The Army Lawyer | Issue 5 2019View PDF

null Family Ties



The Army Lawyer


Family Ties


Tracing Family Members Who Have Served in the JAGC

 PDF Version
(Courtesy: Fred Borch)

T here have always been family connections in our Corps. When it comes to generational connections, history reveals that grandfathers and grandsons, fathers and sons, fathers and daughters, uncles and nephews, and cousins have worn the crossed-pen-and-sword insignia that distinguishes judge advocates, legal administrators, and paralegal specialists from other Army Soldiers.

One of the most amazing familial relationships involves William Tudor. Elected by the Continental Congress to be the first Judge Advocate General, Colonel (COL) Tudor served as General George Washington’s lawyer from 1775 to 1777. Two hundred years later, in 1975, Tudor’s great-great-great grandson, Captain (CPT) Thomas “Tom” Tudor, joined our Corps and served as judge advocate with the 3d Armored Division in Germany. Tudor left active duty in 1978 but subsequently joined the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps in 1980. He retired in 2002. 1

A Lore of the Corps article published in October 2014 identified some of these family relationships. 2 Here are eight more examples of “Generations in the Regiment,” plus two bonus family relationships with connections to our Regiment: an Air Force-Army judge advocate father and son, and Air Force-Marine Corps judge advocate identical twin sisters who both completed the Graduate Course.

Grandfather-grandson: Major General Ernest M. “Mike” Brannon and COL Patrick D. “Pat” O’Hare

Brannon entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1917 and was commissioned the following year as the result of an accelerated wartime graduation. After the end of World War I, however, the Army decided that Brannon and all of his classmates should return to West Point for another year, so then-Second Lieutenant Brannon returned as a student officer until June 1919.

In 1925, Brannon was detailed to Columbia Law School, where he began his law studies; he finally completed the requirements for an LL.B. in 1930. After an official transfer to the Judge Advocate General’s Department, then-Major Brannon served in a variety of assignments, including Chief of Contracts and Chief of Tax Divisions, Office of The Judge Advocate General (OTJAG), from 1938 to 1942, and Judge Advocate (the equivalent of a modern-day Staff Judge Advocate (SJA)), First U.S. Army from 1943 to 1945. In this last important position, then-COL Brannon served in England, France, and Germany. When Brannon returned to the United States at the end of World War II, he again took up legal work in contracting as the “Procurement Judge Advocate.” Major General Brannon reached the pinnacle of his career with his selection to be The Judge Advocate General (TJAG) in 1950. Brannon’s four-year tour as the top Army lawyer was challenging, given that a Cold War with the Soviet Union was underway in Europe. Additionally, it was during TJAG Brannon’s tenure that the Corps implemented the new Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) during combat in Korea and the Corps re-established The Judge Advocate General’s School, U.S. Army (TJAGSA) in Charlottesville. Major General Brannon retired in January 1954. 3

Almost thirty years later, his grandson Patrick D. “Pat” O’Hare (Major General Brannon was the father of O’Hare’s mother) joined our Corps after graduating from law school at Washington and Lee. Prior to commissioning as a judge advocate, O’Hare spent four years as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in St. Lucia and Togo. Between 1983 and 2005, COL O’Hare served in a variety of assignments, including: Appellate Government Counsel, Government Appellate Division; Litigation Attorney, Procurement Fraud Division (detailed to the Department of Justice); and Instructor, Criminal Law Division, TJAGSA. While in this last assignment, Pat O’Hare completed the coursework for an LL.M. in Government Procurement from George Washington University. The Corps had, however, already identified COL O’Hare as one of its most accomplished members, since he had been selected below the primary zone for promotion to major (MAJ)—a very rare event in the 1980s.

After leaving TJAGSA, then-MAJ O’Hare served overseas as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate (DSJA), 2d Infantry Division, Camp Red Cloud, Korea, before completing Command and General Staff College (CGSC) in residence and then assuming duties as the Regional Defense Counsel, Region V, U.S. Army Trial Defense Service, at Fort Lewis, Washington. O’Hare was the SJA, National Training Center and Fort Irwin, California, before his final active duty assignment as Director, Legal Center, The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School (TJAGLCS). After retiring in 2005, COL (Ret.) O’Hare remained at TJAGLCS as the Deputy Director of the Legal Center.

