JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Alaska Army National Guard Maj. Javier Lopez was awarded a Bronze Star medal Nov. 19 for his service in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from May 2012 to April 2013.

Lopez joined the Alaska Army National Guard as special victims' counsel assigned by the National Guard Bureau. A year after transferring to the unit, he transitioned to deputy staff judge advocate and serves as a legal adviser to the adjutant general.

Previously, Lopez served as the first Puerto Rico Army National Guard trial defense service attorney assigned to a deployed active-duty trial defense field office. During this tour, in support of OEF, Lopez's dedication to the mission and his resourcefulness ensured the success of many legal actions, including three contested courts-martial, six summary courts-martial and more than 200 Article 15s, adverse administrative and elimination actions.

Lopez's actions during OEF were outlined in the narrative for his medal. He distinguished himself by meritorious achievement and service, traveling across the area of responsibility to include Germany and Afghanistan. He managed cases from Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Iraq, the Horn of Africa, the Sinai Peninsula and Afghanistan, to include a high-profile case where he advised a material witness in a 20-year conviction of an individual accused of murder.

"At the end of the day I just want to thank you for all that you've done," said Brig. Gen. Charles Lee Knowles, commander of the Alaska Army National Guard. "This was a tremendous effort on your part and you've earned this."

Lopez said he is thankful for the support of his family during his military service and is proud to serve in the Alaska National Guard.