Reservist

ISS3 2018

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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RJAG training designed to meet critical need for disaster support Story by Cmdr. Scott Hale After a year of unprecedented demand for legal support in response to national contingencies, 37 members of the Coast Guard's Reserve Judge Advocate General (RJAG) program gathered at Headquarters in April for five days of intensive training. The Judge Advocate General of the Coast Guard, Rear Adm. Steven Andersen welcomed attendees, thanked them for their commitment to proficiency and readiness and reinforced his vision for the program. Andersen noted that Reserve judge advocates make up almost 25 percent of the Coast Guard JAG military workforce and are critical to meeting the high demand for legal support during contingency operations, especially during the 2017 hurricane response. The goals of the seminar were for attorneys to attain the Contingency Missions Lawyer (CONT-LAW) competency and yeomen to earn the Documentation Unit Leader (DUL) qualification. The seminar exceeded all expectations—17 attorneys and seven members completing their respective competencies and qualifications, more than doubling the program's competency attainment score to an extraordinary 80 percent. Demonstrating true integration, active duty members and members outside the RJAG billets joined the training and earned competencies and qualifications as well. In addition to focused training modules, attendees had the unique opportunity to visit FEMA Headquarters and speak to agency attorneys while touring their command center. The group also heard from John Havranek, associate general counsel for operations and enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security, who discussed unique legal challenges encountered during contingencies. "The JAG and RJAG have built a tremendous partnership," said Calvin Lederer, deputy JAG. "We look forward to meeting any challenge that may lie ahead. Together, we are ready to meet the needs of our service." This program remains a critical and relevant legal force in garrison, ready to provide incident commanders legal advice during a myriad of contingency operations. Equally important, RJAGs play a critical legal assistance role providing advice and claims support to Coast Guard members affected by disaster. For example, during the last hurricane season, contingency response attorneys logged over 550 cases supporting affected personnel. Capt. Michael Barton, senior reserve officer at the RJAG, closed the week-long seminar, and he charged members to hone their legal skills and maintain their readiness posture to ensure they remain ready to meet the needs of the Coast Guard. Mr. Daniel Stoner, left, discusses qualifications for the ICS-based competency Documentation Unit Leader with Chief Petty Officers Jon Dyer and Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Webb. Seven yeoman became DUL qualified at the annual conference. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Amy Haley. The members of the RJAG hold a one-week, all-hands conference annually. Here, they discuss lessons learned from the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Photo by Cmdr. Scott Hale. 12 RESERVIST � Issue 3 • 2018

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