General Officer Biography



Retired Effective February 1, 2004

Major General Robert I. Gruber served as an assistant to the director, Air National Guard, for special projects. The special projects included the proposed uniform state code of military justice and manual for courts martial. In his previous assignment ending 30 June 03, he served as the Air National Guard assistant to the judge advocate general, United States Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia.  He then served as the principal advisor on Air National Guard legal services matters to the judge advocate general.  His responsibilities included training oversight and operational readiness of more than 260 Air National Guard attorneys and more than 160 Air National Guard paralegals, and as chair of the judge advocate general's Air National Guard council, coordinating policies and programs for Air National Guard judge advocates and paralegals with the judge advocate general and the director, Air National Guard.

General Gruber was commissioned as a judge advocate in March 1976.  In addition to his staff judge advocate assignments, he principally authored and edited the first edition of the widely acclaimed Air National Guard Commanders Legal Deskbook, which has become a staple of the libraries of every Air National Guard commander and judge advocate.  The general has also been one of the Air National Guard's primary instructors and innovators of teaching methods at the Air Force Judge Advocate General's School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

During his tenure, General Gruber created the Contemporary Base Issues course, a participatory interactive problem-solving program for commanders and their key staff that was conducted six times each year and institutionalized as a mandatory program in the Air National Guard. In addition, he conceived the Air National Guard Law Office course that expedited the effectiveness and familiarity of newly accessed judge advocates and paralegals with the unique law practice in an Air National Guard legal office, as well as spearheading the design of the day-long legal curriculum and teaching methods for the Air National Guard Senior Commanders course.

In recognition of the General Gruber's contributions and accomplishments, the United States Air Force established the "Major General Robert I. Gruber Excellence in Teaching Award" to be annually bestowed on the Air National Guard judge advocate or paralegal who best exemplifies the general’s creative and innovative teaching techniques.


1969 Bachelor of arts degree in government, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
1973 Juris doctor degree, Fordham University, School of Law, New York, New York
1978 Squadron Officer School, by correspondence
1981 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
1987 Air War College, by correspondence


1. March 1976 - August 1982, judge advocate, Headquarters, New York Air National Guard, White Plains, N.Y.
2. August 1982 - November 1995, staff judge advocate, 105 Airlift Wing, Stewart Air National Guard Base, Newburgh, N.Y.
3. December 1995 -September 1999, Air National Guard Assistant to the Staff Judge Advocate, Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
4. September 1999 -June 2003, Air National Guard Assistant to the Judge Advocate General, United States Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
5. June 2003 - February 2004, Air National Guard Assistant to the Director, Air National Guard, Arlington, Va.


Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with one device
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
Air Reserve Meritorious Service Medal
Air Force Recognition Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal
Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with six devices
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with two devices
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
Air Force Training Ribbon
Army Service Ribbon


Attorney, private practice of law


New York Bar Association 
Florida Bar Association
Supreme Court of the United States
U. S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit
U. S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
U. S. District Court, Southern District of New York
U. S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
New York State Trial Lawyers Association
Westchester County Bar Association
National Guard Association of the United States - Life member
Militia Association of New York - Life member
Civil Affairs Association - Life member


1974 - Diplomate, National Institute for Trial Advocacy
1992 - National Guard Bureau Minuteman Award as Air National Guard Judge Advocate of the Year
1992 - 1998 - Recording Secretary of The Judge Advocate General's Air National Guard Council
1993 - Outstanding Reserve Judge Advocate of the Year in Air Mobility Command
1993 - Reginald C. Harmon Award as United States Air Force Outstanding Reserve Judge Advocate of the Year
1994 - Author of three-volume Judge Advocate General's Air National Guard Council History
1994 - 1998 - Adjunct faculty member and lecturer at Air Force Judge Advocate General's School and creator of "JAG Jeopardy" teaching format


First Lieutenant Mar 11, 1976
Captain Apr 1, 1978
Major Apr 3, 1982
Lieutenant Colonel Apr 3, 1986
Colonel Dec 10, 1995
Brigadier General Sep 13, 1999
Major General May 24, 2001



(Current as of February 2016)


The date of publication indicated on this biography reflects the most recent update. It does not necessarily reflect the date of printing.