Deployment began Sept. 20 and will continue until the California Army National Guard division completes Middle East mission

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow, who also serves as a lieutenant colonel in the California Army National Guard, has been deployed to active duty. His deployment commenced on Wednesday, Sept. 20, and will continue until the completion of the California Army National Guard’s 40th Infantry Division’s mission in the Middle East.

During his temporary absence from the country on active-duty military leave, Dow will retain his position as the district attorney. In his absence, Assistant District Attorney Eric Dobroth will assume the role of acting district attorney.

Dow boasts a distinguished military career, currently holding the position of military judge for the California Army National Guard. He has dedicated 30 years of service to the United States, encompassing active Army duty, U.S. Army Reserve, and the Army National Guard.


Dow, elected as the district attorney of San Luis Obispo County in 2014 and reelected in 2018 and 2022, is a dedicated Army veteran and prosecutor. He has committed his career to safeguarding victims’ rights, pursuing justice, and reducing crime in the community.

During his service in the U.S. Army, Dow attended the Defense Language Institute, mastering the Korean language and earning recognition as the top graduate. After his active-duty service, he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University, Hayward, followed by a Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara University School of Law.

Dow’s military service continues as a reserve officer in the California Army National Guard, where he earned the Bronze Star Medal during deployments to Iraq and Kosovo.

As a prosecutor, his focus has been on cases involving domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse, championing justice for victims who are often the most vulnerable. Dow played a pivotal role in bringing the Veterans Treatment Court to San Luis Obispo County, aimed at rehabilitating veteran offenders, reducing recidivism, and lowering taxpayer costs.

Dow’s commitment extends beyond his legal career; he serves on various boards and organizations, including the San Luis Obispo Classical Academy, California State Guard Foundation, and Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force. He is also an active member of community service organizations such as the Rotary Club, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and American Legion Post 66.

Expressing his commitment to both his military duty and public service, Dow remarked, “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. All the great work of the District Attorney’s Office will continue as though I was here. My team under the leadership of Assistant District Attorney Eric Dobroth has my full confidence and support. I am anxious to get to work for the Army and return as quickly as possible to my very rewarding job as district attorney.”

In June 2023, the California Army National Guard’s 40th Infantry Division embarked on a deployment overseas.

It’s important to note that federal and California state laws safeguard the employment and reemployment rights of military reservists during their temporary leaves of absence. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) ensures protection for service members’ reemployment rights upon their return from service, prohibiting discrimination based on military service or obligation. Similar protections are afforded under California law, ensuring that Dow’s military service does not affect his position upon his return.