Father-daughter: Major General George S. Prugh and Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Virginia P. Prugh

Born in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1920, George Shipley “George” Prugh served as a Coast Artillery Officer in New Guinea and the Philippines in World War II. In May 1945, then-CPT Prugh left active duty to enter the Hastings College of Law, University of California, in San Francisco. In 1948, he entered our Corps and reported for duty at OTJAG, where he worked in the Military Justice, Claims, and Litigation Divisions. Prugh subsequently served in a variety of increasingly important assignments and locations, including SJA, Rhine Military Post (later Western Area Command), Kaiserslautern, Germany, and DSJA, Eighth U.S. Army, Korea.

In 1964, then-COL Prugh made history as the first judge advocate War College graduate to deploy to Vietnam when he became the SJA, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. Two years later, Prugh was the top lawyer at U.S. European Command, located first in France and then in Stuttgart, Germany. He was promoted to major general and assumed duties as TJAG in 1971. Major General Prugh is best remembered for his active role in the area of international law and the Law of Armed Conflict. He was a member of the U.S. Delegation to the Geneva meetings of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss-hosted diplomatic conference that examined how best to modernize the Geneva Conventions of 1949. These meetings, which took place in 1971 and 1972, ultimately resulted in the 1977 Protocols Additional to the 1949 Conventions. 4

Major General Prugh’s daughter, Virginia Patton “Patt” Prugh, entered the Corps in 1982 after graduating from the Hastings College of Law—like her father. Her first tour of duty was with the 21st Support Command, Pirmasens and Kaiserlautern, Germany, where she served as a trial counsel and chief of international law. After returning to the United States, Patt Prugh was assigned to OTJAG’s Litigation Division, with duty at the Frauds Section, Civil Division, Department of Justice. After completing the Graduate Course, then-MAJ Prugh returned to Europe, where she spent two years as the judge advocate assigned to the U.S. Embassy, Paris, France, and another two years as the Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Claims Service, Europe.

From 1994 to 1996, Prugh served as a Senior Defense Counsel at Fort Lewis before returning to Europe as the Deputy Legal Advisor, Allied Forces Southern Europe, Naples, Italy. She had intermittent assignments as the legal advisor to the Kosovo Verification Coordination Center during the buildup to the Kosovo air campaign, and, thereafter, as the legal advisor to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led Kosovo Force (better known by the acronym KFOR). She subsequently served as the Deputy Joint Force Judge Advocate, U.S. Joint Forces Command, Norfolk, Virginia, before being detailed in 2003 to the Office of the Legal Advisor, Law Enforcement and Intelligence, Department of State.

After retiring from active duty as a lieutenant colonel in 2006, Patt Prugh remained at the Department of State as an attorney-advisor. Over the last thirteen years, she has served as the head of the U.S. Delegation for a number of U.N. conferences, including the U.N. Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its working groups on International Cooperation and Migrant Smuggling. For the last two years, she has been the Chairman of the UNTOC Working Group on Trafficking in Persons. 5

Father-daughter: CPT Michael “Brett” Buckley and CPT Michele B. Buckley

Brett Buckley entered the 94th Judge Advocate Basic Course in October 1980 after obtaining his Juris Doctor degree at Lewis and Clark Law School. 6 He then served a year in Korea with 2d Infantry Division as a trial counsel before being reassigned to the Presidio of San Francisco, where he was the Senior Defense Counsel. Then, he briefly served as an Army Reserve Individual Mobilization Augmentee at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, before leaving the Corps entirely.

