By Pfc. Lynnwood ThomasMarch 20, 2019
The Fort Campbell Office of the Staff Judge Advocate began the celebration of the 243rd anniversary of the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, July 26, with a physical training session behind Olive Physical Fitness Center.
There JAG Soldiers and a few guests, including Brig. Gen. K. Todd Royar, acting senior commander of the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell, completed two iterations of a vigorous strength training circuit led by Master Sgt. Darius Jackson, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 101st Airborne Division.
The Soldiers were divided into teams and rotated through nine lanes that included tire flips with walking lunges, kettlebell swings, a partner medicine ball ab pass and other calisthenics.
"The purpose of this training is that we're all riflemen and riflewomen first - we're Soldiers first and then legal professionals second," Jackson said. "Once we go into a traditional war, or line war, that's where our paralegals and our judge advocates are out there with the unit. They're not all together, so they have to be able to blend in and move so they don't become a liability or compromise the unit."
Soldiers were highly motivated as they moved through the lanes, shouting words of encouragement across the field as they exercised.
Sergeant Jaune A. Daniels, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Abn. Div., said the circuit training was intense, but prepared Soldiers for the soon to be implemented Army Combat Fitness Test.
"I'm down at 1st BCT and it's mostly infantry Soldiers, so I have to be able to walk like them, stand like them and be able to fit in with them," Daniels said. "I can't compromise myself and just say, 'hey I'm legal and I don't need to do this stuff.' I have to be able to stand tall and run with them, lift with them, do push-ups with them - whatever it may be."
Daniels said celebrating the JAG Corps anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on the past and partake in traditional events. He said it is important for an organization to pause and take the time to remember the Soldiers who paved the way. Following PT the JAG Corps Soldiers gathered for a celebration luncheon and cake cutting at Cole Park Commons, where 1st Lt. Patrick Augustine, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Headquarters Support Company, served as the master of ceremony and Royar was the keynote speaker.
Augustine provided a brief history of the JAG Corps including its conception, progression through history and also took the time to acknowledge a few fallen members of the JAG Corps.
Royar regarded the corps as the standard in making sure every Soldier upholds the Constitution.
"You all, more than any other group or organization, are the ones that make sure those Soldiers and their rights are protected, and when they need assistance it's provided," he said.
Today the JAG Corps plays a critical role in shaping modern case law since its establishment July 29, 1775, by George Washington.
"I just want to say thank you for everything you do on behalf of all commanders, all command sergeants major and really the entire Army," Royar said. "You perform an invaluable service, and lest we not forget - because that is the basis that we're founded upon."