Leaders of the Navy’s Judge Advocate General (JAG) community honored the outstanding service of its top enlisted Sailors during a ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard on Jan. 27.
Legalman 1st Class (SW/AW/IW) Shenika T. Mayes – who currently is assigned to Commander, Carrier Strike Group Ten in Norfolk, Va. – was named the 2016 Legalman of the Year. Legalman 1st Class (SW/AW) Debra Glaspie – who currently is assigned to Region Legal Service Office Mid-Atlantic in Norfolk, Va. – was named the 2016 Naval Legal Service Command Sailor of the Year.
The Navy’s JAG, Vice Adm. James W. Crawford III, was joined at the event by Rear Adm. John Hannink, commander, Naval Legal Service Command. Together, they recognized the six finalists for the prestigious awards, highlighting their professional and personal accomplishments, as well as their lasting, positive impact on the Navy.
“Everyone in this room can think back to many legalman who have shaped the JAG community. You are part of a proud legacy,” Crawford said to the finalists. “Today, you are being recognized for what you have done, but I also am looking forward to what you will do going forward.”
Mayes became a legalman in 2001, and she currently provides legal support to the Strike Group staff and 20 subordinate commands, including facilitating operational law training courses. She also has served as the First Class Petty Officer Association president, a mentorship program coordinator and a member of the command’s training team. She is a prolific volunteer at a local hospital and elementary school, as well.
While addressing her fellow finalists, Mayes said: “You inspire me – you do amazing work. It is so refreshing to be with people who share the same passion I have, who would do this whether they were recognized or not.”
Glaspie became a legalman in 2007, and she currently is her command’s trial department leading petty officer, serving as a paralegal for one of the busiest judge advocates. Among her many accomplishments, she has mentored and professionally developed 15 enlisted Sailors and 22 junior officers. She also has served as her command’s sponsorship coordinator, and was hand-selected to teach a search and seizure class for the Naval Justice School legal clerk course.
“I can think of few billets within our community that are more challenging than the trial department leading petty officer in Norfolk,” Hannink said to Glaspie. “But what really stood out to me was the mentorship you have provided other Sailors. Thanks for your work and all your contributions.” “Thank you so much for this opportunity. I am truly humbled,” said Glaspie. “There are so many individuals who have guided me on this journey – who have picked me up and helped me soar.”
The six finalists traveled to Washington, D.C. for the final board and toured the U.S. Capitol, U.S. Supreme Court, Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and Pentagon. “In November, a preliminary board was convened to select the top three finalists in each category,” said Command Master Chief Jondell Ritchie, Naval Legal Service Command.
“These Sailors represent the very best of those serving our community.” In addition to Mayes, the Legalman of the Year finalists were Legalman 1st Class (SW) Sarah Kelly-Alston, USS Wasp (LHD 1), and Legalman 1st Class (SW/AW/IW) Ernst Mombrun, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).
In addition to Glaspie, the Sailor of the Year finalists were Legalman 1st Class (IW) Stephen Lipowski, Region Legal Service Office Midwest, and Yeoman 1st Class (SW/AW) Angelnique Outlaw, Navy Victims’ Legal Counsel Program. Legalmen work under the supervision of attorneys, preparing and processing legal documents in the areas of military justice, legal assistance, and administrative, civil and operational law. For more information about the JAG community, visit http://www.jag.navy.mil/