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News | Dec. 13, 2017

Chaplain Instructor Shares Expertise with Lawyers

By Lt. Cmdr. Robert W. Peters III

A Naval Chaplaincy School and Center instructor addressed an all-services audience attending the 2017 Integrated Legal Services for Victims Conference Sept. 12.

Lt. Cmdr. Leroy Young was invited to speak on the role of chaplains with sexual assault victims and confidential communication. The annual Navy Judge Advocate General (JAG) conference aims to enhance legal services provided to service members through integrated training and collaboration. “
It was an honor to educate some and remind other legal professionals on the role of chaplains and chaplain assistants in caring for victims of sexual assault,” said Young. Young’s presentation was well received and eye opening.

“It illustrated the importance of us, as judge advocates, cross-training with other Navy communities,” said Lt. Cmdr. Nicholas Kadlec, professional development officer at Region Legal Service Office Naval District Washington. “It also helps us to better understand the services and support chaplains can provide, not only to clients but to others involved in legal processes, including us personally.” Clergy communication privilege and confidentiality was thoroughly discussed.

“Lt. Cmdr. Young’s training helped our attorneys understand the breadth of what is covered by the clergy communications privilege,” said Capt. David Gonzalez, director for the Legal Assistance Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General. “With this training, our attorneys will be better equipped to work with chaplains and help those we serve.”

The Chaplain Corps and the JAG Corps exist to provide important services to military members during their most difficult times. “This direct training was invaluable for our two communities of helping professionals to understand more about one another’s work, and to understand how we can best leverage each other to assist Sailors and Marines in distress,” said Lt. Thomas Au, an action officer assigned to the Legal Assistance Division of the Office of the Judge Advocate General.

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