By Cmdr. Eric Pederson, Navy Reserve Law Program
The Navy Reserve Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps recently welcomed its first enlisted selectee under the Direct Commissioning Officer Program (DCOP). Blazing a trail for other enlisted Sailors, former Senior Chief Logistics Specialist Jimi Wyatt recently completed the Direct Commission Officer’s Indoctrination Course (DCIOC) and is beginning his first formal training in military law at the Naval Justice School (NJS), which kicked off today, Jan. 28, 2019.
Lt j.g. Wyatt followed a long path to serve as a uniformed judge advocate. Born in Texas, Wyatt spent much of his adolescent years in Alaska before enlisting in the Navy in 1992.
“The first Gulf War had a major impact on me and I knew that I wanted to serve.” Wyatt reminisced. “As for joining the Navy, having grown up in Alaska and having spent most of my time around the ocean and on fishing boats, I felt I would be most comfortable on the sea.”
Wyatt served on active duty from 1993 to 1996 before leaving to pursue his educational goals. Driven by a sense of duty, Wyatt remained active in the Navy Reserves, and mobilized on four occasions, including Naval Expeditionary Logistics Support Force (NAVELSF) in Kuwait from 2004 to 2005; Afghan Regional Security Integration Command (ARSIC) West in Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009; U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Headquarters in Tampa, Fla. from 2014-15; and Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti from 2017 to 2018.
Meanwhile, in his civilian life, Wyatt continued to pursue higher education. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Tyler in 1999, and received his Juris Doctorate in 2003 from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law. Today, he manages his own legal practice in Fort Worth, Texas, where he specializes in family law.
“For me,” Wyatt said, “there is nothing better than having the knowledge to help those in need and provide them with the right answers at the right time.”
After years of helping people with their legal needs through his successful legal practice, Wyatt finally found the opportunity to bring his skillset to the Navy through the DCOP. Those who have worked with him in the past always expected that he would bring his skillset to the next level.
“When it came to any topic, Jimi was my trusted advisor,” remarked Lt. Cmdr. Anvy Nguyen, his former commanding officer in Fort Worth. “He would work to resolve any issues or track down the answers to assist our Sailors whether it be Navy or personal.”
Today, newly commissioned Wyatt is eager to finish the Basic Lawyer Course at the NJS and join his first unit – Navy Reserve Region Legal Service Office Europe, Africa & Southwest Asia (EURAFSWA) – where he hopes to begin his JAG Corps career in legal assistance, before exploring the other fields of military law.
“I am excited to help my fellow Sailors and I have quite a bit experience in those areas of the law,” Wyatt stated enthusiastically. “However, I am very excited to see all of the legal fields and see how I can best serve the Navy.”