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News | June 22, 2016

2015 Civilians of the Year

By Vice Adm. James W. Crawford III and Rear Adm. John G. Hannink

Please join us in congratulating the Office of the Judge Advocate General (OJAG) and Naval Legal Service Command (NLSC) 2015 Civilians of the Year. Chosen from a community of highly-talented civilians, the selectees’ accomplishments were especially deserving of recognition.

OJAG Senior Civilian of the Year: Mr. Thomas J. Gauzer, OJAG Criminal Law Division (Code 20) As a Supervisory Legal Administrative Specialist, Mr. Gauzer developed procedures which significantly improved the efficiency of Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act processing within Code 20. His dedication was key to providing a successful response to a recent high-profile Congressional request.  As part of that project, in under two weeks he obtained and redacted files for 120 courts-martial, enabling Code 20 to meet the deadline and making the Navy the only service to produce a flawless submission.

NLSC Senior Civilian of the Year: Ms. Monica A. Trucco, Region Legal Service Office, Naval District Washington, DC  As an Assistant Legal Counsel, Ms. Trucco was instrumental in advancing the talent management priorities of the Secretary of Defense and Sailor 2025 initiatives. She authored six legislative proposals that will revolutionize officer promotions and provide career flexibility to Sailors and officers. She resolved complex indebtedness cases, balancing the needs of the Navy, retirees, and Navy families. On several occasions, she assumed responsibility as the Deputy Legal Counsel for the Chief of Naval Personnel and Acting Senior Legal Counsel.

OJAG Junior Civilian of the Year: Mr. Stephen M. Ball, Claims Investigation and Torts Litigation, Personnel Claims Unit, Norfolk, Virginia  As a Claims Examiner, Mr. Ball demonstrated a thorough understanding of the Personnel Claims Act program, adjudicating 262 claims, recovering over $131,000 from industry, and ultimately returning an additional $19,000 to Service Members. Mr. Ball adjudicates claims from all over the world, including claims for losses and damages pursuant to household good shipments, and collects carrier-recovery claims against transportation service providers.

NLSC Junior Civilian of the Year: Mrs. Erlinda C. Signo-Warren, Region Legal Service Office, Northwest, Branch Office Whidbey Island  As a Legal Assistant, Mrs. Signo-Warren efficiently managed the front desk, ensuring outstanding customer service to over 3,000 clients. She reviewed immigration paperwork for nearly 20 clients, drafted numerous wills and more than 1,000 powers of attorney, and notarized more than 1,800 documents. She also served as alternate Building Manager, Supply Coordinator, Occupational Safety and Health Officer, Mail Manager, and Assistant Suicide Prevention Coordinator.

Bravo Zulu to Mr. Gauzer, Ms. Trucco, Mrs. Signo-Warren and Mr. Ball for their outstanding accomplishments, and thank you to all of our civilian employees for your invaluable contributions!
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