Leaders of the Navy’s Judge Advocate General (JAG) community honored the outstanding service of top enlisted Sailors during a ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard on Feb. 2. Legalman 1st Class (SW/AW/SCW) Kareshia T. Stallworth – currently assigned to USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) – was named the 2017 Legalman of the Year. Legalman 1st Class (SW/AW) Shamia L. Briscoe – currently assigned to Region Legal Service Office Southwest (RLSO SW) – was named the 2017 Naval Legal Service Command (NLSC) Sailor of the Year.
The Navy’s JAG, Vice Adm. James W. Crawford III, was joined at the event by Rear Adm. Carol M. Lynch, deputy JAG (Reserve Affairs and Operations) and deputy commander, NLSC. 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.
“We ask a lot of our legalmen, and these outstanding petty officers are delivering, day in and day out.” Crawford said. “Legalmen are the lifeblood of our community.” Stallworth – who hails from Lancaster, SC. – led nine Sailors in the execution of more than 660 cases. She also mentored three legalmen conversion candidates and facilitated nine career development boards. Her efforts led to one meritorious advancement, 17 enlisted surface and enlisted aviation warfare specialist qualifications, and 50 shipboard qualifications. Additionally, she served as assistant command fitness leader, facilitating 80 hours of fitness enhancement program sessions for 550 Sailors, which reduced the command’s body composition assessment failure total by 30 percent.
“Receiving this honor to me means that my hard work, dedication and being a part of a dynamic team has not been in vain,” Stallworth said. “It is an honor to be recognized by my community for striving to be the best well-rounded Sailor and leader that I can be. It is an even greater honor when my leadership, peers, and junior Sailors look at me and expect excellence. I am proud that they are proud of me!” USS Harry S. Truman provides a wide range of flexible mission capabilities to include maritime security operations, expeditionary power projection, forward naval presence, crisis response, sea control, deterrence, counter-terrorism, information operations and security cooperation.
“LN1 Stallworth is simply our best,” said Capt. Nicholas J. Dienna, commanding officer of USS Harry S. Truman. “Her sustained superior performance, exceptional managerial skills, and strong decisive leadership are the best the nation and the Navy have to offer.”
Briscoe – who hails from Brea, Calif. – is currently the leading petty officer and staff judge advocate paralegal. Her leadership of nine Sailors resulted in one being selected as Blue Jacket of the Quarter, two receiving associate’s degrees, three pursuing bachelor’s degrees, and three receiving Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medals. She processed more than 290 cases and supported 75 tenant commands with 754 command service calls. She organized the first administrative separation bootcamp, training 21 legal representatives from 14 commands. While assigned to trial department, she managed 31 cases, prepared 25 discovery requests, and drafted 17 charge sheets.
“Being nominated as NLSC Sailor of the Year is humbling,” Briscoe said. “I would have never in a million years guessed that I would be placed in this position. It just goes to show that doing the little things everyday matter.”
RLSO SW provides all prosecution, staff judge advocate, command legal advice, environmental law, and legal assistance services to Navy personnel and commands under the cognizance of Commander, Navy Region Southwest, a six-state area of responsibility supporting 610 ashore and afloat commands.
“LN1 Briscoe immediately stood out amongst her peers when I took command in 2016, a feat even more impressive given that she is located in a remote detachment,” said Capt. Meg Larrea, commanding officer of RLSO SW. “She has my absolute trust in everything she does – I wish I had a command full of LN1 Briscoes!”
In November, a preliminary board selected the top three finalists in each category. There were 26 legalmen nominated for Legalman of the Year and 13 Sailors were nominated for NLSC Sailor of the Year.
“I am honored to serve alongside Sailors who are committed to excellence and devoted to duty,” said NLSC Command Master Chief Jondell Ritchie. “Thank you for making lasting, positive contributions to the Navy JAG community.”
The six finalists traveled to Washington, D.C. this week for the final board, and they also toured the White House, U.S. Capitol, Supreme Court, FBI Headquarters, and the Pentagon, where they met with Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Steven S. Giordano's staff. In addition to Stallworth, the Legalman of the Year finalists were Legalman 1st Class (SW/AW) Diamond Harris, USS Frank Cable (AS 40), and Legalman 1st Class (SW/AW/IW) Chardae Longshore, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). In addition to Briscoe, the NLSC Sailor of the Year finalists were Legalman 1st Class (AW) Marion Evans, Defense Service Office Pacific, and Legalman 1st Class (SW/AW) Chen Nee, RLSO Japan.