United states Forces – Iraq
Judge Advocate Gazette Volume 1, Issue 2
USF-I OSJA Welcomes New Staff Judge Advocate!
2d Qtr 2010
Also Inside… Letters FROM the Editors…
“Why I Reenlisted” by SGT Sara Chamberlain
“Why I Reenlisted” by SGT Corinne Ganacias
“TJAG vs. the Volcano”
Air Force Enlisted Feature
COL Pede Farewell
Life in the OSJA
Letters FROM the Editors… From the Desk of the United States Forces – Iraq Staff Judge Advocate It is truly an honor to be selected to serve with the USF-I OSJA team. While I will miss my family, there is no other assignment in the Army JAGC in which I would rather serve. COL Pede and the entire office did a phenomenal job educating me on the history of the organization and the current issues. While no one can replace COL Pede, his staff certainly did their very best in getting me off to a running start. I was also lucky enough to get to all three of the US Divisions in my first three weeks in country. The leadership of each Division applauded the USF-I OSJA team for their support. It is the true measure of success when your subordinate organizations find their higher headquarters a help instead of a
COL Darpino became the USF-I Staff Judge Advocate in late April. hindrance. This also makes me realize what a wonderful team I have the pleasure of joining. Having this assignment and joining this team reminds me how lucky I am. My husband, a fellow COL in the Army JAGC, has always fully supported my career. My daughters, Casey (20) and Kerry (18), also never blink an eye as we ask them to make the sacrifices Service members‟ families endure. Simply stated, I look forward to the next year working and learning from the judge advocates and civilian and enlisted legal professionals that make up this great team. And I thank all those families out there providing the support and enduring the hardship as we serve our great nation and this important mission. Flora D. Darpino COL, U.S. Army Staff Judge Advocate United States Forces – Iraq
COL Flora D. Darpino
Letters FROM the Editors… The shadows are on the darker side Behind those doors, it’s a wilder ride You can make or break, win or lose It’s the chance you take, when the heat’s on you. - Glenn Frey, “The Heat is On” (1984) As I began to consider the comments I would make in this second iteration of the USF-I OSJA newsletter since our arrival in the Iraqi Theater, one overriding thought prevailed: the heat is on (thanks to LTC Rob Vasquez who then suggested the song lyrics above). The heat is on both literally, in terms of the rapidly rising temperatures outside, and figuratively, in the ever-increasing amount of unique and complex issues we address every day in a variety of the legal disciplines in which we practice. It has been over two months since III Corps‟ official relief in place and transfer of authority (RIP/TOA) from I Corps on 13 March. The dust storms are a little more frequent now, the days are getting longer, the temperatures are consistently in the triple digits, and the USF-I command and staff is running on all cylinders. Yeah, the heat is definitely on….. Most of our Corps OSJA troopers that make up part of the USF-I team have been here for over three months and the workload and the pace have been, in a word, amazing. Saying that, I‟m sure that more than a few of you wonder exactly what your loved ones are working on during a typical “day in Iraq.” Glad you asked…. Here‟s a sampling of just a few of your soldiers‟ major accomplishments over the last three months:
- The Detainee Operations Division provided key support to the US Forces (USF) transfer of the Camp Taji Detention Facility to the Government of Iraq (GoI), along with well over two thousand detainees. We now have one remaining
detention facility to turn over to the Iraqis, which will allow USF to essentially relinquish detention operations – a huge step toward completing our overall mission in Iraq. - Team OPLAW supported the efforts of US and Iraqi forces that managed to prevent countless attempts to disrupt the historic 7 March elections, where a higher percentage of Iraqis voted than Americans in the 2008 election. They also supported partnered operations designed to remove the two senior leaders of AQI, and many others, helping to throw this lethal organization into confusion and disarray. - The Client Services Division hosted an Iraq-wide Claims Conference, with a focus on facilitating the Retroactive Claims process, which reimburses those Iraqi citizens whose land was occupied by USF at some point during the last seven years. Incredibly, this relatively small section has processed over $156 million in claims since their arrival!
COL Stuart Risch (left center), CPT Elliott Potter (right) and OSJA linguist Nahrin Kifarkis (far left) join, from the Iraqi Army JAG Corps, MAJ Najdef (left center), Brigade General Nasir (center) and COL Ali (right center) in front of the III Corps “Phantom Warrior” in the Al Faw Palace rotunda.
