NAVAL RESERVE FLAGpGRAM 04-01
From: Rear Admiral Steven B. Kantrowitz, JAGC, USNR
To: All Naval Reserve Judge Advocates and Legalmen
Subj: FlagpE-Gram 04-01
Date: 8 March 2004
1. As in the past, this Flag E-Gram will inform you of issues important to our Reserve JAG Corps community.
2. Selection of Captain Norton Joerg for promotion to Rear Admiral (lower half). Many of you have already seen the Website or email announcement, but I want to ensure all are aware. Captain Norton Joerg was selected for promotion from a truly excellent group of Naval Reserve Captains. He currently serves as SJA for REDCOM MIDLANT and as my special assistant for planning. His previous tours include SJA for Naval Expeditionary Logistics Support Force and command of our BUPERS support unit. Captain Joerg served as my XO for three years during my first command tour (VTU (Law) 0413). He is an outstanding judge advocate and leader who has excelled in command and staff positions on active duty and in the Reserve. I know that he will be a superb flag officer and leader of our community.
3. Leadership Training Symposium and Military Law Update Workshops (“MLUWs”). Our SJA/CO Training Symposium was conducted on at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia. We both trained and, operating as our “Board of Directors,” planned our future course. All judge advocates and legalmen should have been briefed by their commanding officers. If not, use the chain of command to request the information.
Please ensure that you request orders to attend the appropriate (based on functional area) MLUW. If your command or Naval Reserve Activity (“NRA”) will not issue orders for you or any other judge advocate or legalman to attend, immediately use the chain of command, and we will assist.
4. Leadership Team. Our team remains the same with one exception of note: LCDR Donna Bartee serves as division director of OJAG, Code 62. She is the link between the active and Reserve partners. As in the past, she helps determine active requirements for Reserve support and plans for meeting these through mobilization, ADSW, ADT/AT, and drills. Captain Joe Twining continues to serve as our Law Program Manager in New Orleans. The one change is that he is now “double-hatted” as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate on the combined, aligned staff in New Orleans. Captain Glenn Gonzalez is the Staff Judge Advocate of the combined staff.
5. Mobilization. As you know, the Navy leadership has attempted to keep Naval Reserve Mobilization numbers as low as possible. This has continued and will likely continue in the future.
In spite of this limitation, our Reserve legalmen and judge advocates are not only supporting our war fighters on a daily basis on drills, AT and ADT – but also in a variety of special assignments. Just within the past week, Captain Teresa Davenport was selected as the Deputy Chief Prosecutor for the Office of Military Commissions. Currently, LN1 Denise Mix, on an active-duty recall, is TAD to the Coalition Provisional Authority legal office in Baghdad. Commander Rob Wyda served with the criminal investigations task force dealing with analysis of terrorist cases. As a volunteer, he served in Afghanistan. All three of them bring great credit to the Naval Reserve legalmen/judge advocate team.
6. Zero-Based Review of the Naval Reserve. Many of you may have heard scuttlebutt about a study that would reduce if not "eliminate" Reserve JAGC billets (including Legalmen). This explains what the situation actually is and provides our best reckoning of what is likely to come.
CNO has in fact asked Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command (FFC) to study the functional alignment of the Reserve component with the active-duty forces. FFC has completed a first-round of data gathering and some initial analysis. The JAGC legal community is part of this study.
The current state of play is that the results of very preliminary data-gathering have been reviewed, and subject-matter experts are working with manpower analysts. NO DECISIONS have been made, and, to date, no decision maker has seen any of the data or analyses.
Relatively soon, the product will be briefed to Admiral Fallon, CFFC. It is likely that more refinements and analysis will take place before any recommendation is made to CNO.
I assure you that those involved in this review have received significant input from both the Reserve and active JAG community, and will continue to receive input throughout the process - a long one, not nearly finished. Whatever the result, we will be heard and act as full participants in the process.
I can also assure you that while we have had and likely will continue to have differences of opinion with those at FFC and in OPNAV who are working these issues, they have no hidden agendas, and are earnestly trying to improve the Navy by better aligning the expertise and strengths of the Reserve component with our active-component counterparts. Your leadership is working diligently to be certain that the staff and decision makers understand and appreciate the unique skill sets (both military specific and technical), experience, flexibility, and dedication of the Naval Reserve’s legalmen and judge advocates. In this regard, I would also like to publicly thank Captain Max Jenkins, SJA, FFC, for his keen advocacy of our program and his efforts to ensure that the active and Reserve JAGC leadership are kept informed on the process.
Finally, if you hear rumors and are concerned, please feel free to use the chain of command to get accurate status on where we are in the process. I would be happy to respond and will also provide interim updates.
7. Article 6 Billet Board (Apply Board). As you know, all commander, captain, and commanding officer billets are selected by board action. As in previous years, I suspect that not all qualified officers will be detailed to billets. That is true in virtually all Reserve officer communities. The best we can do is to select our top officers based upon their records. Again, I encourage all eligible and interested officers to manage their careers properly, to maintain their records carefully and to follow the applicable guidance in the application process.
8. Operational Support—the most important focus we have (Repeated from prior FlagpE-Grams because it is critical): We must continue to focus on real-time support, provided in a customer-friendly manner. AT must be scheduled far in advance and for periods when the supported command can fully utilize the support. There must be no “surprise” judge advocates or legalmen appearing to perform AT, ADT, or IDTT. Communication is critical. If the NRA is seen as a negative factor in mission accomplishment, then the unit leadership must take steps to resolve the issue -- be it lack of IDTT funding, inadequate equipment at the drill site (not the gaining command), or taskings by the NRA that detract from gaining-command support and are not required by higher authority. Again, we need to communicate and attempt to understand the NRA’s perspective and work through a solution. If the matter cannot be resolved at the unit level, please utilize the chain of command so that I can work on a solution. This guidance applies equally to units supporting OJAG, NAMARA, and CIVLAWSUPPACT.
9. Professionalism (Also repeated from prior FlagpE-Grams because of its importance): I have made improving our Navy professionalism a top priority. Captain Mac Carter and I are pleased with the progress, but we still have a way to go. I see too many communications that do not comply with the most basic requirements of Navy correspondence rules and etiquette. If you are unsure, ask someone or consult the appropriate references. Official record maintenance, including microfiche record and personnel summary record (PSR), is also a continuing concern. Lack of attention to your record may result in failure to select for promotion, billets, and other opportunities. We provided detailed instruction regarding this area at last year’s MLUWs. With BUPERS ONLINE and quicker than ever communications with BUPERS in Millington, there are more tools available than ever to present a scrubbed record. Use the chain of command to get the help you need to ensure that your record is accurate and complete.
10. Please continue to focus on two things –mission accomplishment and development of our legalmen and judge advocates. When you need support, please let your leadership know so that we can enable you to get the job done. On behalf of myself and Captain Mac Carter, thank you, your family, and your employer for all that you do for our Navy and our Nation.
11. I request that you forward this FlagpE-Gram to those under your cognizance promptly.
12. God Bless America.
Steven B. Kantrowitz