higson graduated the U.S. Naval War College with a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.

CAPT Higson is entitled to wear the Legion of Merit; Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal (three awards); Joint Service Commendation Medal (two awards); Navy Commendation Medal (three awards); Navy Achievement Medal (four awards); Joint Meritorious Unit Award; National Defense Service Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; Sea Service Deployment Ribbon; Navy Overseas Service Ribbon; Navy Rifle Ribbon (Marksman); and Navy Pistol Ribbon (Sharpshooter).  She is a member of the Bar of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the United States Supreme Court.