- The Military Justice Division secured a conviction in a high profile and complex court-martial involving over 30 out-of-country witnesses, and continues to process countless justice actions designed to maintain both the good order and discipline and health, safety, and welfare of all forces in Iraq – a monumental task. - The Contract and Fiscal Law Division continued to review hundreds of funding requests, enabling USF to execute extremely critical initiatives with the GoI and our interagency partners. Without their phenomenal efforts to find innovative, yet authorized and appropriate, methods of supporting these requests, many vital operations would have come to a screeching halt. (Letter continued on next page)
Letters FROM the Editors… (Letter continued from previous page)
“Our advice, assistance, and support will go far toward helping the Iraqi people establish a new and effective government, which will allow Iraq to develop as a sovereign, stable nation.” - The Administrative Law Division, in addition to its huge daily
workload on ethics, command policies, personnel, MWR, and FOIA-related issues, continued to “slog” through an amazing number of high-profile investigations while simultaneously supporting USF efforts to draw down our forces and equipment and turn over our bases to the GoI. Each passing month also brings more farewells, as we lose good friends and great colleagues from the USF-I OSJA team upon their redeployment. However, we receive replacements for some, and these individuals are highly motivated and equally skilled, so the extraordinary work continues. The good news is that we remain on track to reduce the number of overall forces in Iraq from close to 95,000 to fewer than 50,000 by August 31, along with all related equipment and support structure. We remain cautiously optimistic over the final certification of Iraq‟s election results and the formation of their government over the next few months. Our advice, assistance, and support will go far toward helping the Iraqi people establish a new and effective government, which will allow Iraq to develop as a sovereign, stable nation. As you can imagine, all of these accomplishments reflect an incredible amount of hard work, mission focus, and dedication to duty – truly selfless service that humbles me every day. This incredible team of OSJA Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and civilians do so much to support the overall USF-I efforts…and I am honored and fortunate to be among them. As such, as the temperatures continue to rise, I am confident that our Phantom Warrior troopers and the entire USF-I legal team will continue to bring their own heat to the fight, not missing one step in the process. As we pass the three and fourmonth milestones in this year-long deployment, it means that R & R leave is right around the corner for many -- so you will see your warrior soon. Again, rest assured that all are safe, well cared for, and continuing to achieve exceptional results in all they do. You can be rightfully proud of them, as we are of you. I‟ll close with the same comments I wrote in the first newsletter, as they best capture how we feel about those we left back home: we are grateful to you for sacrificing so much, and for your love and support, all of which carries us through our daily tasks. Together, we will approach the coming year mindful of the sacrifices of those who came before us, hopeful of the promise that the future holds for the people of Iraq, and committed to ultimate mission accomplishment….in part because we know that completing our mission, with honor and success, brings us safely back home to each of you.
Greetings from OSJA Forward: There's a lot happening in our huge, diverse JAG office outside of the main office at Victory Base. Those of us "outliers" live and work in very different and exciting locations, running the gamut from a small "hometown-like" FOB in Baghdad (FOB Shield) to the "Emerald Palace" (or "the DisneyWorld") of Iraq (the US Embassy). Off of VBC, we make up that portion of the office which practices law in the non-traditional JAG areas--Rule of Law; the Security Agreement Secretariat; Foreign Assistance Division; the Central Criminal Court of Iraq Liaison Office; and the Law and Order Task Force. These are OSJA divisions that you will not see at any post, camp or station, and most of our efforts are centered upon helping the Government of Iraq to create fully functioning law and order and national security systems.
LAOTF at FOB Shield ("the best kept secret in Baghdad") helps the Iraqi courts by assisting in the prosecution of terrorists. CCCI-Liaison, located in the International Zone (f/k/a the Green Zone) at FOB Union III, does essentially the same mission, just at the special Central Criminal Court. The Rule of Law Division at the US Embassy, Baghdad, works closely with US Forces and Embassy personnel to help Iraq's courts, cops, and corrections systems to succeed. The Foreign Assistance Division at FOB Union III provides advice to the USFI organization responsible for training, mentoring, advising, and equipping the Iraqi military and police forces to enable them to operate effectively without US assistance. The Security Agreement Secretariat provides legal advice to all US Forces on the terms of the special international agreement (like a Status of Forces Agreement, or SOFA) that we have with the Government of Iraq. All in all, we're a very busy, very active, and quite unique group, and we make up almost half of the office. Now you know what we do and where we are located. Next month we'll introduce you to a few of our more special personalities! To our Families and friends back home, thank you for your commitment and all of your support. We miss you. God Bless. Colonel Herb Ford
PHANTOM WARRIORS! VICTORY THRU JUSTICE! Colonel Stu Risch
USF-I OSJA Forward
Letters FROM the Editors… Command Paralegal Update Greetings to all at the “Great Place” and other great places, from “The Land Between The Rivers.” First I want to thank every military Wife, Husband, Mother, Father, Son, Daughter, Sister, Brother, Family Member and Friend for supporting us as we serve our nation in combat. It is a great pleasure for me to be able to say, that even with the rapid pace of the mission here at United States Forces-Iraq, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines within the office are in good health and spirits. The past weeks have been fast-paced and filled with challenges and triumphs. We hosted the Judge Advocate General of the Army, the Command Sergeant Major of the Judge Advocate‟s Legal Center and School and the officer and enlisted assignment managers; all while conducting a changeover between Staff Judge Advocates. The visit was a great success and we received multiple compliments as to how well we are doing, all which is attributed to the hard work and dedication of each member of the team. But all that is dull. What you really want to know is how is life different here compared to back in the U.S. Well, the truth is that each day is filled with its own challenges and changes. For example, one major change or challenge, depending on your outlook, is conducting physical fitness training (PT). When deployed, Service members usually do not have the usual morning formation [meeting], followed by organized unit PT. Most Service members have the latitude of conducting PT on their own, based on the battle rhythm [schedule based on the mission], and this means that most have the opportunity to tailor PT based on their personal needs and goals. The work ethic and commitment to taking care of each other and the mission are truly impressive. Service members are able to work more than 12 hours per day, for almost seven days out of the week, and still continue to have a positive disposition. Some have even found time to participate in the Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) fun events or to enjoy the camaraderie of deployment while enjoying a cigar on the balcony of Al- Faw Palace [Saddam Hussein‟s‟ former vacation palace]. We have been blessed by teammates who care about the mission and each other.
