Happy 43rd Birthday to the Legalman Rating!

The following message was released by Judge Advocate General of the Navy Vice Adm. Nanette M. DeRenzi, Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Navy Rear Adm. James W. Crawford, III, […]

The following message was released by Judge Advocate General of the Navy Vice Adm. Nanette M. DeRenzi, Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Navy Rear Adm. James W. Crawford, III, and  Master Chief Petty Officer Paul St. Sauver, Senior Enlisted Leader to the Judge Advocate General & Command Master Chief of Naval Legal Service Command

Secretary of the Navy John Chaffee approved the establishment of the Legalman rating on January 4th, 1972. By October of that year, there were 275 new Legalmen serving in the United States Navy. Today, more than 550 active and reserve Legalmen provide critical services and support every day at duty stations around the world, ashore and afloat.

As the need for legal services increases and our operating environment becomes more complex, Navy leadership challenges us to innovate and improve. Our Legalmen have met that challenge. They are  rapidly transforming into a community of highly-skilled, professionally-educated and trained paralegals capable of performing the most complex and demanding legal tasks efficiently and effectively in support of the Fleet.  Serving as independent duty Legalmen and as key members of our Region Legal Service Offices and Defense Service Offices, they enable accomplishment of our military justice and legal assistance missions. They are providing indispensable support to our staff judge advocate offices. Additionally, our Legalmen continue to provide critical support to the Office of Military Commissions and perform the full range of legal and military duties in overseas contingency operations. The JAG Corps’ role in military operations has expanded dramatically since the creation of the Legalman rating in 1972, and will continue to do so into the future. Our current mission has never been so vital to the success of the Navy, and Legalmen will continue to lead the way and be fully engaged around the globe.

This year has seen significant accomplishments within our Legalman community. Since the implementation of the Legalman Paralegal Education Program in 2010, sixty-three percent of our Legalmen have earned degrees in Paralegal Studies. The professional skills gained through this program enable the JAG community to provide superb legal service to the Fleet and has enabled an effective integration of our Legalmen into our trial and defense teams. Also, our Legalmen have received significant recognition for their hard work and dedication, earning numerous awards as Sailor of the Year on board ships, Strike Groups, and other major staff commands, as well as receiving national recognition from professional organizations. Some of these national awards include the Blacks in Government award, LATINA Style Distinguished Military Service award, and the National Federation of Paralegal Associations award. Finally, two Legalmen who were attending law school while using the Navy’s Career Intermission Program were selected for commissioning in the JAG Corps through the JAG student program. These Sailors will bring a unique perspective and valuable Fleet experience to the JAG community. In this increasingly complex legal environment, our Legalmen continue to rise to every challenge. We wish the men and women of our Legalman community a very Happy 43rd Birthday!