Legal office wins Judge Advocate General Corps award

The 162nd Wing Legal Office at Morris Air National Guard Base, Tucson, Ariz., provides a variety of legal assistance to the Wing, including full-service legal advice to the Wing’s commanders, as well as traditional legal assistance to wing members.

Because of their hard work and dedication, the Airmen of the 162nd Wing Legal Office was recently named the Special Unit Legal Office of the Year for 2020.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Rudy Padilla, deputy staff judge advocate, and Senior Master Sgt. Angel Reyes, law office superintendent, review slides for a training presentation, Morris Air National Guard Base, Arizona, June 5. The 162d Wing Legal Office was awarded the 2020 Legal Office of the Year Award, which recognizes an outstanding legal office whose legal support best exemplifies the JAG Corps’ mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Aubrey Pomares)

This award is given to the legal office that best exemplifies The Judge Advocate General Corps’ mission of providing the Air Force, commanders, and Airmen with professional, full spectrum legal support required for mission success in air, space, and cyberspace.

“It is great to receive acknowledgment for our efforts. It serves as an affirmation that our efforts help the Wing, the Guard, and the Air Force,” said Lt. Col. Travis Ausland, 162nd Wing staff judge advocate. “Receiving national-level awards also opens opportunities for our team to advance personally and professionally.”

“For calendar year 2020, we drafted 40 wills, 243 powers of attorney, 47 advanced medical directives, and notarized 319 signatures,” said Ausland. “This resulted in over $60,000 in savings to Wing members.”

According to Ausland, the members of the legal office routinely perform beyond expectations, and those efforts have been rewarded. In addition to the national award, the team and its members also won the Wing Commander Special Recognition Award, Mentor of the Year, Field Grade Officer of the Quarter, and Drill Status Guardsman Officer of the Quarter in 2020.

“Our office is building off the successful foundation created by Brig. Gen. Sue Ellen Schuerman and Chief Master Sgt. Lisa Gonzalez, who were the previous staff judge advocate and law office superintendent,” said Ausland. “General Schuerman and Chief Gonzales created the office that we run today. Their success led the office to win the same award in 2017. Our current members work hard to maintain what they built.”

The 162nd Wing Legal Office team poses for a photo with their award for Special Unit Legal Office of the Year Award for 2020, Morris Air National Guard Base, Arizona, June 5. The 162nd Wing Legal Office was awarded the 2020 Legal Office of the Year Award, which recognizes an outstanding legal office whose legal support best exemplifies the JAG Corps’ mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Aubrey Pomares)

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