#BZFriday: Legal Advisor to the Physical Evaluation Board

By Lt. Cmdr. Nicholas Kadlec, Region Legal Service Office Naval District Washington Today, we’re highlighting Lt. Autumn Gibo, legal advisor to the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) at the Secretary of […]

By Lt. Cmdr. Nicholas Kadlec, Region Legal Service Office Naval District Washington

Today, we’re highlighting Lt. Autumn Gibo, legal advisor to the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) at the Secretary of the Navy Council of Review Boards (SECNAVCORB), located in Washington D.C., and the tremendous work she is doing there.

SECNAVCORB is comprised of several administrative boards: Physical Evaluation Board (PEB); Combat-Related Special Compensation Board (CRSCB); Naval Discharge Review Board (NDRB); Naval Complaints Review Board (NCRB); Naval Clemency and Parole Board (NCPB); Navy Department’s Board of Decorations and Medals (NDBDM); and Disability Review Board (DRB).  SECNAVCORB’s mission is to review cases, conduct hearings, and render decisions in a fair, timely, and transparent manner.  SECNAVCORB falls under the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).

As the legal advisor, Gibo advises the PEB President and board members on a wide variety of substantive and procedural issues.  Cases before these board may arise from a range of sources and subject matters within the Disability Evaluation System (DES), including application of Navy and Department of Defense instructions, review of Line of Duty Investigations, proper processing of Dual Processing of cases through the DES, and other administrative channels to name just a few.  As such, the billet provides a wonderful opportunity to develop expertise in these areas and administrative law more generally.   It also provides an exciting opportunity for an assignment at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C. and to interact with other senior legal officers and judge advocates in the area and at the Pentagon.

Gibo, now in her second tour, was a first tour judge advocate (FTJA) at Region Legal Service Office Hawaii.  Her first tour prepared her well for the SECNAVCORB assignment.

Reflecting back, Gibo says, “My time in the FTJA rotations gave me the foundation (both the knowledge and confidence) to work as an independent staff judge advocate (SJA) at the PEB.  At the PEB, I enjoy working with a wonderful group of people who have helped me develop both as an officer and as a lawyer. This experience has provided me the opportunity to work as a SJA, while also introducing me to unique issues within the DES.”

Mr. Roger Claussen, SECNAVCORB’s senior counsel (general counsel) could not be more pleased with  Gibo’s support to the CORB.

“Lt. Gibo has performed superbly as the SJA to the PEB.  Over the past several years, legal issues arising from the review of cases involving our wounded Sailors and Marines have increased in volume and complexity.  As a result, the PEB is totally reliant on Lt. Gibo to provide current and accurate advice to the PEB concerning the application of DoD, DON, and Department of Veteran Affairs regulations in order to ensure the thousands of cases reviewed by the PEB are adjudicated legally and fairly.   Without her, the PEB would be hard-pressed to meet its mission.   She will be a difficult act to follow.”

Committed to her professional development, Gibo also provides part-time support to the legal office at the Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO), gaining invaluable experience supporting a flag-level staff.

Lt. Cmdr. Joe Griffo, deputy legal advisor to VCNO, has been impressed by Gibo.   “As a member supporting VCNOs legal team, Autumn has become an integral part of the entire team, and has contributed to everything from the annual revision to the standards of conduct to handling the day to day affairs that go into this office.  Her skills and experience navigating through CORB as part of the Secretary’s staff directly contributed to her success in support VCNO.”

BZ to Gibo for the tremendous work at SECNAVCORB!  If you are interested in her assignment, it is on the latest Downwind Billet List for Fiscal Year 2019.