Alum of the Month: Commander Michelle Ybarra Bas '89 | Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School


Alum of the Month: Commander Michelle Ybarra Bas '89

Commander Michelle Bas reported to Coast Guard Base Alameda following her most recent tour as the Chief of the Legal Engagements Division at the U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany.

During her post in Germany CDR Bas was responsible for Rule of Law initiatives. Her team advanced U.S. Africa Command Theater Strategy by implementing sustained legal capacity building activities, exercises, and programs within the U.S. Africa Command Area of Responsibility. These initiatives promoted events that further adherence to international humanitarian law and human rights norms, and protection of civilian populations and development of systems of accountability.

Initially commissioned as a Lieutenant Junior Grade through the Direct Commission Lawyer Program in 1999, she aided Assistant United States Attorneys in preparing and prosecuting counter drug cases, advised Command cadre on operational law matters, prosecuted General, Special and Summary courts-martial, advocated for legal assistance for clients on a myriad of subjects, recruited Direct Commission Lawyers, and adjudicated claims.

Other previous assignments include service as the Chief of Logistics, Marine Inspector and Marine Investigator at Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA; Attorney Advisor at the National Pollution Funds Center (NPFC) in Washington, D.C.; Chief of Collections, Legal Service Command, Alameda, CA.

Through her direct experience as a prosecutor of sexual assault cases, CDR Bas trained as a Victim Advocate and joined peers in developing an initiative to eradicate sexual assault through education and intervention: a program which was adopted for implementation Coast Guard wide.

Having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in African-American Studies from UCLA in 1994 and a Juris Doctor from Albany School of Law, NY in 1998, CDR Bas is now pursuing a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. She is a member of the Bar of the state of New Jersey. She is a proud Pilot currently residing in Alameda with her husband and sons.