Col. Christopher VanNatta is the Staff Judge Advocate, 10th Air Force, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas. He is responsible for providing legal advice to the numbered air force commander and staff, subordinate units, and overseeing the provision of legal services by the various wing legal offices in the command.
Col. VanNatta began his active duty service in January 1991 and served on active duty until August 2004. During that time, he served in a variety of positions: Chief of Claims, Area Defense Counsel, Circuit Trial Counsel, Chief of Adverse Actions, Instructor (civilian and military personnel law and advocacy), Labor and Employment Counsel, and as legal counsel to and a voting member of the Secretary of the Air Force Personnel Council. As a Reservist, he served as a Senior Trial Counsel, Appellate Government Counsel, and Wing Staff Judge Advocate.
Prior to his current assignment, Col. VanNatta was the Senior Individual Mobilization Augmentee for Air Force Material Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. In his civilian job, he is the Manager of Benefits and Human Resources for an industry-leading, international, Fortune 1000 manufacturer of highly engineered roller bearings and other mechanical power transmission devices for use in automotive, industrial, manufacturing, aerospace, energy, food and beverage, and other applications. He oversees global benefit strategy and design and all U.S. benefit administration and compliance, and he provides guidance and advice on human resource, labor, and employee benefit legal issues. He is admitted to practice law before U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the Supreme Court of Minnesota, and the Supreme Court of Ohio.
1985 Bachelor of Science, Law and Public Policy and Policy Administration, Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.
1990 Juris Doctor, Indiana University School of Law–Bloomington, Bloomington, Ind.
1996 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., by correspondence
1999 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by seminar
2001 Master of Laws, Labor and Employment Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.
2009 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
1. 1991–1993, Assistant Staff Judge Advocate, 49th Fighter Wing, Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.
2. 1993–1994, Area Defense Counsel, Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea
3. 1994–1996, Circuit Trial Counsel, Western Circuit Trial Judiciary, Travis AFB, Calif.
4. 1996–1997, Assistant Staff Judge Advocate, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
5. 1997–2000, Instructor, Civil Law Division, Air Force Judge Advocate General’s School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
6. 2000–2001, Student, Master of Laws, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington D.C.
7. 2001–2002, Labor and Employment Counsel, Air Force Central Labor Law Office, Arlington, Va.
8. 2002–2004, Legal Counsel, Secretary of the Air Force Personnel Council, Washington D.C.
9. 2004–2006, Senior Trial Counsel, Air Force Legal Operations Agency, Bolling AFB, Md.
10. 2006–2009, Appellate Government Counsel, Air Force Legal Operations Agency, Bolling AFB, Md.
11. 2009–2017, Staff Judge Advocate, 910th Airlift Wing, Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio
12. 2017–2019, Senior Individual Mobilization Augmentee, Air Force Material Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
13. 2019–present, Staff Judge Advocate, 10th Air Force, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
First Lieutenant Dec. 1, 1990
Captain June 1, 1991
Major Sept. 1, 1998
Lieutenant Colonel Dec. 1, 2005
Colonel May 1, 2017
(Current as of January 2021)