FORT DIX, New Jersey - Senior leaders from the U.S. Army Reserve Legal Command gathered recently to participate in a Mission Training Brief that will ensure sustained readiness and efficient use of resources for 2018.
The MTB was a forum for commanders and chief paralegal noncommissioned officers of the 28 Legal Operations Detachments to brief the command leadership on all anticipated and currently scheduled training events for the next fiscal year.
During the briefing the two USARLC deputy commanders, Col. Gerald R. Krimbill, Deputy Commander -- West, and Col. William B. Dyer, Deputy Commander -- East, had the opportunity to share the Army Reserve's strategic vision, USARLC's priorities, standards, and expectations, and to address any special inhibitors and issues of concern raised during the briefings.
"With 1,800 legal professionals in 28 units meeting a multitude of diverse missions, it is critical that we make time to synchronize our plans and activities to ensure our priorities match those the U.S. Army Reserve," Dyer said. "This MTB provides exactly that opportunity."
Besides unit objectives and priorities, the command teams updated the USARLC on their essential metrics in a dashboard format, covering the gamut of complex unit data. The discussion often swirled around collective unit data points, but typically drilled down to individual readiness on issues such as fitness, security clearances, evaluations, participation, medical and dental, record and financial reviews, and professional military and civilian education.
Special emphasis was placed on rapid unit and individual deployment readiness. The command sergeants major ensured Soldiers were in full compliance with their professional military education. They also placed special emphasis on preparing Soldiers to compete in the Best Warrior Competition, and pressed unit leaders to provide details about their training programs the annual event.
The briefings demonstrated the varied nature of today's legal missions. Legal assistance, claims, military justice, administrative and civil law, contract and fiscal law serve as the backbone of legal services provided by the Legal Command to the Army at large. But many units also delved into the more complex thicket of cyber and information law, defense support of civil authorities, and national security law.
For individual commanders, the MTB also served as a vital information-sharing forum.
"In addition to complying with Army Reserve and legal command requirements, the MTB offers LOD command teams an opportunity to share best practices regarding unit operations and training," said Col. David Barret, Commander, 151st Legal Operations Detachment. As an LOD commander, he noted that it is easy to have a myopic view of USARLC activities.
"Listening to other commands brief at the MTB, however, gives one a whole new appreciation of the world-wide reach of the legal command and the impressive support it provides to the Army Reserve and the active component," he said.
Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, about 25 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., USARLC oversees 1,800 personnel stationed in 104 cities in 43 states in the continental U.S. and two overseas locations. This includes Soldiers serving as judge advocates, warrant officers, paralegal noncommissioned officers, junior enlisted personnel, plus civilian para-professionals.
The Army Reserve provides approximately 87 percent of the Army's legal units and approximately 40 percent of the Army's attorneys. The command serves the legal needs of the Army Reserve Soldiers, families, and retirees. It also augments the active Army, backfilling units, working at installation legal offices and supporting forward deployed military missions.
All MTB participants came away re-energized, focused, and impressed by the scope of the Legal Command's mission.
Col. Michael Deegan, Commander, 7th Legal Operations Detachment said he was immensely proud to be part of such an impressive body of citizen soldiers.
"I'm humbled to see the number of hard working senior leaders that encompass the LODs," Deegan said. "Behind the MTB statistics are so many actions of ensuring our Soldiers are prepared in both mind and body."