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News | June 26, 2015

Navy JAG Corps Welcomes New Leadership

By Navy JAG Corps Public Affairs

The U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps held a change of office ceremony on June 26, at the Washington Navy Yard. During the traditional change of office ceremony, presided over by the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, Vice Adm. Nanette M. DeRenzi retired and was relieved by Vice Adm. James W. Crawford III who became the 43rd Judge Advocate General of the Navy.  

Crawford previously served as the Deputy Judge Advocate General and Commander, Naval Legal Service Command.

"We go where it matters, when it matters," said Greenert. He went on to emphasize that the Navy has to do that legally and that DeRenzi was responsible for keeping the Judge Advocate Corps on course and speed. Additionally Greenert said, "[DeRenzi] was responsible for an enormous array of diverse issues. She served the Navy and Nation very well."

During DeRenzi's tenure as the JAG, the Corps provided counsel on a wide range of complex issues including sexual assault prevention and response, Military Commissions, protection of navigational rights and freedoms, and support to wounded, ill, and injured Sailors and Marines. DeRenzi praised the members of the JAG Corps community for their work fulfilling the Navy’s missions.

“To the men and women of the JAG Corps family -- from every corner of the globe, on the seven seas, and in harm’s way on distant shores, you performed magnificently in every area of our practice; and in building and sustaining a vibrant, high-performing, well respected community of professionals,” said DeRenzi.

Crawford will serve as the Navy JAG for three years.

“We have made a promise – we deliver legal support; more important legal solutions,” said Crawford.  In speaking to the members of the JAG Corps community, Crawford continued, “You advance our ability to deliver on our shared promise for the Navy of today, the Navy of tomorrow, and the Navy of the future.”

Rear Adm. John Hannink was promoted prior to the ceremony to the rank of rear admiral (upper half) and will serve as the Deputy Judge Advocate General and Commander, Naval Legal Service Command.  Most recently, he served as a Fellow on the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group, Newport, Rhode Island.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to work in an organization that has service at its core, both in advising Navy leaders and in taking care of Sailors and their families,” said Hannink.

The Judge Advocate General of the Navy provides legal and policy advice to the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations on all legal matters from military justice to environmental law.  The Judge Advocate General also directs a worldwide law firm of more than 2,300 attorneys, paralegals and support staff. Naval Legal Service Command provides prosecution, defense, personal representation, legal assistance, and other command services to shore and afloat commands throughout the world. For more information on the Navy JAG Corps, visit
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