On May 13, during a virtual ceremony, Navy JAG community member Cmdr. Craig Thedwall, who currently serves as the Navy Region Northwest environmental counsel, was presented the Richard W. Eddy Environmental Achievement Award.
Twenty years ago, the “Eddy Award” was established to recognize outstanding performance and invaluable assistance in support of the Naval Litigation Office (NLO) during environmental litigation. Mr. Eddy served as the assistant director of the NLO from 1987 to 1999. The virtual ceremony recognizing Thedwall was conducted by Mr. Craig D. Jensen, associate general counsel (litigation) at NLO.
“I was completely surprised by this award,” said Thedwall. “I’m surrounded by outstanding people in the Northwest, including Lt. Cmdr. James Carson, and lots of others have taught me how to practice environmental law, including Capt. Joan Malik and Ms. Cara Johnson.”
“Environmental cases involve lots of people; not just lawyers but scientists, engineers, biologists, and planners. It feels great to be on such a strong team,” he added.
Thedwall, a native of Indianapolis, Ind., graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2003 and subsequently served two tours and two deployments as a surface warfare officer onboard USS Carney (DDG-64). He was selected for the Law Education Program and received his Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 2010.
Later that year, Thedwall assumed duties as the officer in charge at Naval Legal Service Office Pacific Detachment Guam. In 2013, he reported as staff judge advocate to Commander Submarine Group 10 in King’s Bay, Ga. He then deployed as the staff judge advocate to Commander Task Force 51 and Commander 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade in Bahrain. He served as the flag secretary to the JAG in Washington D.C., and, in 2018, he earned a Masters of Law degree in environmental law from Vermont Law School.
Thedwall received the 2020 Eddy Award for his tireless work defending Growler aircraft activities at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island/Naval Outlying Field Coupeville in Washington State. In response to contentious opposition to existing and increasing Growler operations, Thedwall established a close, collaborative working relationship with NLO and other stakeholders, which enabled quick turnaround and alignment on important factual and policy issues. He expertly managed litigation holds, document collection and transfer, client coordination, and development of comprehensive and persuasive legal memoranda and declarations.
“Cmdr. Thedwall’s diligence, trusted relationship with his clients, and thoughtful legal counsel have put the Navy in the best possible position to defend against these claims,” said Jensen.
Thedwall’s achievements also were applauded by the General Counsel of the Navy, who called him a great attorney and American.
“Cmdr. Thedwall’s hard work is not only a credit to himself, but to Navy JAG Corps and the entire Navy Marine Corps legal family,” said General Counsel Robert J. Sander.