SLO County DA Dan Dow deployed to Middle East in historic National Guard mission

San Luis Obispo County’s top prosecutor has been deployed to the Middle East as part of a historic mission with the California Army National Guard, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office confirmed Monday.

San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow is on temporary active duty military leave beginning this week as he joins the California Army National Guard’s 40th Infantry Division overseas, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

It’s the division’s first deployment since the Korean War in January 1952, according to the U.S. National Guard.

The division will support the Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve missions to build partner capacity and increase regional security in the Middle East, including Iraq, Jordan and Kuwait, the U.S. National Guard said.

“I am very pleased to be able to serve the people of the United States and the state of California through my continued service in the California Army National Guard and be a part of this historic deployment of the 40th Infantry Division,” Dow wrote in an emailed statement. “I am anxious to get to work for the Army and return as quickly as possible to my very rewarding job as district attorney.”

Dow is on temporary active-duty military leave, but remains the district attorney for San Luis Obispo County.

San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow. Courtesy photo
San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow. Courtesy photo

”The great work of the District Attorney’s Office will continue as though I were here,” Dow said, with San Luis Obispo County Assistant District Attorney Eric Dobroth serving as the acting district attorney until Dow returns from his deployment.

The length of Dow’s deployment is unclear at this time.

Dow is a lieutenant colonel reserve officer and military judge in the California Army National Guard, the District Attorney’s Office said.

He has served in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard.

In June, Dow marked 30 years of military service.

He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal during his deployment to Iraq under Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. He also served in Kosovo under Operation Enduring Freedom.

Federal law protects all military reservists for their temporary leaves of absence from civilian or government employers, including elected officials.