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April 27, 2012

Deputy Judge Advocate inspects March legal

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Maj. Deric Prescott
Staff Judge Advocate
Maj. Gen. Steven J. Lepper, Deputy Judge Advocate General, HQ USAF, accompanied by Col. Jeffrey P. Wilcox, Staff Judge Advocate, HQ AFRC/JA and Chief Master Sgt. Steven L Wallace, Senior paralegal manager to the Judge Advocate General, HQ USAF, prepare to take-off on a helicopter flight piloted by Air Interdiction Agent, Derrick Block, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Maj. Gen. Steven J. Lepper, Deputy Judge Advocate General, HQ USAF, accompanied by Col. Jeffrey P. Wilcox, Staff Judge Advocate, HQ AFRC/JA and Chief Master Sgt. Steven L Wallace, Senior paralegal manager to the Judge Advocate General, HQ USAF, prepare to take-off on a helicopter flight piloted by Air Interdiction Agent, Derrick Block, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Air Force Deputy Judge Advocate General, Maj. Gen. Steven Lepper and a cadre of senior officers and enlisted legal officials to include Chief Master Sgt. Steven Wallace, Senior Paralegal Manager to the Judge Advocate General, visited March Air Reserve Base, Calif., April 23 and 24.

The Air Force’s top legal staff were here to conduct an Article 6 inspection of base legal activities. This type of inspection is a requirement per Article 6 of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, to ensure subordinate units provide adequate legal services for their members. By regulation, convening authorities are required to communicate directly with their subordinate staff judge advocates or legal officers in matters relating to the administration of military justice.

Commenting on the inspection, Maj. Deric Prescott, the active duty Staff Judge Advocate stated, “This was a perfect opportunity to demonstrate to our senior leadership how we conduct business and which programs are unparalleled successes. Also, this visit gave us an opportunity to show them the unique and expansive mission of March ARB and its tenants. The General recognized that March ARB was different from the other reserve bases, not only because of our size but the diversity of what we do at this amazing installation!”

Lepper and staff arrived early Monday afternoon and conducted a windshield tour of March ARB and the surrounding area. This was a homecoming of sorts for Lepper, as he spent several years here as a child when his father was a senior master sergeant in the intelligence career field. The General’s busy agenda also included a helicopter orientation flight from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air Interdiction Unit. This gave him an opportunity to view the historic March Field security perimeter and to get a general overall sense of the Inland Empire.

Later, Lepper and his team convened at the Mission Support Group conference room where they had the opportunity to engage in face-to-face conversation with some of Team March’s finest. During lunch, retired Maj. Gen. Richard Roth joined the group, where the General and his staff removed their “official hats” and opened the floor for attendees to openly discuss their ideas, wants and needs from a legal perspective.

This visit also allowed the General to meet members of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance team. Lepper, together with Col. Jeff Wilcox, Staff Judge Advocate for Air Force Reserve Command, commended the volunteers for their service and presented each with the General’s personal coin. They, under the guidance of March leadership and legal representatives, were responsible for providing a free income tax service for March and other authorized personnel… the first ever in Air Reserve history and a benchmark for others to follow; results from the service were overwhelmingly successful. Finally, the General personally recognized Lataisha Backmon and Michael Manley, two volunteers at the Base Legal Office for providing hundreds of hours of volunteer service to the men and women of Team March.

Lepper will report his findings to Lt. Gen. Harding, the Judge Advocate General of the Air Force. In his outbrief, he commented on the tremendous work that both the reserve legal office and the active duty legal office had done, stating he was “extremely impressed.” The General singled out Mr. AnhTuan Dang for his “exceptional service” and presented him one of the coveted DJAG coins.

Before departing for the next leg of their journey, the team commented that March ARB “hit it out of the park” when it came to the hospitality of Team March and the work the March ARB Legal Office does day in and day out, stated Prescott.

(Darnell Gardner, 452 Public Affairs, contributed to this article.)




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