MSG Eduardo Farnum Special congratulations go out to Sergeant Corinne Ganacias and Sergeant Sara Chamberlain, who both re-affirmed their commitment to the Army and the mission by re-enlisting for the sheer honor of serving in our nation‟s Army during this time of war. I thank both of them for their commitment and service to the Army. Congratulations are also in order to Staff Sergeant Tasha Carnahan for completing her Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies from the University of Great Falls. I want to send my sincerest thank you to Sergeant Major Rodney Gilchrist, the III Corps and Fort Hood Command Paralegal NCO, for his unparalleled service to our nation, soldiers and to the Judge Advocate General Corps as he transitions to retirement. “Thank you Sergeant Major.” Thanks again to every Wife, Husband, Mother, Father, Son, Daughter, Sister, Brother, Family Member and Friend for supporting us as we serve our nation in combat. With Honor and Success. Eduardo Farnum MSG, USA Command Paralegal Noncommissioned Officer United States Forces – Iraq
NEWS Administrative Law Investigates Success In the office of Administrative Law, we've welcomed some new friends and said goodbye to others. Capt Christopher Wu recently redeployed to Colorado. COL Marianne Burtnett has transferred to work as counsel to the Deputy Commanding General in charge of training Iraqi forces, and Col Margarete Ashmore, recently promoted, stepped up to take over the challenging and interesting position of Chief of Administrative Law. Along with changes in leadership, CPT Derek Leo, from the United States Army War College, and Capt Kevin Burke, from Fort Meade, Maryland, have joined our ranks, and we are glad to have them here. The team in Administrative Law has been maintaining a very high OPTEMPO. Commanders rely upon us to review every investigation into any incident and to provide legal advice regarding proposed policies. In addition to his normal legal work,
PFC Timothy Ludwig almost singlehandedly set up a high-speed document scanning operation that will help catalog and store historical documents. LN1 Sherrell Reed works tirelessly to keep things running smoothly. MAJ Michael Harry, with the assistance of Capt Amber Spurlock, just finished trying a murder case. Even though we work long hours, we try to make sure that we have time to relax. For example, staff from the office have been trying to win as many t-shirts as possible by running road races on weekend mornings. PT has been a big focus, with gym time allowing for a much needed opportunity to recharge. When not working and even though miles apart from their families, the team here in Administrative Law has been working to keep in touch using email and phone calls to make the distances seem shorter.
The occasional discussion about things liked about the deployment (history of the local culture, ease of making a reservation at the local and only restaurant at VBC, the 24hour sandwich bar at aforesaid restaurant) as well as various other topics (such as reminiscing about being able to drive oneâ€&#x;s own vehicle, a certain type of food from home, why the Yankees should win another World Series, etc.) helps to pass the time as well. Take care and we will provide another update soon.
LN1 Sherrel Reed (bottom left), Capt Amber Spurlock (bottom right), CPT Timothy Minter (top right) and PFC Timothy Ludwig (top center) bid farewell to COL Marianne Burtnett (left center) in style.
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NEWS Military Justice Carries America’s Gavel The courtroom must be a dignified place because it is a place where something really important happens, something that touches the fabric of our very existence as social creatures. That is why courtrooms are large and spacious and have pillars in the front. That is why a courtroom should never look like a suburban real estate office. It is the place where the sum of the awesome and awful power of the sovereign comes to bear upon the citizen. Our people and our society have determined, through a long process of trial and error, stumbling and learning, that this process, that due process, is the only process whereby a dignified people should be permitted to strip a fellow citizen of his freedom. All the paperwork, all the double checking memoranda and service, all the printouts and fly-specking charges, all lead like a finely honed arrowhead to the large doors of the highceilinged courtroom: notice and opportunity to be heard. As CPT Hopkins and CPT Nicholson put their final touches on a board notification or charge sheet, a Phantom speaks from the past on a parchment document, "...to be informed of the nature and the cause of the accusation.“ Maj Powell and MAJ Harry, ready, in front of the bar, the bar found only in churches and courtrooms, places where important things happen
in front of the bar a world apart from daily life, after endless hours of preparation, with Capt Spurlock madly taking notes behind them. There, among rules of evidence culled from the common law, there with shadows of Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Thomas Moore observing in the background, a witness, flown from a far off place, waits to be cross-examined in the witness box. A quill pen still wet from the ink of history yet to be written, finishes the last stroke before the semicolon: "to be confronted with the witnesses against him." Then, as if following a commandment written into the birth of our nation, "to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor....," SSG Carnahan calls Mr. Todd on yet another long, late night to arrange witnesses over the DSN phone, to get invitational travel orders, to do the mundane and tedious things that make the promise of compulsory process a reality. SGT Benedict, coffee mug in hand, making the calls and making sure the evidence gets where it needs to be, even to a far-off Iraqi province; the inquisitive mind raising inquisitive points. Somewhere far from here, hidden among the antique section of a prestigious law library, a young legal researcher walks past rows and rows of musty books from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with words like "King's Bench" and Regina something or other -why what SGT Chamberlain does is so important and so enduring. The powder-whigged authors long dead who penned those decisions never pictured SFC Chatman directing, making sure it's all done, so that the promise of "due process of law" could become a reality so far from home. SGT Keel, SPC Smith, all our trial counsel and paralegals throughout the theater, and they are why I smile everyday (but not every minute or even every twenty minutes) here in military justice. What a great place to be. MAJ John Gregory Chief of Military Justice
“There, among rules of evidences culled from the common law, there with shadows of Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Thomas Moore observing in the background, a witness, flown from a far off place, waits to be cross-examined in the witness box.”
Why I Reenlisted SGT Sara Chamberlain I plan on retiring from the U. S. Army after 20 years, or more, of service. The choice to reenlist was not a hard choice. The place to reenlist was not a hard choice, either. Reenlisting in a deployed environment just strengthens my decision to make a career of the Army. I joined the military in July of 2001, two months before the World Trade towers were destroyed. Two months after, I was in training. I trained while we went to war with Afghanistan. To me, that was the initial point where I decided to stay Army for as long as I could. Serving in the Army has just reinforced that decision. When I reenlisted on 3 May, I raised my hand to stay with a job I love. There is nothing more important for me, save for my family, than to serve my country. God has given me the ability to do so. I love putting my uniform on every day. When I reenlisted on 3 May, I formally made that statement to God and Country. Without the support of my family, I would not be here. Since I first enlisted, they have been behind me 100%. I serve for my family, my friends, my comrades-in-arms, and for myself. When I raised my right hand, there was no decision to be made. I was just continuing to do a job that I love.
