A FEW GOOD MEN
Photo courtesy of Greg Dimler '96
by Kara Gibbs—Cedarville, Ohio
August 11, 2008
Most of us have seen the movie A Few Good Men and been stirred by its unforgettable courtroom scenes. If life truly imitates art, then Greg Dimler ’96 is a great example. He may even agree that it was this movie that inspired him to pursue his career.
Dimler graduated from Cedarville with a Bachelor of Arts in prelaw and a minor in philosophy and religion. In 1999, he graduated from Villanova University School of Law with his Juris Doctorate. But that was just the beginning of Dimler’s journey.
After passing the Pennsylvania bar exam, Dimler entered active duty in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He chose to serve in the military for two reasons. First, he always wanted to follow in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps as a third-generation Navy officer. Second, he reveled in the opportunity to serve his country. “Having been a lawyer for Navy Recruiting Command, I was continually impressed by young people who selflessly volunteered to serve in hostile conditions motivated only by love of country,” he says. “It’s inspiring to see.”
Dimler left active duty service with the Navy in 2004, remained in the Navy Reserve, and currently holds the rank of lieutenant commander in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
After law school, Dimler was a military prosecutor for two years. “The job was exciting,” he says. “The Navy gives young lawyers the opportunity to handle their own cases right out of the gate.” One month after September 11, 2001, he was transferred to Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, Italy, where he served as officer-in-charge of the installation’s prosecution office.
With 7,000 active duty personnel on base, it was a bit like being the district attorney of a small town. “During my time in Sicily, I tried cases in Italy, France, and Germany and traveled to more than 10 countries,” says Dimler. “And for the first few nights of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I was aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.”
Although he was there to investigate an incident, Dimler was able to watch the awe-inspiring work of the young sailors who launched 93 aircraft from the flight deck on the first night of air strikes. “It was an incredible experience that I will never forget,” he says.
From Sicily, he came back to the States, transferring to Millington, Tennessee, outside of Memphis. There, Dimler served as the deputy staff judge advocate for Navy Recruiting Command. And as if that wasn’t enough, he passed the Louisiana bar exam.
In 2005, Dimler left the Department of Defense and headed for the Department of Justice, where he accepted a position as an assistant U.S. attorney in the northern district of Alabama. Hired to work with the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), his district encompasses the northernmost 31 counties of the state, which includes Alabama’s largest city, Birmingham.
In this position, Dimler principally prosecutes large-scale drug trafficking and money laundering organizations, utilizing traditional law enforcement techniques, sophisticated electronic surveillance, and judicially authorized wire taps to disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations.
“Our focus in OCDETF is on the drug trade,” Dimler says. “However, it is not uncommon for our cases to include counterfeiting, gun crimes, and immigration violations, to name a few.”
Cedarville had a huge role in preparing Dimler for his career path. After being accepted into law school, but prior to graduating from Cedarville, he spoke with an alumnus who had recently finished law school. Dimler was assured that he would be ready for law school after graduating from Cedarville. “And he was right,” he says.
“The size of classes, the one-on-one attention from professors, and the rigorous academics of Cedarville are becoming more and more uncommon in large universities,” he adds. “The biblical focus and ethical training also set us apart from students from other schools. Cedarville helped make me a critical thinker.”
In particular, Dimler remembers Dr. Joseph Halsey, who was a great mentor and took a particular interest in his future. Courses with Drs. Murray Murdock and Allen Monroe also helped prepare him to think like a lawyer.
“Probably most formative in my views was Dr. Chris Miller, a man of God who inspired me to love the Holy Scriptures and see the Christian life in a whole new way,” Dimler says. “To this day, I love to rediscover the thread of God’s sacred promises that runs from Genesis to Revelation. Dr. Miller was the first person to teach me that the whole Bible is the story of how Jesus extended grace and redemption to the world.”
While at Cedarville, Dimler was on the forensics team, an invaluable experience that honed his communication skills — from good eye contact, stately posture, and proper transitions to how to speak in a comfortable tone. “I thank Dr. David Robey and Professor Gary Barker for great mentoring in that regard,” he says.
A few good men? How about just one blessed man using his talents for God’s glory?
Dimler and his wife, Melanie, live in Trussville, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham. They met in 1998 at the naval station in Newport, Rhode Island, while he was training at Officer Indoctrination School. They were married in May 2000 and have four children: Paul Ryan (6), Luke Joseph (4), Peter Gregory (2), and Mary Kathryn (9 months).