Iglesias Retires From Navy JAG; Joins Wheaton Faculty

David Iglesias

NAFUSA member David Iglesias was mobilized back into active duty status with the Navy to prosecute suspected Al Qaeda members being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He worked at the Office of Military Commissions (OMC) in Washington and in Gitmo. OMC’s jurisdiction is limited to alleged war criminals as defined by the Military Commissions Act of 2009. Iglesias was a senior prosecutor, team leader and spokesman between 2008-2013. He retired earlier this month as a Navy JAG Captain with 30 years of combined active duty and reserve experience. During his terminal leave period he worked with the national security/CT company of the Soufan Group.


Iglesias has been appointed by Wheaton College as the new director of the J. Dennis Hastert Center. Iglesias will start his duties on July 1 and will be responsible for overseeing the programs of the Hastert Center, as well as teaching some politics and international relations courses, including national security courses.

Iglesias, a 1980 graduate of Wheaton College, was the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico under the Bush Administration from 2001 to 2006. Iglesias has also worked as a state, federal and military prosecutor, focusing on national security and terrorism cases.

Iglesias said that he is looking forward to using his past career experiences to serve the Hastert Center and the Wheaton College community. “I’m thrilled to be the new director of the Hastert Center,” said Iglesias. “I’ll do my best to use my many years of government, political and military experience to benefit Wheaton students.”

In addition to serving as the Hastert Center director, Iglesias will also serve as this year’s commencement speaker, a decision made by the senior class in collaboration with the president of Wheaton.

Iglesias was a part of the legal team that inspired the 1989 play and 1992 film “A Few Good Men,” starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore.

“The character played by Tom Cruise in the movie “A Few Good Men” is based, in part, on David Iglesias when he prosecuted a case at the Guantanamo Naval Station as a Navy JAG attorney in the 1980s,” Stephen Bretsen, chair of the politics and international relations department said. “The attorney played by Demi Moore in the movie is based on the sister of Aaron Sorkin (the playwright). He learned about the case from her, and it became the basis for a play he wrote, which was later rewritten as a screenplay for the movie. The facts of the case were changed and embellished to make the story more dramatic.”