MAJ John Gregory administers the Oath of Reenlistment to SGT Sara Chamberlain at her reenlistment ceremony in early May.
NEWS Client Services “Loves It When A Plan Comes Together” In 2009, a crack legal team was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from minimumsecurity Bell County Jail to the Camp Victory Building 133 underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as Soldiers (and an Airman) of fortune. If you have a problem...if no one else can help...and if you can find them in the basement of Building 133...maybe you can hire (for free, of course)…The Client Services A-Team...
crucial understanding of the culture of the Middle East and Iraq. Originally from the Sudan, SGT Deng became an American citizen on February 25, 2009, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. Our nation, the US Army, and Team Client Services are lucky to have him.
CPT Richard "Murph" Murphy, a/k/a, "Hannibal" Smith, SGT Sebit Deng, a/k/a, Mr. T. "B.A." Baracus, CPT Nathan Freeburg, a/k/a, "Howling Mad" Murdock, CPT Joe Andrews, a/k/a, "Face" (he spends a lot of time in the gym), SrA David Johnson, a/k/a, General Hunt Stockwell (because he regularly performs duties well above his pay grade!).
CPT Nathan Freeburg
Each man has a special skill-set:
CPT Richard Murphy
Senior Airman Johnson
...loves it when a plan comes together...
SrA Johnson serves as NCOIC of client services, a position usually reserved for a senior NCO. He performs brilliantly as a paralegal and technology expert. SrA Johnson developed a tracking and file catalogue system for all claims handled by United States Forces – Iraq, resulting in much greater efficiency in processing and quicker turnaround times. He has catalogued, investigated, and prepared draft legal opinions on more than 400 claims worth more than $3,000,000.00. SrA Johnson has assisted over 200 legal assistance clients, drafting over 120 powers of attorney, 80 notarizations, and providing more than $7,000 of savings to clients. In his spare time (that's supposed to be a joke), SrA Johnson served as United States Forces – Iraq Office of the Staff Judge Advocate webmaster, developing and maintaining the current Secure Internet Protocol Router Network and NonSecure Internet Protocol Router Network portals. SrA Johnson has made CPT Murphy a true believer in "joint justice." SGT Sebit Deng SGT Deng is the true "face" of our claims operation as our Arabic linguist. By his own admission, he speaks "only 5 languages," and Arabic is one of his best. He is always deeply respectful of our claimants. He has a deep and
CPT Joe Andrews Every day, CPT Joe Andrews serves Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen. Not many people can say that they get to make a difference in a service member's life every single day. But CPT Andrews does. He's become a master of rebuttals and appeals of all sorts -- OERs, NCOERs, GOMORs and FLIPLs -- family law and consumer protection. CPT Andrews takes great pride in his work. A telling story – on one particular Sunday, another soldier showed up to work in his Army PT uniform, noticed that CPT Andrews was in his ACU uniform, and asked, quizzically, "Hey Joe, why the ACUs?" Joe looked back, a little confused, "Because I want to look professional for our clients." That's the kind of guy CPT Andrews is.
CPT Murphy believes that CPT Freeburg is the "most aggressive attorney he's met in the JAG Corps." Back at Fort Hood, CPT Freeburg handled Federal Tort Claims Act cases. As torts attorney, he resolved two FTCA claims for every claim the office received, an amazing feat. Here in Iraq, CPT Freeburg continues his aggressive lawyering. Claims efficiency has sky-rocketed since the RIP/TOA. And CPT Freeburg has taken "ownership" of the critical retroactive leasing issue. When history looks back on Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, and the crucial question of whether we were "liberators or occupiers," our payment of retroactive leases will strengthen the view that ours was an Army of liberation, not occupation.
Why I Reenlisted SGT Corinne Ganacias The U.S. Army is an amazing institution. I reenlisted to continue my Service to my country and to obtain my goal of earning a college degree. The Army has given me this opportunity with its 100% tuition assistance to attain a higher level of education. I intend to take full advantage of this while deployed and back home. My children look to me as their role model, they are proud of their mother continuing her education while also having a full-time job. I have three children, we are all competing in who will get their Bachelors Degree first, and I intend to win. God Help Me.
CPT Joe Andrews (top left), CPT Richard Murphy (top center), SrA Richard Johnson (bottom left) and SGT Sebit Deng (bottom right) of USF-I OSJA Client Services.
It is an honor for me to serve the best nation in this world and to make it a better place for my children and grandchildren so they may be able to live a life of freedom, most notably a life with the freedom of choice. SGT Ganacias currently serves as the NCOIC of the USF-I Detainee Operations Division. CPT Peter Higbie administers the Oath of Reenlistment to SGT Corinne Ganacias at her reenlistment ceremony in April.
