Lt. Savannah Smidt, Lt. Nic Walker, Lt. Cmdr. Ben Adams, Cmdr. Sara de Groot, and Cmdr. Bill Lucier, were promoted during a ceremony in the courtroom at Region Legal Service Office Southeast (RLSO SE) in Jacksonville, Fla., on September 5, 2017.
Capt. Pat Gibbons, the commanding officer of RLSO SE, presided over the ceremony. During the ceremony, Capt. Stephen Barnett, Chief of Staff, Navy Region Southeast, administered the oath to Lucier. Lucier’s wife and two sons helped pin on his new rank. Also in attendance was Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, Commander, Navy Region Southeast (CNRSE).
Lucier thanked his family, RLSO personnel, and RLSO and CNRSE leadership. He also emphasized teamwork and mentorship. Gibbons then administered the oath to the rest of the promotees. Smidt’s mother and fiancée pinned on her new rank. She thanked her mother and her fiancée, as well as the trial and staff judge advocate teams. She also reminded fellow first tour judge advocates to take advantage of every opportunity they can because they have the flexibility to do so at this point in their career. Walker’s husband pinned on his new rank, accompanied by Walker’s parents. He thanked his husband, parents, and various mentors and colleagues who have helped him in his first year at RLSO SE. Adam’s wife pinned on his new rank, with their daughter. He thanked his family for their support and RLSO SE colleagues for their guidance and assistance along the way.
de Groot’s husband and two children pinned on her new rank. She thanked all of her department heads, executive officers, and commanding officers who have allowed her to make mistakes along the way and to learn from them.
In her remarks, she mentioned that she hopes to contribute to others’ success by supporting them through their learning process and reminded her children to not allow anyone to put them in a box based on race, gender, etc., inspiring attendees to strive to achieve whatever they want.