News | Feb. 15, 2022

2020 and 2021 Judge Advocate Award Winners Celebrated

By Navy JAG Corps Public Affairs

In December, the Judge Advocates Association (JAA) named four Navy judge advocates as recipients of the organization’s 2020 and 2021 JAA Outstanding Career Armed Services Attorney Awards.

JAG community members Cmdr. Tracy Reynolds and Reserve Cmdr. Janelle Kuroda received 2021 awards.  Their colleagues, Cmdr. Timothy M. Flintoft and Reserve Capt. Eric M. Pedersen, received 2020 awards.  All four awardees were celebrated at a banquet in Washington, D.C.
 
The JAA Outstanding Career Armed Services Attorney Awards recognize outstanding contributions to the U.S. armed forces by career attorneys serving as judge advocates.  The JAG from each branch of service, including the Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, participates in the awardee selection process.  Each successful nominee has a demonstrated record of outstanding professional accomplishments, service to community, service to the legal profession, and development of subordinates.
 
“I am humbled and honored by my selection for this award.  It is a testament to those who have guided and supported me along the way; in particular, my wife, Kate, and three daughters, as well as Navy and JAG community leadership, fellow judge advocates, and the many Legalmen and civilians I have had the privilege to serve alongside,” said Flintoft, who currently serves as SJA for the Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare.  “I am grateful to each of you for your mentorship, leadership, and for being a part of this amazing journey.”
 
A native of Caro, Mich., Flintoft enlisted in the Navy in May 1995.  During his three years as an enlisted Sailor, he completed two Western Pacific cruises as a Gunner's Mate on board the USS Reuben James (DD 245).  Today, Flintoft leverages his enlisted experience to lead and mentor colleagues through their own personal and professional development.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Saginaw Valley State University and his Juris Doctor degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.  He later earned a Master of Laws degree at Columbia Law School in 2014.
 
As a judge advocate, Flintoft has completed a wide range of assignments.  In 2005, he was among the first to raise his hand for an individual augmentation assignment to Iraq.  In 2010, he served as SJA for Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Force Fifth/Seventh Fleet and Commander, Fleet Air Forward in Atsugi, Japan.  During that time, he began integrating and augmenting junior legal personnel into operational exercises, simultaneously supporting their career development and ensuring the legal team could better support the commands if contingency operations began.
 
Pedersen – Flintoft’s fellow 2020 JAA Outstanding Career Armed Services Attorney Award recipient – currently serves as executive officer of the legal team supporting Commander, Naval Reserve Forces Command.  Pedersen was born and raised in Chicago, Ill.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Sam Houston State University and a Juris Doctor degree from Gonzaga University School of Law.  He subsequently received his Master of Laws degree from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he also obtained a certificate of study in national security law.
 
Pederson served as an active-duty judge advocate from 2001 to 2009, completing tours as a prosecutor, an SJA for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and a legal advisor to the Department of Defense Criminal Investigation Task Force.  After separating from active duty, he joined the Navy Reserve Law Program.  In his civilian capacity, he is the assistant counsel with the Navy Office of the General Counsel at Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest in Bangor, Wash.
 
Reynolds, who received one of the 2021 JAA Outstanding Career Armed Services Attorney Awards, currently serves as the Fleet Judge Advocate to Commander, U.S. Second Fleet.  She currently is earning a remote doctoral degree in maritime and space law through the University of Adelaide.  She graduated in May 2016 from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University with a Master of Laws degree.  She received a Master of Arts degree from the Naval War College in June 2015, and she completed her Juris Doctor degree from Saint Louis University School of Law in 2004.
 
“The award was a surprise; I am definitely humbled and a bit overwhelmed to be included with so many judge advocates I admire,” said Reynolds.
 
Reynolds has completed numerous sea, operational, and overseas assignments, including tours at U.S. Fleet Forces Command/Naval Forces NORTHCOM-Joint Forces Maritime Combatant Commander (JFMCC) NORTHCOM/Naval Forces STRATCOM-JFMCC STRATCOM; Commander, Carrier Strike Group One, embarked upon USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70); and Commander, Navy Forces/Navy Region Japan; among others.  Her shore tours include assignments at U.S. Fleet Forces Command; Naval Special Warfare Command at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado; Naval Special Warfare Group Four at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek Fort Story; and Naval Legal Service Office, North Central.
 
Reynolds is a prominent presence within the JAG community, often handpicked to serve as a speaker at outreach events.  For example, last year, she delivered a “JAG Corps 10” presentation via Zoom to professionally recommended Navy JAG Corps accessions and alternates.  In her current positon, she has led the charge during the challenging COVID-19 pandemic to ensure humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, as well as foreign disaster relief efforts, complied with applicable laws and regulations.
 
Kuroda – Reynolds’ fellow 2021 award recipient – currently is on recall orders to active duty, serving as the deputy SJA for Commander, Navy Region Northwest Reserve Component Command in Everett, Wash.  She also is a member of the Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command’s Reserve legal team, where she has served as the Navy Reserve Law Program Recruiting & Accessions Department Head and fulfilled other critical roles.
 
Kuroda graduated from the University of Hawaii at Hilo in 2001 and Boston College Law School in 2004, where she served as President of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association.  She was commissioned through the JAG Corps Student Program in May 2004 and transferred to the Reserve component from active duty in 2013.
 
In her civilian career, she serves as a senior advisor at the U.S. Department of State in the Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues, where she has advanced legal reforms to promote women's economic empowerment.
 
Bravo Zulu to the awardees!
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