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The Army Lawyer | Issue 4 2020View PDF

Court Is Assembled: Putting Principled Counsel into Action

Instead, there’s nuance and context. And context always matters. Take questions like: How do we find a way to fund food and fuel for the Peshmerga to ensure they tend their border areas, when they don’t “fit” our current view of U.S. legislation’s intended beneficiaries of funded support? 

News & Notes: 211th OBC Graduation Speech

On 2 July 2020, the outgoing Dean at The Judge Advocate General’s School, Colonel (COL) Jerrett W. Dunlap Jr., addressed the 211th Officer Basic Course (OBC) graduating class. This was COL Dunlap’s final duty as Dean before he departed to become the Staff Judge Advocate, V Corps, Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Book Review: The Mosaic Principle

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Lore of the Corps: From Shining Shoes to CW5

Warrant officers (WO) have served alongside Army lawyers as early as the 1920s, but were not officially a part of what was previously known as the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Department—now known as the JAG Corps—until World War II, when the Department received its first warrant officer authorizations.

Azimuth Check: You Asked Me How I Feel

Teammates, you have asked me recently, “How do you feel about racism, social injustice, police brutality, discrimination, and inequality in America toward Black Americans?” My first response to this question was: “Why do you want to know?” You are asking about an open wound—be careful what you ask for, because the answer may be more than you are prepared to digest.

Practice Notes: War, Peace, and Pandemic

In January 2020, when the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) began sweeping across mainland China and the world quickly thereafter, command teams immediately started to plan their attack against the spread of the virus. The initial messaging focused on remaining calm and instructing people that washing their hands and cleaning surfaces would be enough to slow—if not stop—the virus’s spread.

In Memoriam: George Bahamonde

It was the fall of 1974, and I was teaching a class in International Law to the Advance Course—now, the Graduate Course. As was the case for all U.S. Army The Judge Advocate General’s School courses at the time, the class took place in Clark Hall—the old University of Virginia Law School.

An Antidote for Toxic Complaints

It is an unfortunate reality that some complaints are filed for wicked reasons. Every Soldier has a powerful voice to correct wrongs, and individuals have multiple tools through which they can raise issues to—or in some cases about—the chain of command. But these processes can be weaponized to deflect allegations of misconduct or to inflict revenge for just discipline. There is no process to screen malicious complaints, particularly when they are not obviously implausible.

Advising the Ethical Playing Field

[E]thics seem to serve as both the first line of defense in maintaining order and the last line of defense in preserving honor. Ethics also prove difficult to teach, because instilling an idea in someone that they must subsume their own identity into something larger and more important than themselves is a task to which not all are equal.