Conservative Champion: Tim Garrison
We are proud to announce Tim Garrison as this week’s Conservative Champion. Learn more about Tim’s inspiring story below.
Tim Garrison is a former United States Attorney under President Trump and a decorated Marine Corps Officer. He has even provided counsel to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
This is his story.
The journey begins in Southwest Missouri, where Garrison grew up in a strong Christian home. Son to a Baptist minister, Garrison credits those values for molding him into the man he is today.
In sixth grade, during one of his history classes, Garrison began to grasp the implications of the American story.
He had learned about the American Revolution years earlier, but it wasn’t until middle school that he started to fully comprehend the American dream and the sacrifices that were made to establish our freedoms.
It was this pivotal inflection point that Garrison began to understand how our country was unlike any other in the history of the world. That the United States was created as an idea. It’s not the product of any one set of people, but by a collective of individuals who yearned for something in common: freedom and the opportunity to live in a land of self-determination.
In essence, the phrase “We the People” began to mean something much more to Garrison.
He became inspired by the acts of courage by our Founding Fathers, and realized he too wanted to shape the country for the better.
He discovered that many of the historical figures who inspired him were lawyers, and decided that this could also be a path for him.
Garrison received his undergraduate degree at Drury University in Southwest Missouri, and proceeded to law school shortly after.
When he wasn’t immersed in a law textbook, Garrison found himself reading about our nation’s history. One particular book, John Adams by David McCullough, had a profound impact on his life’s trajectory.
One John Adams quote stood out from the rest, “I must study politics and war, that our sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.” The quote proved to be a call to action for Garrison. He decided to join the Marines.
It wouldn’t come without adversity, however.
Garrison had to go through Officer Candidate School (OCS), not once, but twice. During his first stint, Garrison was forced to leave OCS after breaking his wrist 7 weeks into the training. After coming so close to finishing the 10-week program, he wondered if he should give it another try.
After a period of reflection, Garrison chose to go back to OCS and finish what he started.
This time he completed OCS and became commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.
Garrison served as a wartime prosecutor and went on to have a distinguished and decorated career.
During his time in the military, Garrison was deployed overseas. It didn’t come without its challenges though. Afghanistan proved to be as dangerous as advertised, as he would come to find out. During a foot patrol mission, one of his unit’s military vehicles was blown up by an improvised explosive device (IED). On that same day, Garrison would survive fire from a Taliban sniper.
Garrison’s time in the military showed him how vastly different justice systems are in various parts of the world.
Two stories best exemplify this contrast: one he experienced at home and the other while overseas.
When Garrison was five years old, he witnessed an armed assailant shoot his mother. In response, law enforcement acted swiftly to protect him and his family. Evidence was then brought against the assailant and the individual was sent to prison.
Garrison’s mother survived and is still alive today. However, this is a memory that he still carries. It is a memory that showed him how important it is for a society to have trust in its justice system. In his family’s case, justice was served but only because of the trust that the American people had placed in law enforcement to do their job.
That would not be the case in Afghanistan, where the Taliban reigned and the rule-of-law was essentially nonexistent.
On a deployment in 2014, one of Garrison’s responsibilities was to work with allied Afghan informants. In building these relationships, one of the informants described to Garrison an encounter that he and one of his colleagues had with the Taliban.
As Garrison tells it, the informant and his colleague were stopped by the Taliban while driving one day. After stopping the car, the Taliban forced them out of their vehicle and searched the car. During their search, they found a voter identification card. There was an upcoming democratic election that the Taliban had been working to delegitimize, so finding this card upset them. In response, the Taliban held the informant and his colleague at gunpoint, ripped up the voter identification card, and forced both of them to ingest pieces of it.
Garrison recalls how helpless the informant felt as he couldn’t go anywhere to address this assault.
The difference between the United States and Afghanistan couldn’t be more glaring. Where the system had served justice for Garrison’s mother and his family, the system had failed the Afghan informant and his colleague.
Soaking this in, Garrison concluded that the rule of law is vital for a society to succeed. For without it, no individual will be afforded the opportunity to flourish. It was truly eye opening.
Garrison transitioned into the reserves after his active duty requirement. Once this transition was complete he became an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, and held that position for 11 years.
In 2018 President Trump nominated Garrison to the office’s top post, which he assumed after being unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate.
As the United States Attorney, Garrison initially faced two primary challenges in his district: drug trafficking and violent crime.
Garrison was able to successfully address these problems by clearly articulating the office’s objectives, by empowering his staff, and by building relationships with local law enforcement groups.
The results spoke for themselves. Out of the 94 districts in the United States, Garrison led the Western District of Missouri to be a national leader in addressing firearm crimes, violent crimes, child exploitation, and drug trafficking.
And then 2020 happened.
It’s no secret that during this time numerous cities across the country experienced a massive surge in crime. Missouri was no different.
The Department of Justice needed a city to launch an operation that would be used as a model for other cities to follow.
Garrison’s office fit the bill, and Kansas City soon became the launch point for Operation LeGend—named after four-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was tragically killed that same summer.
Garrison’s strong ties with law enforcement allowed federal agents to get plugged in seamlessly in the city’s efforts to quell the crime wave.
The operation couldn’t have been more effective. Over 500 arrests were made and the city’s homicide killings dropped by 30%.
By all accounts, the mission was a success. Kansas City delivered and would be used as the nationwide blueprint for cities to follow. For his efforts in spearheading Operation LeGend, Garrison was recognized and invited to the White House.
Garrison’s role as a United States attorney has now come to an end, but he continues to serve his community.
His collective experiences have contributed to his conservative beliefs. He’s pro-life, he’s a staunch defender of the rule of law, and he’s a firm believer in personal responsibility.
He’s also optimistic about the conservative movement’s future, but knows that it can become even stronger.
First, he implores that we stay committed to the principles outlined in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Second, it’s imperative that we become well-versed in our arguments and learn to communicate them in a way that persuades, but doesn’t exclude—in a style similar to Ronald Reagan. Lastly, we must become engaged in our community to create the change we seek to implement.
Tim Garrison provides an example as to how we all can follow these steps, which is why he is a CONSERVATIVE CHAMPION.
We learned about Tim Garrison’s accomplishments through the grassroots community. We know that there are others out there like him, but we can’t find them by ourselves. We need YOUR help.
Know someone like Tim who’s fighting for a better Missouri? We want to know about them. Want to share their story. Nominate a CONSERVATIVE CHAMPION today!