MAYPORT, Fla. –
In late August, Region Legal Service Office Southeast (RLSO SE) hosted a three-day training symposium for the first time since 2019. The learning event was a critical opportunity for judge advocates, Legalmen, and civilian employees spanning a large area of responsibility to reconnect and – as Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday has urged – Get Real, Get Better.
Hailing from Texas, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, and RLSO SE's Cuba offices, personnel assembled onboard Naval Station Mayport, Fla. The evolution began with remarks from Capt. Tanya Cruz, the commanding officer of RLSO SE. She outlined the themes of the week in terms of “C’s” – Connectedness and Communication; Competency Skills and Careers; Culture and Climate; and Care, Commitment, and Comradery.
“Take every opportunity to connect and communicate with each other,” Cruz said. “I encourage us all to get real and get better.”
The learning event included breakout working groups for enlisted personnel, civilians, and officers, and a briefing on the latest command managed equal opportunity updates by Lt. Jay Jayaraman. Chief Legalman (Surface Warfare/Air Warfare/Information Warfare) Chardae Longshore and Legalman 1st Class (Surface Warfare/Air Warfare) Tiffany Williams facilitated an interactive discussion for the Full Speed Ahead Initiative to operationalize a culture of excellence. RLSO SE also personnel received an operational stress control brief, took part in practice-area training breakouts, heard an update on the Navy's new Office of Special Trial Counsel, and acquired insights from the JAG Corps' current Lieutenant Detailer, Lt. Cmdr. Theresa Poindexter.
The week culminated in an award ceremony recognizing the achievements of notable RLSO SE personnel. Those recognized included Jayaraman, as well as Aviation Ordnanceman (Air Warfare) Samantha McElroy and Robyn Baldwin, each of whom received Letters of Commendation for their selections as the Junior Officer of the Quarter, Sailor of the Quarter, and Civilian of the Quarter, respectively. Lt. Brandon Maitlen was recognized for a successful tour as Trial Counsel, and he was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Legalman 1st Class (Surface Warfare/Air Warfare) Breanna Jones was similarly recognized for completing an impressive tour as Trial Paralegal, and also was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Finally, Lt. Andrew Flora, Lt. Aaron Foltz, Legalman 2nd Class Jasmine Tilley, and Jessica Storck each received Letters of Commendation for their planning and execution of the symposium.
RLSO SE covers a large geographical area in the Navy JAG Corps, and supports the operational readiness of the Department of the Navy assets in the Southeastern United States by providing responsive, timely and accurate legal guidance, support services and training in the areas of military justice, legal assistance and administrative law.