The 2015 Legalman of the Year and Naval Legal Service Command Sailor of the Year were announced during a ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard, Jan. 29.
Legalman 1st Class (SW/AW) Calvin Gordon, from Saint Petersburg, Fla., was named the 2015 Legalman of the Year and Legalman 1st Class (SW) Angie Ruiz-Diaz, from the Dominican Republic, was named the 2015 Naval Legal Service Command Sailor of the Year.
Rear Adm. John Hannink, commander, Naval Legal Service Command, recognized the six finalists for their accomplishments and the impact they have had on not only the JAG Corps community but the entire Navy.
"It truly is a special day for all of our finalists," Hannink said. "The future of our legalman community is strong and the JAG Corps is in good hands for the foreseeable future."
Gordon is currently assigned to the USS Wasp (LHD-1) as an independent duty legalman and executive department leading petty officer.
"This honor is a direct reflection of the hard work and dedication of my fellow Sailors and our commitment to serving our country with all we have,” Gordon said.
Ruiz-Diaz is currently serving as the Region Legal Service Office (RLSO) Midwest command services leading petty officer responsible for overseeing military justice cases for eight commands which are responsible for the initial accession training of 20,000 sailors annually.
"Being recognized as the Naval Legal Service Command Sailor of the Year means the world to me," Ruiz-Diaz said. “Winning will truly be motivation for all my Sailors to strive to be the best. This is in honor of them having believed in me and all of their hard work.”
The six finalists traveled to Washington, D.C. for the final board and toured the White House, the U.S. Capitol, and the Pentagon where they met with Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens.
“In December, a preliminary board was convened to select the top three finalists in each category," said Master Chief Legalman Jondell Ritchie, Command Master Chief, Naval Legal Service Command. “There were 18 legalmen nominated for JAG Legalman of the Year and 14 Sailors were nominated for Naval Legal Service Command Sailor of the Year. The finalists represent the best of the Sailors serving in the Navy JAG Corps.”
The Legalman of the Year finalists were: Legalman 1st Class (SW/AW) Matthew Gammon, USS Boxer (LHD-4) and Legalman 1st Class (SW) Giannina Gutierrez, Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. The Sailor of the Year finalists were: Legalman 1st Class (AW) Rebecca Duclayan, RLSO Northwest and Legalman 1st Class (SW/AW) Michael Montieth, Naval Justice School. Legalmen work under the supervision of attorneys, preparing and processing legal documents in the areas of military justice, legal assistance, and administrative, civil and operational law.