Kristina Stanger
Kristina Stanger

Age 32 | Attorney, Nyemaster, Goode, West, Hansell & O’Brien P.C.

Attorney Kristina Stanger’s schedule for Monday, March 19, shows a couple of case deadlines and a hearing, so that will be a busy day. But to understand what her life is really like, you should know that Iowa National Guard member Stanger’s schedule for the previous day includes a 10-mile march scheduled to start at 3 a.m. Still feel like your schedule is just too overwhelming?

“I always wanted to be a lawyer,” Stanger said, “but I thought I needed some other background and experience,” and she wanted to serve her country. So in the midst of working on her undergraduate degree in sociology at Central College in Pella, she joined the Iowa National Guard in 1998.

Stanger was attending Drake University Law School when the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred, but her education was put on hold when she was mobilized for deployment to Iraq. From February 2003 until May 2004, she served in the Iraq combat zone as a first lieutenant in the 109th Medical Battalion, supervising 65 people devoted to the evacuation of injured soldiers, triage and treatment before transport to a fixed-location hospital.

Her husband, Doug, is on active duty with the Iowa National Guard and returned last year from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan. “My husband has the same passion that I do for our country,” Stanger said.

Stanger joined Nyemaster Goode P.C. in 2006, where she focuses on commercial litigation. Along with those responsibilities, she serves as the Officer Candidate School company commander at Camp Dodge in Johnston.

“My employer has been amazing, and many of my clients have been the same way” in understanding the demands on her time, she said.

Stanger’s days are likely to remain packed for a long time. Rather than leave the Guard after the usual 15- or 20-year stint, she said, “I’m going to continue to serve as long as my country will keep me in.”

Five reasons she’s a 40:

• State commander of the U.S. Army’s Officer Candidate School.

• Served in Mosul, Iraq, as an administrator in the Army’s 109th Medical Battalion.

• Chair of the military affairs committee of the Iowa State Bar Association

• Graduated in top 5 percent of Officer Candidate School at the Iowa Military Academy.

• Member of The Order of the Coif at Drake University Law School.

Fun Fact:

While Stanger was scuba diving in the Cayman Islands and feeding stingrays, a ray “about the same size as me” took her arm in its mouth and swam away with her. It left “quite the bruise.”