TJAG vs. The Volcano You may be wondering why this article is entitled “TJAG vs. the Volcano.” Well, I‟ll tell you why. It‟s because this year‟s Army Article 6 visit to the Iraqi Joint Operating Area (IJOA) was placed in jeopardy the moment that ill-tempered mountain in Iceland decided to start spewing tons of itself up into the atmosphere just a few days before Army TJAG‟s flight was set to leave for Europe. MAJ James Nelson and I, CPT Adam Bester, (the planning team) were watching weather and news reports intently to try and get some idea of whether our plans were going to go up in smoke (or ash, depending on how you prefer your puns). TJAG‟s plane was delayed, but he and his party managed to traverse the Atlantic and land safely in Europe just hours behind schedule. I guess we can say that, in his contest with the volcano, TJAG was victorious. Around noon on 19 April, after a tour of our JAG assets in Europe, LTG Dana Chipman, COL David Diner, CW5 Richard Johnson, CSM Joseph Lister, and MSG Joanna Shakir (collectively known as TJAG & Co.) touched down at Baghdad International Airport (BIAP) to begin the 2010 Article 6 visit to United States Forces – Iraq (USF-I) and the United States Divisions (USD). The first stop on their tour was USD-Center (USD-C), where they were wined and dined (as much as they could be under GO1) for a solid twenty-four hours. That night, TJAG & Co. stayed at Victory Base‟s prestigious Joint Visitor‟s Bureau (JVB) Hotel, once Saddam Hussein‟s private hunting lodge. Upon arrival at the hotel, TJAG was greeted by a gift from USF-I in the form of a twelve pound Hershey‟s chocolate bar. Now, you may ask yourself: how did a twelve pound Hershey bar wind up on TJAG‟s pillow? I can neither confirm nor deny that it was carried there and hand-delivered by an enterprising OSJA CPT who shall remain nameless. (It was over 90 degrees that day, and the bloody candy bar was melting by the second!) After a restful night at the JVB, TJAG & Co. finished their tour of USD-C, soaking up the last few slides of PowerPoint and shaking hands with the last stragglers, they boarded their spacious (and remarkably clean) uparmored Chevy Suburbans and headed for Al Faw Palace and the grand tour of USF-I. TJAG & Co.‟s first stop was the Al Faw Palace Ballroom (aka the Molly Hatchet Ballroom) for a group luncheon and briefing. Over one hundred OSJA personnel from all branches of the armed services were present to greet the official party. CPT Richard Murphy and his Client Services team saw that the ballroom was prepared and that an ample spread was laid out for the hungry onlookers. After a brief introduction, the whole assembly proceeded to chow down on the best catered food that the Sports Oasis DFAC can offer. Once enough folks had put down their forks, TJAG delivered his annual State-of-the-Corps address (SoC), albeit with a slight twist. This year, the SoC was delivered to the entire Iraqi theater of operations via video teleconference (VTC). Over two-hundred JAG personnel tuned in from stations throughout Iraq to watch TJAG‟s address live and in color. The SoC went off without any major technical difficulties. Following the SoC, COL Diner, CW5 Johnson, CSM Lister, and MSG Shakir proceeded to brief the officers and enlisted personnel on current issues in the JAG Corps. COL Diner and MSG Shakir spent the afternoon interviewing officers and enlisted personnel individually to discuss career paths and future assignments. A hearty thanks are deserved by both CPT Timothy Minter and SSG Joshua Tracy for their hard work facilitating the interviews and briefings. (“TJAG vs. The Volcano” continued on next page)
LTG Dana K. Chipman, Army TJAG, learns about CPT Frankie Jr. Hopkins’ mustache as CPT Richard Murphy tries to contain his laughter.
COL Chuck Pede, former USF-I Staff Judge Advocate, welcomes LTG Chipman to a lunch in LTG Chipman’s honor.
TJAG vs. The Volcano
(“TJAG vs. The Volcano” continued from previous page)
TJAG & Co. proceeded to tour the OSJA sections in Al Faw palace and the surrounding facilities. Making their way through the different sections and asking plenty of questions along the way, his final stop on the tour was the MOJO (“Mother of all JAG Offices” for those who aren‟t in the know). CPT Andrew Boysen and his supporting cast from Detainee Operations made sure the stage was set and that we had plenty of cookout food and refreshments on hand for our dinner out on the patio. Members of the USF-I OSJA met and ate with TJAG in this more informal setting. TJAG even engaged in the traditional MOJO past time by hitting some golf balls out into our beautiful muddy lake. Following the dinner, a few members of the office accompanied TJAG & Co. to the palace balcony for an optional cigar social. After a few stogies and some alcohol-free libations, TJAG & Co. returned to the JVB for the night. The following morning, after meeting our senior leadership for breakfast, TJAG & Co. made their way to BIAP and boarded an aircraft to USD-North (USD-N). MAJ Nelson accompanied them, and over the next twenty-four hours they enjoyed a multi-FOB tour of the JAG offices in USD-N and met with many of their fine personnel. Unfortunately, a trip to USD-S was not in the cards. After much wrangling with the schedule, it was determined that another flight in our short timeframe just wasn‟t feasible. Still, USD-S personnel were tuned in via VTC for the SoC, and a few USD-S CPTs received VTC interviews with COL Diner. At the conclusion of their USD-N tour, TJAG & Co. boarded yet another bird, this time to Kuwait to continue on with their Article 6 quest and eventually make their way back to D.C.
LTG Chipman and CW5 Richard Johnson join Team OPLAW on an Al Faw Palace balcony.
The 2010 Article 6 visit was a resounding success. Despite numerous schedule changes and a hearty helping of improvisation, TJAG & Co. accomplished their mission and a good time was had by all. The event was a fine example of teamwork. On behalf of those of us involved in planning and organizing, I‟d like to extend our gratitude to all of those unnamed persons who pitched in with setup and cleanup along the way. Although this was the Army TJAG‟s visit, our Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard brothers and sisters all pitched in to make the visit as smooth as possible. It was a true joint effort. Finally, credit is due to both our unsung hero, CW4 Craig Sumner, and our lead planner, MAJ James Nelson. Chief Sumner‟s wealth of experience and assistance behind the scenes and the quality of MAJ Nelson‟s mentorship and guidance were reflected in how smoothly the entire visit went. Well, that‟s about all there is to tell, except for one thing: What ever became of that giant chocolate bar…?
