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    Beyond the courtroom with the 29th CAB legal team

    29th CAB JAG in Kuwait

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Isolda Reyes | The 29th Combat Aviation Brigade’s judge advocate general section pose for a picture...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Stephen James 

    29th Combat Aviation Brigade

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq – The Judge Advocate General can often conjure thoughts of courtroom battles, but that is not always the case with the 29th Combat Aviation Brigade’s JAG team which operates both at Camp Buehring, Kuwait and Taji Military Complex, Iraq who can be found, more often than not, providing helpful advice and counsel to both Soldiers and civilians.

    The legal experts from the 29th CAB are a valued asset due to their knowledge, professionalism and the services that they provide to a diverse range of audiences.

    The 29th CAB legal office provides notary, power of attorney, legal reviews, consultations, wills and information on the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, said Capt. Julius Blattner, trial counsel for the 29th CAB.

    In addition to those services, the JAG team provides advice and counsel to commanders and Soldiers so they can make informed decisions.

    “I love working with my legal section, as part of the Brigade staff, as advisor to our brigade, battalion and company command teams and with the individual Soldier to help them solve their legal issues at home, so they can concentrate on the mission,” said Capt. Michael Terhune, the 29th CAB JAG.

    Some examples of these actions include: legal briefings to the brigade, assisting command teams in creating policy, preparing and litigating court-martials, helping plan operations by identifying legal constraints, legal reviews of unit purchases and assisting and advising Soldiers with a divorce or purchasing a home, said Terhune.

    Offering these types of documentation and advice is a team effort, including paralegals, to ensure that proper regulations are being followed, which often involve debate amongst one another.

    “We have some of the best researchers and arguments in the brigade, we work with both JAG officers and they listen to our arguments and we conduct a lot of research,” said Staff Sgt. Theresa Goldsmith, the 29th CAB JAG noncommissioned officer in charge.

    At the end of the day, the discussions and debate held by the JAG team are for the benefit of the Soldiers and the commanders they serve.
    “Many issues are thoroughly discussed before one of our attorneys comes up with a final opinion,” said Terhune. “This collaborative effort ensures we give the command the best possible advice.”

    The 29th CAB JAG section is unique due to the fact that active-duty and Army National Guard paralegals from the CAB’s subordinate battalions are consolidated to form a brigade-wide legal office.

    “The benefit of this is that they [paralegals] are able to share the work and engage in legal debates or discussion which has helped us in the way that we look at the cases,” said Blattner.

    Due to the consolidation of the legal team, the JAG section has expanded and allowed for more Soldiers in Iraq and Kuwait to receive legal advice.
    In order to best serve those in Iraq, the 29th CAB legal team established a full-time office at Camp Taji, Iraq, which assists both Soldiers and civilians, which provides the legal team experience that they wouldn’t have been able to get in Kuwait, said Blattner.

    “The Base Operating Support Integrator identified a need for legal assistance and there wasn’t a dedicated person to do that, so they offered a dedicated work area at the mayor’s cell to the post,” said Blattner.

    What is also unique is that fact that the 29th CAB legal team also has the capability to project itself from Taji to other locations throughout OIR for legal support and investigation assistance.

    “It has been good to lean forward as a JAG to get out in the field,” said Capt. Kasey Deiss, 1-147th Assault Helicopter Battalion JAG.

    Deiss, who has helped investigating officers with a recent investigation involving aviation assets, says that it is his job “to guide IOs through any legal questions, troubleshoot and to determine if the investigation is sufficient.”

    For Soldiers looking for legal assistance, they should not hesitate to seek advice by reaching out to the 29th CAB JAG paralegals.

    “We educate the commands and we help Soldiers,” said Spc. Mattia Lester, a paralegal from the 4th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment.

    The 29th CAB is an Army National Guard Brigade that provides aviation assets, offensive strike capability, operational and logistical support to both Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield. CJTF-OIR is the campaign to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.



    Date Taken: 08.15.2017
    Date Posted: 11.10.2017 12:13
    Story ID: 246239
    Location: CAMP TAJI, IQ 
    Hometown: TIMONIUM, MD, US
    Hometown: TOWSON, MD, US

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