FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – President of the American Bar Association, Patricia Lee "Trish" Refo, visited June 29 to enhance her understanding of and foster relationships with the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
Refo met with Soldiers and civilian personnel in the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, or OSJA, who prepared a full itinerary of informational briefs and a tour of the installation.
"At the end of my term, I wanted the opportunity to learn from and say ‘thank you’ to the men and women here at Fort Huachuca who do so much to advance the rule of law defending liberty and pursuing justice," Refo said.
She expected to be on the road approximately 300 days during her presidency and wanted to include military law offices in her ABA tour, but that was not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This seemed a great opportunity when President Refo and her office reached out to the Office of The Judge Advocate General and asked if we would host her here at Fort Huachuca," said Lt. Col. Michael E. Bahm, staff judge advocate.
"Of course, we were excited and said, 'yes.'"
The SJA staff provided briefs on military justice by Maj. Tulsi Rogers, division chief; national security law by Maj. Amber Turner, division chief; administrative law by Joe McCloskey, acting division chief; and client services by Capt. Eric Seegmiller, legal assistance attorney.
"I am blown away by the breadth of the legal services the JAG Corps provides," Refo said explaining she is in awe of JAG personnel, the scope of their expertise and their skill in moving from one proficiency to another as the service requires.
"And, their deep commitment to serving the men and women who in turn serve our nation," she added.
Refo took time in her visit to describe the resources the ABA’s Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel, or LAMP, has available for the JAG Corps.
"The ABA has several resources relevant to military lawyers," she explaine.
The ABA uses LAMP to foster the growth of military legal assistance programs. It promotes the delivery of legal services to military personnel and their family members. It also works with other organizations to enhance the scope, quality and delivery of accessible or affordable legal services to eligible legal assistance clients.
"The legal profession is so diverse," Refo said. "This particular visit connected me with the work of the U.S. Army in a way I hadn't been before."
Bahm elaborated on the connections made during this visit and the value to both experienced and junior legal professionals at SJA.
"It's been a great experience for our office to engage with a senior member of the Bar [ABA]; a great legal scholar in her own right," Bahm said.
Refo spent time fielding questions from the SJA team and discussing the finer points of where military law meets civilian law.
"I gained a better understanding of opportunities I could have in the future, and the knowledge opens my career options," said Spc. Mariah Fualau, paralegal specialist in Military Justice.
Editor’s Note: For more photos, see the entire album at https://www.flickr.com/photos/us_army_fort_huachuca/albums/72157719480458924.
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Fort Huachuca is home to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)/9th Army Signal Command, and more than 48 supported tenants representing a diverse, multiservice population. Our unique environment encompasses 964 square miles of restricted airspace and 2,500 square miles of protected electronic ranges, critical components to the national defense mission.
Located in Cochise County, in southeast Arizona, about 15 miles north of the border with Mexico, Fort Huachuca is an Army installation with rich frontier history. Established in 1877, the Fort was declared a national landmark in 1976.
We are the Army's Home. Learn more at https://home.army.mil/huachuca.