Today, he is a District Court Judge for Thurston County, Washington, and is the recipient of the 2019 Washington State Bar Association’s Outstanding Judge Award. This prestigious award honors those “who champion justice, act with integrity and professionalism, and serve the public and their communities through the rule of law.” 7

His daughter, Michele Buckley, was directly commissioned after graduating from law school at the University of Washington in Seattle. Assigned to the 82d Airborne Division, she successfully completed the Jumpmaster course before deploying briefly to Afghanistan in 2014. She subsequently left Fort Bragg for Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), where she served first as a brigade trial counsel in the 7th Infantry Division. In 2016, Michele Buckley joined 1st Special Forces Group as a battalion judge advocate and deployed with her unit to Kuwait for six months later that year. Today, CPT Buckley is a defense counsel at JBLM. 8

Father-sons: Chief Warrant Officer Three (CW3) Cedric Woodruff, COL William A. Woodruff, LTC Joseph A. Woodruff

Born in Mississippi in 1919, Cedric Woodruff moved to Alabama as a child. His father died when he was five years old, and his mother was a widow with eight children, so as soon as he was old enough—in 1936—Woodruff enlisted in the Alabama National Guard to bring in some extra income for his family.

When World War II broke out, Cedric Woodruff was working for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad as a brakeman, and consequently was deferred from the draft. But after D-Day 1944, the need for replacements was so acute that the government cancelled his deferment, and he was inducted into the Army.

Woodruff never served overseas in World War II (he was at Camp Blanding, Florida, when Germany surrendered in May 1945), but he liked military life and stayed in the Army Reserve in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In 1955, Woodruff put in a request for voluntary active duty, forfeiting two stripes (he had been a master sergeant in the Army Reserve) to return to full-time soldiering as a staff sergeant (SSG).

While serving in France in the late 1950s, SSG Woodruff had his first experience with military law when he was made the “Courts and Boards Officer” at the Army Base Section headquarters in Poitiers. He liked legal work (special and summary courts-martial and administrative elimination boards) and, after returning to the United States, learned that the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps announced that it was looking for Soldiers who had legal experience to apply to be warrant officers. Staff Sergeant Woodruff applied and, after a successful interview before a board of officers, was appointed as a warrant officer one.

His first assignment was as the legal administrator in the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate (OSJA), VII Corps, Stuttgart, Germany. Mr. Woodruff reported for duty in August 1962 and, as he put it in a 2007 interview, “about seventy-five percent of my job was military justice.” 9 But he also drafted replies to congressional inquiries and wrote letters of reprimand for officers who had committed relatively minor transgressions. According to Woodruff, his favorite sentence in these letters was: “Your misconduct causes me to doubt your future worth in the Army.” 10

In 1966, now-Chief Warrant Officer Two Woodruff deployed to Vietnam with the 1st Infantry Division, which was then located at Lai Khe. After completing this tour of duty, Woodruff was assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia. Timing is everything, and then-CW3 Woodruff was intimately involved in the management of the Calley court-martial from late 1970 through early 1971. As the administrative warrant officer, Woodruff worked closely with CPT Aubrey Daniel, the lead trial counsel, in scheduling the arrival and departure of witnesses, as well as arranging for all temporary duty travel for Daniel and his co-counsel, CPT John Partin. Woodruff also worked with the lead defense counsel, MAJ Al Raby, to obtain additional legal support for him and Calley. 11 Chief Warrant Officer Three Woodruff considered the Calley case to be the highlight of his career in the Corps, and he retired a year after the trial ended in August 1972.

Cedric Woodruff’s oldest son, COL William A. “Woody” Woodruff was commissioned as an infantry officer through Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at the University of Alabama. While serving in the 3d Infantry Division in Germany in the early 1970s, he transferred to the artillery branch before entering law school as a Funded Legal Education Program (FLEP) officer at the University of South Carolina’s law school in 1975. Three years later, then-CPT Woodruff graduated first in his class and reported to the Judge Advocate Officer Basic Course (JAOBC) at TJAGSA; he was the top graduate in that course as well.

From 1979 until he retired from active duty in 1992, Woody Woodruff served in a variety of assignments, including the OSJA, Fort Gordon, Georgia, Litigation Division, OTJAG, and Torts Branch, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). He was the first judge advocate to be detailed to DOJ’s Civil Division. Then-MAJ Woodruff subsequently joined the Administrative Law Division, TJAGSA, where he specialized in teaching classes on federal litigation. His last assignments were in Washington, D.C., as the Deputy Chief and Chief, Litigation Division, OTJAG.