LTG Chipman participates in the timehonored tradition of hitting golf balls off the roof of the “Mother Of all JAG Offices” (MOJO).
LTG Chipman presents MAJ Michael Harry with an award during an evening barbecue for the TJAG at the MOJO.
Calling all Ladies and Gentlemen of Discriminating Tastes!
Sports and Recreation!
If you haven’t been to Camp Victory since OIF IV . . . You haven’t been to Camp Victory! Big changes are underway as we transition this former military outpost into the first great city of the new democratic Iraq! The area’s plentiful lakes and waterways make for fun-filled days of recreation with the family and allow our USF-I sailors to feel right at home. Anchors Aweigh! And did we hear someone say nightlife? The soon-to-be opened casino at the old Perfume Palace offers a full assortment of gaming opportunities for the sporting gentleman and his lady.
Nightlife and Gaming!
High Rise Condos for Sale!
Finally, cap off the perfect evening with cocktails and friends at your own luxury CHU in the new condominium towers near Al Faw Palace! Bad food and uncomfortable cots are so 2003; a NEW DAWN is underway at the VBC Retirement/Resort Community! 11
SPORTS Cinderella Story USF-I OSJA Takes Second in MWR Cup Friends and family of USF-I OSJA: It started in early March with a goal: "Lets hopefully have enough people to field a team for flag football." Then on one magical night the Phantom Legal flag football team prevailed with a 20-7 win. Two months later it would end with a group of 55 people, by far the smallest organization of the entire VBC MWR Cup Competition, taking 2nd place. Years from now people will ask, how did we do this with limited time and people? The answer is consistency. That, and that MWR was more than happy to reschedule events for us due to work schedules, otherwise we would have forfeited the entire competition in March. To grasp a better context of what transpired, the entire story begins in February when CPT Hopkins started sending out emails to the office to improve morale and more importantly, not hurt his own morale by having to forfeit the entire competition (actually it begins months ago when CPT Hopkins was in court at Fort Hood last Fall and seriously pondered if they had intramural sports at VBC). Well, after a courtimposed restraining order to restrict the number of emails he sent, word got out and attorneys and paralegals alike started competing.
Flag-Football: 4th Place - Great effort from COL Risch, CPTs Murphy, Nicholson, Boysen, Andrews, Wu, Freeburg, LT Fletcher, SrAs Mills and Brown Karaoke: 2nd - CDR Hancock, LT DeGroot, and CPT Boysen Pickle Ball: 1st - Capts Golden, Temple, and Stovall Billards: 2nd - LCDR Luken and CPT Bester Wii Console: 1st - Capt Krebs and SFC Chatman Putt-Putt: 2nd - Capts Golden, Temple, and Stovall Spades: 2nd - CPT Andrews and SFC Chatman Poker: 2nd - LCDR Luken Relay Run: 2nd - MAJs Gregory, Harry, Maj Scoular, and CPT Boysen Horseshoes: 3rd - CPT Hopkins and CW4 Sumner Darts: 2nd - Capt Spurlock and CPT Boysen Squash: 2nd - CPT Daluz
After the first four events, we were in first place. After six events the team was still in first place, yet there was a feeling that the entire MWR Cup was about to take the intensity level up and we would have to ask ourselves: Do I mind missing work to do an event? Absolutely not. In life there are moments that define who we are: For President FDR it was Pearl Harbor. For Prime Minister Churchill it was the Miracle at Dunkirk. There are also moments that change history forever. For the Cold War it was Rocky's win over Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. That, as we all learned in school, essentially ended the Cold War. All were important people and events, with historians alike agreeing that no one person or moment was more important than the other. (“Cinderella Story…” continued on next page)
Members of the USF-I OSJA Flag Football Team join some of their fans for a picture after a hardfought game during the MWR Cup.
SPORTS Cinderella Story USF-I OSJA Takes Second in MWR Cup (“Cinderella Story…” continued from previous page)
Well now that list will include Phantom Legal's 2nd Place Finish in the MWR Cup. Again, consistency, for while we never dominated the competition, we certainly made sure we were good at each event and gave it the "good ole' College try.“ It was a pleasure organizing teams for the office and competing with all you ladies and gentlemen. I think the competitions brought out the best in everyone and allowed us all to relieve some stress and essentially "play ball." While I am saddened MWR Cup is over, I would like to point out that as I was leaving the gym recently I noticed an MWR Softball Tourney coming up soon, so please let me know if you are interested.
The USF-I OSJA MWR Cup Softball team
Thanks to every single one of you! CPT Hopkins...... And yes.....
I am working on t-shirts for all who played.
Team MVP: CPT Boysen Three 2nd Place finishes Best Fan: Tie between CPT Minter and SSG Tracy thanks to you both for coming-out and supporting the team
CPT Joe Andrews gets ready to block as LT Christopher Fletcher awaits a snap during an MWR Cup flag football game. 13
FEATURE Air-Powered Airmen Re-Deploying Will Be Missed The United States Forces-Iraq Office of the Staff Judge Advocate (USF-I OSJA) affords members from all of the U.S. armed forces the opportunity to work together in a joint command for the good of mission accomplishment. In many instances, working in this deployed environment may be the only opportunity for Service members to work with individuals who are not from their own branch of service. This experience is one of the truly unique aspects of serving in the USF-I OSJA, and it is no different for two Airmen who will soon redeploy. Staff Sergeant (SSgt) Kimberly Lawrence and Senior Airman (SrA) David Johnson will take with them a memorable experience from their service with the USF-I OSJA. Both SSgt Lawrence and SrA Johnson will be missed, however, and theirs will be no small shoes to fill. SSgt Lawrence “SSgt Lawrence is a true professional in every sense of the word,” said Chief Warrant Officer Four (CW4) Craig Sumner, the USF-I OSJA Legal Administrator, when asked about SSgt Lawrence. “The OSJA is going to miss her can-do attitude and infectious smile.”
