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News | Sept. 28, 2021

Judge Advocate Wins ABA Outstanding Young Military Lawyer Award

By Navy JAG Corps Public Affairs

The American Bar Association (ABA) has awarded Lt. Michelle Flash – a Navy JAG community member currently serving as staff judge advocate at Naval Special Warfare Group 10 – the 2021 ABA Outstanding Young Military Lawyer Award.
This award – which is a joint effort of the ABA Young Lawyer Division and Judge Advocate Association – recognizes the legal contributions of one young judge advocate from each U.S. branch of the armed forces.
In a virtual ceremony held last month, Flash was recognized for her achievement by the 44th judge advocate general of the Navy, Vice Adm. John G. Hannink (ret).
“On behalf of the Navy JAG Corps, I am proud and privileged to present this year’s Outstanding Young Military Lawyer Award to Lieutenant Michelle Flash,” said Hannink.  “In her service as a lawyer, an officer and a servant leader of distinction, Lt. Flash embodies honor, courage and commitment; qualities that we in the Navy JAG Corps and as naval officers strive for every day.”
A skilled and trusted attorney, Flash previously has been hand-selected for several key positions, from an advisor on a tri-lateral war game with the Naval War College, to an advisor for a one-star admiral during a nation-level two-week exercise orchestrated by U.S. Fleet Forces. 
Upon receiving the reward, Flash shared how incredibly honored and humbled she felt to have been selected. 
“It has been my privilege to serve in the JAG Corps for the past seven years, and I have had the immense pleasure of working with some incredible judge advocate mentors, including my current supervisor, Lt. Cmdr. Joanna Gonzales, who nominated me for this award,” said Flash.
Originally from Ithaca, N.Y., Flash attended the George Washington University and received her bachelor’s degree in International Affairs, Global Development and Socio-Cultural Anthropology in 2010.   Flash attended American University Washington College of Law and graduated cum laude in 2014. She is licensed in New York State and commissioned through the JAG Corps Student Program.
Before her current assignment, Flash served as staff judge advocate at Submarine Squadron Six in Norfolk, Va., from March 2018 to June 2020, where she also completed a nine-month individual augmentee assignment at Joint Task Force Guantanamo in March 2018.  At her first duty station, she served as a first tour judge advocate in Bremerton, Wash., at Region Legal Service Office Northwest.  During her time in the Northwest, she also served as a Special U.S. Assistant Attorney, and she handled more than 350 cases, including a fully contested trial.
In her current assignment, Flash makes a special effort to assist with Powers of Attorneys for deploying members when they have last-minute requests, and to organize professional development opportunities for the legal and operational staff.  She handles a growing portfolio of operational and intelligence law in a dynamic and shifting area of operation.
“Being a part of the Navy JAG Corps has been a rewarding experience, especially over the past several months working as a deployed staff judge advocate for a tactical command in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, where we face a complex mission.  I look forward to continuing to serve and be a part of the Navy JAG community,” said Flash.
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