After retiring from active duty in 1992, Woodruff joined the faculty of Campbell University’s School of Law. He was twice selected as Professor of the Year and also has been honored for his research and scholarship. Colonel Woodruff retired from Campbell’s law school in 2017; he now has professor emeritus status. 12

Woodruff’s younger brother, Joseph A. Woodruff (who also used the nickname “Woody”) also entered our Corps via the FLEP after completing law school at the University of Alabama in 1981. After completing JAOBC, then-CPT Woodruff served as a claims officer and trial counsel at Fort Benning, Georgia, until 1983, when he became the Senior Defense Counsel, U.S. Trial Defense Service, with duty at Fort Rucker, Alabama. After being promoted to major in 1986, Woodruff was assigned to the U.S. Army Aviation Center, Fort Rucker. At that location, he served as the Chief, Administrative Law, and DSJA before leaving active duty and transitioning to the Army Reserve. Woodruff was in the Individual Ready Reserve when he retired as a lieutenant colonel. Today, he is a Circuit Judge in the 21st Judicial District in Tennessee. This is a four-county judicial district, and Woodruff is one of five judges in a court of general jurisdiction, with responsibility for criminal and civil cases. 13

Father-son: COL Steven F. Lancaster and COL Nicholas Lancaster

Steven F. “Steve” Lancaster graduated from Notre Dame in 1967 and completed law school at Indiana University three years later. After completing JAOBC, then-CPT Lancaster served two years at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, before being assigned to the 25th Infantry Division in 1972. For the next three years, he served as a prosecutor and defense counsel and as a military judge at special courts-martial; the latter was an unusual assignment as Lancaster had not yet attended the Advanced Course (now the Graduate Course) at TJAGSA.

After completing the Advanced Course in 1975, then-MAJ Lancaster spent the next five years at TJAGSA as an instructor in the Administrative and Civil Law Division before attending CGSC in residence. Lancaster then served in increasingly important leadership assignments, including: DSJA, 3d Infantry Division, Wuerzburg, Germany; SJA, 32d Army Air Defense Command, Darmstadt, Germany; DSJA, U.S. Army Europe, Heidelberg, Germany; SJA, V Corps, Frankfurt, Germany; and SJA, Fort Knox, Kentucky. Colonel Lancaster retired from active duty in 1995 and then began a second career as the Administrator, Indiana Court of Appeals.

(Courtesy: Fred Borch)

His son, COL Nicholas F. “Nick” Lancaster, was commissioned into the infantry after completing ROTC at Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio. After four years at Fort Carson, Nick entered law school at Indiana University via the FLEP and graduated in 1999. Then-CPT Lancaster’s first judge advocate assignment was at Fort Riley, Kansas, followed by a tour of duty with the 101st Airborne Division. He deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq with the “Screaming Eagles.” After completing the Graduate Course at TJAGSA, then-MAJ Lancaster served as the DSJA for the 19th Expeditionary Support Command, Taegu, Korea, before returning to Charlottesville to teach in the Criminal Law Division. From 2009 to 2012, then-LTC Lancaster served as the Command Judge Advocate (CJA), U.S. Army Office of Military Support before returning to Charlottesville again to assume duties as the Director, Center for Law and Military Operations, TJAGLCS. He then served as the SJA, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, attended the Army War College, and returned to Afghanistan as the SJA, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan. Nick Lancaster assumed his current duties as Director, Legal Center, TJAGLCS, in June 2017.

Father-son: COL Thomas R. Lujan and MAJ Dustin J. Lujan

Thomas Randall “Tom” Lujan was commissioned Air Defense Artillery (ADA) after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy in 1971. After serving in several ADA assignments, then-CPT Lujan attended law school at the University of Minnesota as a FLEP officer and transferred to the JAG Corps in 1979. He then served in a variety of assignment including the OSJA, 25th Infantry Division, and DSJA, 1st Special Operations Command (the predecessor to U.S. Army Special Operations Command). In 1985, then-MAJ Lujan became the first judge advocate assigned to the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta.

