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The Army Lawyer | Issue 6 2020View PDF

Court Is Assembled: Trust

For more than two centuries, the Army has taken great pride in its people—our most valuable weapon system. In the last few years, as we have focused much of our attention on readiness, have we consequently forgotten how to take care of our people? If we are focusing too much on readiness and neglecting our people, are we truly ready?

Soviet Judgment at Nuremberg

This truly groundbreaking book should be read by every lawyer with an interest, general or otherwise, in the law of armed conflict (LOAC) and the International Military Tribunal (IMT) in particular. Author Francine Hirsch, a history professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, deserves high praise as the first scholar to publish a comprehensive study of the role played by the Soviets in the prosecution of Nazi leaders at the IMT. 

Book Review: Billy Budd, Sailor

The goals of military justice are timeless, as are the struggles of its practitioners. Every commander and judge advocate (JA) must balance the merits of an individual case and an individual accused with the need to uphold good order and discipline in their units. Billy Budd is Herman Melville’s final work, finished just before his death in 1891.

TDS at 40: A Short History of Its Origins

Forty years ago, on 7 November 1980, General Edward C. “Shy” Meyer, then serving as Army Chief of Staff, approved the permanent establishment of the U.S. Army Trial Defense Service (USATDS). This was a major development in the history of the Corps because it meant that Army lawyers serving as defense counsel were now in a separate and independent organization.

Lore of the Corps: The Nuremberg Trials at 75

Seventy-five years ago, on 20 November 1945, an international military court in Nuremberg, Germany, began criminal proceedings against twenty-two high ranking Nazis. Charged with having committed “crimes against humanity,” “crimes against peace,” and “violations of the laws and customs of war,” the defendants were tried by four judges—one American, one Frenchman, one British, and one Russian. 

Azimuth Check: Anywhere in the World in 18 Hours

Beginning on 31 December 2019, the 82d Airborne Division executed its most significant no-notice deployment in more than thirty years.1 As tensions with Iran escalated, nearly 3,500 paratroopers of the Army’s Immediate Response Force (IRF), including 10 judge advocates (JAs) and paralegals, rapidly deployed to the Middle East.

An Historic First in Our Corps: FLEP NCOs

Late last year, two Staff Sergeants (SSG) and one Sergeant (SGT) were selected for the Funded Legal Education Program (FLEP)—the first time in history that noncommissioned officers (NCOs) have been chosen to attend law school at Army expense. This is an important historical first in our Corps because it is the first time that enlisted men and women have been eligible to earn a law degree at Army expense and then serve as judge advocates (JAs). 

Practice Notes: Hate the Sin, Not the Sinner’s Family

Some crimes stay hidden for decades and then surface near the end of a Soldier’s career. Crimes committed at the height of a Soldier’s professional development juxtapose sharply with the level of personal ethics expected at that level of leadership. In many cases, good order and discipline demands accountability and punishment for these Soldiers and their crimes.

Practice Notes: Training the Defense of Superior Orders

Private Myo Win Tun said his commanding officer’s order was clear. As a result, in August of 2017, the Myanmar armed forces massacred thirty civilians and buried them in mass graves. Were they “just following orders” and, if so, is that a valid defense to a war crime charge?