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News | Nov. 19, 2021

Judge Advocate is the “Voice" of the Shock Trials

By Navy JAG Corps Public Affairs

This summer, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) successfully completed its Full Ship Shock Trials (FSST).  JAG Community member Lt. Abbie Ortman – who was serving as the discipline officer, or “mini judge,” aboard the Ford – served as the “voice” of the FSST.
FSST validates a ship’s shock hardness and ability to sustain operations in a simulated combat environment using live ordnance.  During the four-month testing evolution, the Ford withstood the impact of three 40,000-pound underwater blasts, released at distances progressively closer to the ship.
Ortman, who also qualified as officer of the deck underway, was hand-selected to serve as the “voice” of the FSST.  In this important role, she was on the bridge during each shock trial shot.  She was responsible for the lengthy countdown to every explosion.
Her supervisor, Lt. Cmdr. Elizabeth J. Jarczyk, the Ford’s command judge advocate, described the critical role Ortman played.
“Abbie was responsible for the lengthy countdown to every explosion,” said Jarczyk.  “She kept the ship on task using a checklist that could change in a split second, and she kept her cool through each high-stress evolution.  She closely watched the commanding officer and the FSST team director for the go-no go criteria before eventually calling out: ‘10, 9, 8, 7, 6, --, 4, 3, 2, 1, Shoot!’”
In addition to Ortman and Jarczyk, several JAG Community members were aboard during the Ford’s FSST, including Lt. Ryan Feingold, Chief Legalman Justin Hood, Legalman 1st Class Rhianne Poff, Legalman 2nd Class Julio Solares, Legalman 2nd Class Fabian Orozco, and Legalman 2nd Class Abraham Cardenas.  In a video compilation of this historic and exciting event, Ortman’s countdown can be heard.
Ortman grew up in Hillsboro, Ore.  In May 2016, she graduated with her juris doctor and mater’s of science degrees from the University of Oregon School of Law.  Ortman joined Region Legal Service Office Hawaii in October 2017 and completed the First Tour Judge Advocate program in April 2019.  Ortman subsequently worked from April to October 2019 as the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam staff judge advocate.  She was assigned to the Ford in October 2019.  She currently serves as a victims’ legal counsel in Norfolk, Va.
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