Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (SW/FMF)(MCPON) Joe Campa, Jr. recently selected LN1(SW/AW) Cindy Rodriguez to join his staff for a four year tour.
Much of LN1 Rodriguez’s role is the establishment and constant maintenance of strong congressional relationships. Her duties include research and briefings for the MCPON on new legislation that will affect the Sailors and their families, current events, attrition status, child care, housing, health care, reserve force, and issues involving the Global War on Terrorism.
“When I was told I would be the Legalman for MCPON staff, I felt ready for the challenge as an independent duty Legalman. However, it’s not just the typical legal issues that I deal with, it includes a little bit of everything,” said LN1 Rodriguez.
During the month of January, 95 percent of her work was focused on preparing MCPON to testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veteran Affairs.
“When I became part of MCPON’s staff, my first task was preparing for the congressional hearing on military construction. I must admit, I felt a little lost because I did not have any type of legislative background. But the staff here, JAG Corps, and Legalman Community supported me every step of the way, and we accomplished the mission,” said LN1 Rodriguez. “There have been long working days and a weekend here and there, but every minute has been worth it.”
Her daily tasks vary. At any given time she could be scheduling the MCPON’s appointments to visit the Hill, keeping up with current events and politics, or handling a matter with a Sailor’s family member. LN1 Rodriguez has also accompanied MCPON to office calls with Representatives Kennedy, Crenshaw, Carter, Young, Farr, and Edwards.
“Everyday is a learning experience, and I am enjoying it very much,” said LN1 Rodriguez. “We are truly fortunate to have such great Sailors in our community, and MCPON certainly picked a great Legalman who is dedicated to her work and her service,” said LNCM (SW/AW) Stephen DiStefano, senior enlisted advisor to the JAG.
LN1 Rodriguez was born in Mountain View, California, but raised in Michoacán, Mexico. LN1 Rodriguez began her Navy career as an Operations Specialist. In December 2002, she converted to the Legalman rating. She has recently reported from a tour with Commander Naval Air Forces, San Diego, and an IA in Iraq.
Now that the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction Congressional testimony is over, her primary focus has shifted to ethical issues, legal, and other administrative matters. In her short time with MCPON, LN1 Rodriguez believes she has already learned so much just by listening to MCPON speak with various Congressmen.
“If there is one thing I am sure about, it is that I am in a great place for growth in leadership,” said LN1 Rodriguez.