By Navy JAG Corps Public Affairs
The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) named Capt. Les Reardanz – a highly respected member of the Navy Reserve Law Program and a valued colleague in the Navy JAG community – winner of the prestigious APEX 2018 Angelo Petruss Award for Lawyers in Government Service.
WSBA President William D. Pickett presented the award to Readanz’s wife, Dianne, at the WSBA Annual APEX (Acknowledging Professional Excellence) Awards Dinner on Sept. 27 at the Sheraton Seattle. Reardanz currently is deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, where he is serving as the staff judge advocate for the multinational, U.S.-led Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan.
In a video highlighting his service, Reardanz said: “I felt being a lawyer was a way to try to give back to society, and try to help others try to make the world a better place. I think rule of law is one of those things that sets us apart from many other nations … We, as lawyers, have a responsibility back to society to act in a civil and professional manner.”
Since joining the Reserves in the 1990s, Reardanz has served overseas four times since 9/11, including his current deployment. Many of his colleagues in the JAG community credit him with mentoring them, and have relied on his guidance even when stationed in other parts of the world. Reardanz is widely recognized — both in the military and civilian world — for personal ethics and professionalism, and his positive, friendly, and patient leadership.
Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin said of Reardanz, “Les is one of the most driven and collaborative people I know. He’s great to work with because he really just brings a willingness to get things done for the betterment of the community.”
Back at home in Washington, he is the chief executive officer of the Port of Everett and holds numerous community service positions. He serves on the board of the Everett Imagine Children’s Museum, is active in his church middle school group, and is an attentive husband and father.
“I think the Angelo Petruss Award is perfect for Capt. Reardanz,” said Tony Hinson, a Poulsbo, Wash., attorney and Reserve judge advocate. “His entire professional career has been devoted to public service … Capt. Reardanz not only brings with him a vast amount of legal knowledge, but is also part diplomat, part relationship-builder, someone who can represent the United States in these legal conferences and in these legal matters in a flawless, direct, and dignified manner.”
Reardanz’s award was named in honor of Angelo R. Petruss, a senior assistant attorney general who passed away during his term of service on the WSBA Board of Governors, this award is given to a lawyer in government service who has made a significant contribution to the legal profession, the justice system, and the public.
In a previous interview with the Everett Daily Herald, Reardanz said of his eight-month Afghanistan deployment: “Quite honestly, doing these things makes you a better leader, a better person and, overall, a better citizen.”
Bravo Zulu, sir!