After completing in residence CGSC, Lujan served as the DSJA, Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, before returning to Fort Bragg to assume duties as the SJA, U.S. Army Special Operations Command. After leaving that assignment in 1993, then-COL Lujan served as the Executive Officer at the U.S. Army Legal Services Agency before his final assignment as the SJA, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida. When he retired from active duty in 1998, COL Lujan was proud of having a total of forty parachute “jumps” in ten years on “airborne status.” When combined with one jump in Ranger school and five during basic airborne training, Tom Lujan had a total of forty-six descents by parachute during this Army career.

His son, Dustin J. Lujan, was commissioned through ROTC at the University of Southern California in 2005 and, after five years as an infantry officer, then-CPT Lujan attended law school via the FLEP at William and Mary. After transferring to the Corps in 2013, Dustin was assigned as the Battalion Judge Advocate for the 48th Chemical Brigade and 85th Civil Affairs Brigade at Fort Hood; he deployed to Liberia as part of the Ebola response from April to June 2015. Lujan then served a year as the trial counsel for the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) at Fort Hood before completing the 65th Graduate Course in 2017. Lujan then served two years as the Chief of Military Justice, Military District of Washington. He is now serving as the Brigade Judge Advocate (BJA), 2d Stryker Brigade Combat Team, JBLM.

Father-son: COL Stephen E. Castlen and MAJ John T. Castlen

When then-First Lieutenant John T. Castlen graduated from the 181st JAOBC in May 2010, it likely was the first time in military legal history that a father and son had been active duty judge advocates at the same time. His father, COL Stephen E. Castlen, was then serving as a trial judge at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Stephen “Steve” Castlen was born in Kentucky and enlisted in the Army in 1975. He qualified as a legal clerk military occupational specialty (MOS) 71D and served three years at V Corps, Frankfurt, Germany. After leaving active duty as Specialist Five Castlen, he obtained an undergraduate degree from Indiana State University in 1981 and his law degree at the Salmon P. Chase College of Law in 1985. Castlen then rejoined the Army, joining our Corps and serving in Germany as a trial and defense counsel and as the Officer-in-Charge, Coleman Legal Services Center, Sandhoffen, Germany.

Then-CPT Castlen’s next assignments were in Washington, D.C., and included working as a plans officer in the Personnel, Plans, and Training Office at OTJAG and serving as a trial attorney in the Defense Procurement Fraud Unit at the DOJ. Then-MAJ Castlen subsequently taught administrative and civil law at TJAGSA before assuming duties as the DSJA, Fort Lee, Virginia. He then served as the SJA at Fort Leonard Wood, and SJA, U.S. Army Reserve Command, before finishing his Army career as a trial judge at Fort Benning. Colonel Castlen retired in 2013. Today, Steve Castlen is the Court Clerk and Administrator, Georgia Court of Appeals.

His son, John T. Castlen, was commissioned through ROTC at Wheaton College, Illinois, and, after completing law school at Northern Illinois University on an educational delay, joined our Corps in 2010. Castlen served first as an administrative law and domestic operational law attorney at the 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas, before deploying to Afghanistan in 2012. After returning to Kansas, then-CPT Castlen served as a trial counsel for a year before being assigned to Germany in 2014, where he first worked in international and operational law before transitioning to the practice of administrative law at U.S. Army, Europe, in Wiesbaden. From 2017 to 2018, he was a defense counsel in Wiesbaden before returning to the United States to complete the 67th Graduate Course. Major Castlen is presently serving as a business and general law attorney with Army Futures Command, Austin, Texas. 14

Father-son: Sergeant First Class (SFC) Bryan Ortiz-Arman and Private First Class (PFC) Bryan J. Ortiz-Ramos

Bryan Ortiz-Arman was born and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He had considered enlisting in the Army prior to the fateful events of September 11, 2001, but after that day, he was “upset and decided, for the first time perhaps, that it was my turn to do something for my country.” 15

After completing Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Jackson, then-PFC Ortiz-Ramos served as a paralegal specialist in Camp Casey, Korea. From 2003 to 2006, he was assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas, where he served as a paralegal at the 31st Combat Support Hospital and 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. While at Fort Bliss, then-Sergeant Ortiz-Ramos decided to become a court reporter and completed the 14th Court Reporter Course in April 2004. He was then assigned to the 32d Air and Missile Defense Command, and later to the U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery Center and Fort Bliss.

