Capt. Art Record, deputy assistant judge advocate general (Criminal Law Division), received the Outstanding Military Service Career Judge Advocate Award and Lt. Thomas Caruso, staff judge advocate at Naval Submarine Support Command Pearl Harbor, received the Outstanding Young Military Lawyer Award at the 2017 American Bar Association (ABA) Annual Meeting in New York on Aug. 11.
The ABA Outstanding Military Service Career Judge Advocate Award, sponsored by the Standing Committee on Armed Forces Law, is presented annually to one judge advocate from each service who has distinguished themselves over the course of a military career.
“I appreciate the opportunity to receive this award, and I recognize that any award, especially one covering a whole career, reflects the great men and women of our Navy and our legal community with whom I've had the opportunity to serve,” said Record. "Ashore, afloat, at home, deployed and overseas, I have always been amazed at the talent, passion, patriotism, and service of our Sailors, officers, and civilians. They exemplify the JAG Corps' motto: "Navy JAG Community - Dedicated to Service, Committed to Excellence," and this award really is a reflection on the accomplishments of our team."
Record, a native of Clinton, La., currently leads a team of military and civilian personnel providing advice on criminal law and policy questions to Navy leadership. His duties also include representing the Navy as a voting member of the Joint Services Committee on Military Justice. Record began his legal career at Naval Legal Service Office Central, Detachment Gulfport. He then transferred to the Office of the Judge Advocate General ("OJAG"), Criminal Law Policy Division, where he served as a staff attorney and working group member of the Joint Services Committee on Military Justice. During this tour, Record was detailed to the National Security Case Commission, which spent three months reviewing how the Navy prosecutes and defends such cases. He also served as staff judge advocate to Commander, Carrier Strike Group Ten, making a Sixth and Fifth Fleet deployment embarked in USS Harry S Truman. He deployed to Iraq as the Rule of Law Division Chief for U.S. Forces Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.
The Outstanding Young Military Lawyer Award is awarded jointly by the ABA Young Lawyer’s Division and the Judge Advocate’s Association, and recognizes the contributions of attorneys from each uniformed service based upon professional accomplishment, community service, leadership, and the development of subordinates.
“In the past two years at Region Legal Service Office Mid-Atlantic, I had the privilege of working with some outstanding officers at the very beginning of their career,” said Cmdr. David Lee, former Legal Assistance Department Head for Region Legal Service Office Mid-Atlantic. "Even when compared with this talented group, Tom Caruso stood out for his relentless drive and dedication to serve others. He performed brilliantly regardless of his assignment, and his accomplishments remind me daily that even one person can make a tremendous difference."
Caruso served for the past two years at Region Legal Service Office Mid-Atlantic and Defense Service Office Southeast. In that role, he provided military justice and command advice to Navy commands across a 20-state region. A trusted attorney and counselor, Caruso served as the staff judge advocate to major commands including the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Naval Air Station Norfolk, and Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, among others.
“I am incredibly humbled to be selected as the Navy's Outstanding Young Military Lawyer, and it was an honor to be mentioned with such an amazing group of officers,” said Caruso. "As rewarding as it is to be recognized, the true reward was the opportunity to assist so many Sailors and commands over the past two years. Any success I was recognized for is truly a product of my peers, who trained and mentored me, and my leadership, who fostered an environment of trust to allow junior officers to substantially contribute to the mission."
The awards were presented at the Keithe E. Nelson Memorial Military Law Luncheon, an event honoring the legacy of Major General Keithe E. Nelson who served as the ninth United States Air Force Judge Advocate General.