Originally from Mt. Vernon, New York, SSgt Kimberly Nicole Lawrence has served in the Air Force for more than 12 years. She has been stationed at DavisMonthan Air Force Base in Arizona, Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts, Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska and is currently stationed at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii. SSgt Lawrence is certified as a Paralegal, Information Manager and Air Traffic Controller in the Air Force, and is nearing completion of a degree in Legal Studies with a minor in Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland at College Park. Close to the end of her first deployment, SSgt Lawrence said she enjoyed “meeting people I would have never met outside of a joint environment,” but that one of the most difficult aspects of her service here was “understanding the complexity of the Army.” That complexity aside, SSgt Lawrence has left a definitive impression on her co-workers, many of them from the Army – both U.S. and Iraqi. “SSgt Lawrence worked in both Detainee Operations and the Administrative Operations Divison of the OSJA after her arrival last November,” CW4 Sumner said. “She was instrumental in creating and implementing the USF-I High Value Detainee Tracking System, worked with the Iraqi and International Law Advisor in establishing the Iraqi Army Legal Advisor Partnership Program, served as an Information Management Officer and provided support to all OSJA personnel, which is more than 100 people strong. SSgt Lawrence‟s dedicated service while deployed to Iraq has been invaluable to the command.”
SSgt Kimberly Lawrence joins GEN Raymond Odierno, CDR, USF-I, for a picture outside of Al Faw Palace.
(“Air-Powered Airmen…” continued on next page)
FEATURE Hailing from Portland, Maine, SrA David Christopher (“Air-Powered Airmen…” Johnson, at the youthful age of continued from previous page) 23, has been in the Air Force SSgt Lawrence said the most for three (3) years and is one memorable aspect of her of the few “organic” paralegals deployment was working with in the Air Force, having no the Iraqi JAG Corps at the prior career field. Serving his Iraqi Ground Forces first deployment, SrA Johnson Command and observing is based out of McGuire Air how different Corps Force Base, New Jersey, and (commands) function in a plans to join the 157th Air joint deployed environment. Refueling Wing (Air National Guard) out of Pease Air Force For her part, SSgt Lawrence Base, New Hampshire, upon will not miss walking to the his return home. latrines once she returns home, but she will miss the SrA Johnson, who will be good friends she‟s made promoted to SSgt in July, has while in Iraq. Still, SSgt other big plans for his future, Lawrence, who enjoys including attending law school cooking and volunteers at at the University of Maine the horse stables at Turtle School of Law. SrA Johnson Bay on the North Shore of has a Bachelor of Arts in Oahu, is ready to return Social Sciences from Rutgers home and reunite with her University, and hopes to get daughters, Ariana, age ten, into real estate and and Jessica Jae, age eight. development after graduating from law school. “I look forward to seeing my kids‟ happy faces and then “I understand it‟s a niche, but it watching them argue,” SSgt is what I am interested in,” SrA Lawrence said. “I really just Johnson said. “Intellectual want to hang out and do property may be an alternative exciting things with my girls. due to my solid background in I‟ve enjoyed my time here, technology, however.” but I‟m ready to go home and resume my mommy duties!” That solid technology background has made SrA SrA Johnson Johnson a valuable asset to the USF-I OSJA, both as an “The Client Services Office is Information Management going to miss him dearly” Officer and as the USF-I CPT Richard Murphy, USF-I OSJA‟s webmaster, OSJA Chief of Client developing and maintaining Services, said about SrA the OSJA webpages on USFJohnson. “They say I‟s classified and unclassified everyone is „replaceable‟ in websites. SrA Johnson‟s the military, but Airman favorite part of his Johnson‟s departure will deployment, however, is challenge that principle.” serving as the Claims Paralegal and the experiences that job brings him.
“My favorite part of serving in Iraq was making a difference in the lives of the claimants whose claims we approved,” SrA Johnson said. “The knowledge that we helped individuals and their families who had suffered a loss really gave me perspective of what we in claims are doing here.” SrA Johnson looks forward to returning home and reuniting with his wife, Amanda (“Mandy”), an accountant in the greater Portland area, and to “acting (his) age again”. SrA Johnson will miss Iraq, however, particularly the “daily antics of Team CSO (Client Services Office)”. “Senior Airman Johnson served in a role typically reserved for a senior noncommissioned officer,” Murphy said. “Fair notice to all our joint brothers and sisters, I‟ve already made the “Army JAG Corps pitch”, and I‟ll keep making it as long as he‟ll listen. We at Client Services have been lucky to have him as our paralegal.”
SrA Richard Johnson will be promoted to SSgt in July and plans to attend law 15 school after re-deploying.
OBITUARIES III Corps Mourns the Passing of Artist Frank Frazetta Frazetta Creator of “Death Dealer” Image Upon Which III Corps Phantom Warrior is Based Courtesy “New York Times” & “Fort Hood Sentinel” Frank Frazetta, an illustrator of comic books, movie posters and paperback book covers whose visions of musclebound men fighting with swords and axes to defend scantily dressed women helped define fantasy heroes like Conan, Tarzan and John Carter of Mars, died recently in Fort Myers, Florida. He was 82. III Corps made its connection with Frazetta‟s art in 1985, when then LTG Crosbie Saint obtained Frazetta‟s permission to use “The Death Dealer” as a symbol for III Corps. In 2009, the Frazetta Family commissioned Deep in the Heart Foundry in Bastrop, Texas, to build a Phantom Warrior statue. A three-dimensional fiberglass statue of an 18-hands tall Shire draft horse mounted by an imposing, 6-foot, 6-inch warrior was unveiled in the Al Faw Palace rotunda at Camp Victory Base, Iraq, just outside Baghdad, shortly after III Corps‟ arrival in theatre. An identical statue sits in the West Atrium of the IIII Corps Headquarters at Fort Hood, Texas. Plans are also in place for a larger warrior made of metal to be erected outside of the III Corps Headquarters at Fort Hood. “I take great pride in being a „Phantom Warrior‟,” Trial Counsel Brian Nicholson said. “„The Death Dealer‟ is part of that. Mr. Frazetta will be missed.”