In 2006, then-SSG Ortiz-Ramos was assigned as a court reporter at 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, and deployed to Iraq from 2006 to 2007. While at Camp Liberty, Baghdad, he served as a non-commissioned officer for the tax center, operational law, and claims—in addition to his court reporter duties. After returning briefly to Fort Hood, SFC Ortiz-Ramos joined the 2d Infantry Division, with duty at U.S. Eighth Army, Yongsan. From 2012 to 2015, he was the senior court reporter at the 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York. Sergeant First Class Ortiz-Ramos then served as the Senior Court Reporter Instructor at TJAGLCS, where he managed the basic, advanced, and senior court reporting courses and explored new technologies and approaches to court reporting. Ortiz-Ramos is now serving as the senior court reporter at 3d Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia.

His son, PFC Ortiz-Arman, was also born in Puerto Rico but went to high school in New York and Virginia. After graduating in 2018, he enlisted in the Army on the last day of October 2017 and completed AIT for MOS 27D Paralegal Specialist in May 2018. Private First Class Ortiz-Arman is presently assigned to the 3d Chemical Brigade, U.S. Army Chemical School, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. TAL


Mr. Borch is the Regimental Historian, Archivist, and Professor of Legal History and Leadership.


1. Fred L. Borch, “It’s a Family Affair:” A History of Fathers, Daughters and Sons, Brothers and Grandfathers and Grandsons in the Corps , Lore of the Corps 3-8 (2019).

2. Id .

3. Judge Advocate General’s Corps, The Army Lawyer 200-02 (1975) .

4. Id . at 256-57. For more on the 1977 Additional Protocols, see Gary D. Solis, The Law of Armed Conflict 1 29-49 ( 2nd ed. 2016).

5. E-mail from Virginia P. Prugh to Fred L. Borch (Aug. 22, 2019, 3:30 PM) (on file with author).

6. The Judge Advocate General’s School, U.S. Army, JAG Form 48, Personnel Data Sheet, Buckley, Michael Brett (Oct. 1980) (on file with author).

7. News Release, Thurston County, Washington, Presiding Judge of District Court Recipient of 2019 Outstanding Judge Award (June 20, 2019),

8. Officer Record Brief, Buckley, Michele B. (11 July 2019) (on file with author).

9. Telephone Interview with Chief Warrant Officer Three (Retired) Cedric Woodruff (Feb. 20, 2007).

10. Id .

11. See United States v. Calley, 22 C.M.R. 19 (A.C.M.R. 1973), aff’d , 48 CMR 19 (C.M.A 1973); Calley v. Calloway, 382 F. Supp. 650 (1974); Calley v. Hoffman, 519 F. Supp. 814 (1974), cert. denied , 425 U.S. 911 (1975); Richard Hammer, The Court-Martial of Lt. Calley (1971); William Peers, The My Lai Inquiry (1979). See also, Fred L. Borch, What Really Happened at My Lai on March 16, 1968 , Army Law., Mar. 2018, 1-5.

12. William “Woody” A. Woodruff , Campbell U., (last visited Sept. 8, 2019).

13. E-mail from Joseph Woodruff to Fred L. Borch (Aug. 23, 2019, 10:30 AM) (on file with author).

14. The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, 67th Graduate Class Directory 11 (2018) .

15. E-mail from SFC Bryan Ortiz-Ramos to Fred L. Borch (Aug. 23, 2019, 4:03 PM) (on file with author).

16. E-mail from Lt Col Kathryn Navin to Fred L. Borch (Aug. 27, 2019, 10:45 PM) (on file with author).

17. Id .

18. Id .

19. E-mail from Lt Col Nicole Navin to Fred L. Borch (Aug. 28, 2019, 7:19 AM) (on file with author).

20. Biography, Lieutenant Colonel Nicole M. Navin, United States Air Force (on file with author).

21. E-mail from CPT Christian R. Burne to Fred L. Borch (Aug. 29, 2019, 2:10 AM) (on file with author).







Sister Services

(Courtesy: Fred Borch)


Having examined eight Army generational relationships, this article looks at two other family connections that deserve to be highlighted: the Air Force Judge Advocate General with an Army judge advocate son and two identical twin sisters—one in the Marine Corps and one in the Air Force—who are connected with the Regiment because both sisters earned their LL.M . degrees in the Graduate Course.

