WASHINGTON, D.C. –
Rear Adm. Mark R. Myers relieved Rear Adm. Les Reardanz as the deputy judge advocate general of the Navy for Reserve Affairs and Operations, and deputy commander of Naval Legal Service Command, at a change of office and retirement ceremony onboard the Washington Navy Yard on Oct. 14.
“[I] know the leadership journey that you are commencing today will contribute substantially to the promise of a warfighting ready, capable, and lethal Reserve force,” said Vice Adm. John B. Mustin, chief of Navy Reserve and commander of the Navy Reserve Force, when addressing Myers during the ceremony. “You are the right person, at the right time and place, for this incredibly important job.”
Myers was nominated to flag rank in March 2022. At that time, he was serving as the Navy Reserve Law Program’s (NRLP) director of Fleet Support, playing an indispensable role in the organization’s response to emergent Fleet legal needs. Myers was promoted to rear admiral (lower half) by Rear Adm. Christopher C. French, deputy judge advocate general of the Navy, during a ceremony earlier this month in his hometown of Dallas, Tex.
In his civilian capacity, Myers is director of Negotiations and Contract Administration with the Allied Pilots Association in Fort Worth, Tex.
In his new position, Myers will lead the NRLP’s Reserve officers and enlisted personnel, ensuring the provision of legal services to commands around the world. NRLP provides crucial support to the Navy Reserve’s overall mission – providing strategic depth and delivering operational capabilities to the Navy and Marine Corps team and joint forces, in times of peace or war.
“When I issued my strategic framework in April of this year, I emphasized our JAG Corps mission – to provide full-spectrum legal services to enable naval and joint operations in support of our national security,” said Vice Adm. Del Crandall, judge advocate general of the Navy, and one of the event’s keynote speakers. “Most importantly I defined the JAG Corps broadly … because we are all Sailors, providing legal services to the Fleet. Notably, I did not call out the Reserve component separately from the active component, because we are one team of warfighters.”
“Mark, welcome to the team,” Crandall said to Myers. “I know you are ready to lead, and I look forward to all that you will accomplish during your tenure.”
Myers holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with an interdepartmental specialization in Organizational Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Juris Doctor degree with a certificate in Governmental Affairs from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.
“Over the last few years … the NRLP has transformed in a way that allowed us not only to stay connected but also to be ready when needed. This was no easy task, and it required us to self-assess, self-correct, and learn. Les made it happen,” said Myers. “One of the things I learned from [Reardanz] is that we all are, indeed, warfighters – unique in our talents, skills, and particular duties, but united in mission and learning together.”
Myers’ command tours include serving as commanding officer of Navy Reserve (NR) U.S. Pacific Fleet Legal, and commanding officer of NR U.S. Fleet Forces Legal. His post-command tours include serving as staff judge advocate of Navy Region Southeast Reserve Component Command, Fort Worth, Tex. He previously was mobilized as a legal advisor to the Office for the Administrative Review of the Detention of Enemy Combatants / Periodic Review Secretariat, and to Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435, Bagram, Afghanistan.
“People who serve the Navy want to serve something greater than themselves. That’s why we remain at the top of the list of the government’s most trusted agencies,” said Reardanz, before directly addressing his colleagues in the audience. “Thank you for investing in our nation, our shipmates, and our fellow citizens. It’s been an honor and a privilege of a lifetime to serve with you and to serve you.”
Reardanz joined the JAG Corps Reserve component in 1991. Among his many noteworthy tours during his 31-year career are an assignment as legal advisor, Combined Security Transition Command, Afghanistan; chief, Rule of Law for International Security Assistance Forces, Afghanistan; and chief, Operational Law at U.S. Central Command (providing legal support to Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom). Before taking the lead of NRLP in 2019, he served as Reserve deputy force judge advocate for commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command and as the NRLP pillar 3 lead (international, environmental, and admiralty law specialties).
There currently are more than 620 Reserve judge advocates and petty officers in the NRLP, practicing in the fields of military justice, national security law, legal assistance, admiralty, and other specialized areas. They are focused on warfighting readiness, serving throughout the U.S. and abroad.