Question: What do these three individuals have in common?
a. b. c. d.
A popular, long-running TV series set in the future A fondness for black Trans-Ams Active participation in the effort to keep Austin weird Wicked awesome moustaches
This obituary is made in honor of our dearly departed friend, "Frankie Jr.“ Frankie Jr. lost his life just a short time ago in a tragic incident involving a razor and a can of jasmine-scented, sensitive skin shaving gel. He has moved on to a better place, where moustaches roam free and play without fear of ridicule or clingy food particles. Frankie, you will be missed. -“Frankie Jr.” RIP: May 1, 2010.-
FAREWELL Team, my last note to you begins with my favorite passage: “IF you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools: If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!' If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, ' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch, if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!” Rudyard Kipling wrote this for his son many years ago, and while its quaint phrasings may not have relevance to us today, their meaning remains just as important for each of us.
Thanks for everything you do, every day. It has been my privilege to serve with you.
I try and read a line every day for inspiration and motivation, for an azimuth check and for balance. I commend it to you, every team you'll lead in the future and your children.
Chuck Pede Colonel, U.S. Army
I want to thank each of you for your service, and for your generosity upon my departure - from farewell dinners, to very meaningful (and special and infrequent!) gifts. I want to thank each of you again for everything you've done to make Operation IRAQI FREEDOM a success. There are many thousands just like us, who will not see another sunrise, or whose lives have changed forever due to wounds suffered in Iraq, that expect us to fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds' worth of distance run. I know you will not let them down. Use their sacrifice as your motivation. You have the absolute best leaders to succeed famously.
COL Pede re-deployed in late April after more than a year of admirable service as Multi-National Force – Iraq and United States Forces – Iraq Staff Judge Advocate.
Life in the USF-I OSJA
CPT Joe Andrews (left) asks if this picture is going to be included in the Newsletterâ€Ś Of course not, Joe!
Capt Brant Whipple (left) and CPT Jeffrey Finucane (right) find one of the only murals of Saddam Hussein remaining in Iraq
CW5 Richard Johnson (big) and CW4 Craig Sumner (small) show that Army JAG Corps Warrant Officers come in all sizes SGT Casey Pinter (left) and LN1 Sherrell Reed (right) debate lessons learned from the British experience in postWorld War I Iraq and their applicability to the current counterinsurgency effort
Capt Amber Spurlock tries out the new driver she bought at the Camp Victory Bazaar... And yes it was raining that day
SSG Joshua Tracy (left) tries not to feel like a third wheel with SSG Tasha Carnahan (center) and her husband, SSG Roland Carnahan (right)
LT Chris Caetano laughs about how much fun she had starring in the MWR 18 Cup Skit Competition
Life in the USF-I OSJA
A leisurely night at Camp Victory… Aren’t they all? III Corps finest O-3’s (well, almost anyway) COL Herb Ford (center), MAJ Sean Mangan (right) and members of the Iraqi Judiciary recently visited the United States Supreme Court
Judge Advocates from OSJA Forward endure a barbecue at the grueling life that is living and working at the New Embassy Complex (NEC)
Speaking of barbecue… CPT Frankie Jr. Hopkins and Capt Amber Spurlock show how its done with nonalcoholic beer, charcoal and a postcard sunset at the MOJO
CPT Elliott Potter (right) doesn’t hit golf balls off the roof of the MOJO… he shoots them
LT Chris Caetano (left) and CPT Richard Murphy (center) act out their roles in the MWR Cup Skit Competition while CPT Frankie Jr. Hopkins (right) wonders if it’s a violation of GO #1
Life in the USF-I OSJA One thing you can do a lot of at Camp Victory is run races, just ask SSG Tasha Carnahan (center)…
…or CPT Timothy Minter…
Capt Brant Whipple (left) and CPT Jeff Finucane (right) try to blend in with their surroundings Late at night, when everyone else has gone home, CW4 Sumner likes to pretend HE’s the Staff Judge Advocate
LTC Rob Vasquez is ready for some action… or at least a helicopter ride …or CDR Glenn Hancock (below right)…
COL Chuck Pede (right) enjoys one of his final evenings in Iraq before redeploying while COL Flora Darpino (center) and COL Stuart Risch (left) look forward to many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many more Iraq evenings to come
Life in the USF-I OSJA
LT Jonathan Shumate strikes a pose on an Al Faw Palace balcony. Sorry ladies, heâ€™s married! CPT Adam Bester (back middle) is obviously interested in something other than the person speaking that everyone else is listening toâ€Ś
COL Marianne Burtnett with members of the Iraqi Ministry of Justice security staff
LAOTF, proving they get to have all the fun, takes time out for a picture after completing joint training with EODT conducting extraction drills and cross-loading from one vehicle to the next (did everyone get that?)
On a goal-line stand late in the fourth quarter of a close game, the USF-I OSJA flag football team is distracted as a fan rushes the field and is tazed on the sideline
Army TJAG and OSJA Forward