Sisters: Lieutenant Colonels Kathryn M. and Nicole M. Navin

The Navin sisters were born and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin. While they are identical twins, Nicole is older than her sister by two minutes. Kathryn “Kate” Navin earned her law degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1999; she had previously been commissioned as a Marine Corps second lieutenant in 1998. Kate Navin chose to be a Marine because she thought being a Marine “would be the biggest challenge . . . both physically and mentally.” 16 She writes that she “thought briefly about the Air Force, but the physical requirements, training, and challenge of being a Marine was what drew me to the Marine Corps.” 17

After completing The Basic School at Quantico, Virginia, and the Naval Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island, Kate Navin was designated a Marine judge advocate in 2000. She then served in a variety of assignments, including a thirteen-month deployment in 2007 with Multinational Forces West to Al Anbar Province, Iraq. Then-Major Navin’s connection with our Corps occurred in 2009, when she was a student in the 58th Graduate Course. After graduating in 2010 with a specialty in contract and fiscal law, she served as Procurement Counsel, Western Area Counsel Office, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. Later that year, she deployed with U.S. Central Command’s (CENTCOM) Contracting Command in support of I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), Camp Leatherneck, Iraq.

Lieutenant Colonel Navin finished out her career in the Marine Corps as the SJA, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Paris Island/Eastern Recruiting Region, and as the Deputy Branch Head for Civil and Administrative Law, Judge Advocate Division, Headquarters, Marine Corps in the Pentagon. She retired in 2019. 18

Her sister, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Nicole R. Navin, took a very different path as a judge advocate. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater in 1996, Nicole Navin enlisted in the Air Force and served as a Chinese Linguist at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, from 1997 to 2001. After leaving active duty, she entered law school at Florida State University; she graduated in 2004. Nicole then joined the Air Force JAG Corps because she “enjoyed it based on my previous experience” as an Air Force service member. 19 She subsequently served in a variety of assignments, including: Assistant SJA, 1st Fighter Wing, Langley AFB; Area Defense Counsel, Langley, AFB; and DSJA, 52d Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. Then-Major Navin made her connection with our Corps when she spent a year in the 62d Graduate Class from 2013 to 2014. After obtaining her LL.M., with a specialty in contract and fiscal law (like her sister), Nicole Navin worked briefly as the Chief, Fraud Remedies Branch, Air Force Legal Operations Agency, Andrews Air Base, Maryland, before deploying to Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, as the Assistant CJA, CENTCOM Joint Theater Support Contracting Command. Today, Lieutenant Colonel Navin is the BJA, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Naval Support Activity, Bethesda, Maryland. 20

Father-son: Lieutenant General Christopher F. Burne and CPT Christian R. Burne

(Courtesy Fred Borch)

Christopher F. Burne had a long and distinguished career as an Air Force lawyer, culminating in his service as the Air Force Judge Advocate General from 2014 to 2018. Burne was directly commissioned in the Air Force after graduating from law school in 1983, and he served in a number of increasingly important assignments, including: DSJA, Western Space and Missile Center, Vandenberg Air Force Base (AFB); SJA, 32d Fighter Group, Soesterberg Air Base, Netherlands; SJA, 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw AFB, South Carolina; SJA, 8th Air Force, Barksdale AFB, Louisiana; and SJA Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. Lieutenant General Burne retired in 2018.

His son, CPT Christian R. Burne, commissioned through the Army ROTC at the University of Scranton in 2014. He then obtained an educational delay to attend law school at Dickenson in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. After graduating in 2017, Christian Burne commissioned as a judge advocate first lieutenant and entered our Corps. He finished the 205th JAOBC in May 2018 and was assigned to XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Burne is now deployed to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, where he serves as an operational law attorney with Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. 21 TAL