Earlier this year, Lt. Cmdr. Catherine T. (Katie) McMahon – a member of the Navy JAG community – was named a 2020 Young Alumni/Alumnae of Excellence Award recipient by her alma mater, the University of Georgia (UGA) Law School.
McMahon – who currently serves in Rota, Spain as a victims' legal counsel (VLC) representing victims of sexual assault – was recognized for her commitment and dedication to both her country and her law school. The awards ceremony, previously scheduled to take place in March, was cancelled due to COVID-19. However, UGA has publicly saluted McMahon and her career achievements via social media and website announcements.
"I am honored and humbled to be selected for this award,” said McMahon, a Georgia native. “UGA Law has always held a special place in my heart (my dad graduated from UGA Law School in 1979), and it is my privilege to be able to give back to the school that helped shape me into the lawyer, officer, and person I am today.”
“I am also thankful that the Navy JAG community allows me to recruit at UGA so we can bring more Bulldogs into our Corps. GO DAWGS!” she added.
Earlier in her professional career, while McMahon was working as a civilian at the Defense Intelligence Agency, she deployed for one year to Baghdad, Iraq in an intelligence billet. At the conclusion of her assignment, in 2008, she received both the Civilian Expeditionary Medal and the Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award for her work at the Joint Document and Media Exploitation Center on Camp Slayer.
In 2011, McMahon graduated from UGA with a juris doctor degree. During her law school studies, McMahon served as president of the Military Justice Society, a member of the mock trial team, a member of the Honor Court, and an editor on the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law. She also was a recipient of the Morton and Payne Law Scholarship.
After joining the Navy JAG Corps, McMahon reported to her first duty station at Region Legal Service Office Southwest in San Diego in April 2012. In May 2013, she transferred to Defense Service Office West. In March 2014, McMahon reported to the Region Legal Service Office Japan branch office in Diego Garcia as the installation’s staff judge advocate. In April 2015, McMahon reported to Region Legal Service Office Southeast, in Jacksonville, Fla., where she served as trial counsel. In June 2018, she reported to Rota, Spain as the VLC.
“Katie is a stellar officer, teammate, and VLC Program contributor.,” said Charlotte Cluverius, deputy chief of staff for the JAG community’s VLC Program. “She hit the ground running in her first week in Rota as a brand new VLC when she had to quickly coordinate with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service to advise multiple victims from one command in a fast-breaking case. Of course, she managed it brilliantly and has continued to build strong relationships on the ground and provide exceptional services to her clients.”
Congratulations, Lt. Cmdr. McMahon!